Having four former Teens back is even more unusual given this very rarely happens in any state (rarely more than once per year on average) much less out of a relatively small group of contestants. Also, the two most recent SD titleholders are also former Teens - Lexy Schenk (Miss SD Teen USA 2011/Miss SD USA 2015) and Madison McKeown (Miss SD Teen USA 2014/Miss SD USA 2016) - which means in the past three years every Teen titleholder from 2009 to 2015 will have competed (history of SD Teen titleholders competing for Miss can be found here). The four for this year are Alyssa Hustrulid (2010, 2RU last year), and first-time Miss contestants Kalani Jorgensen (2012), Alexis Rupp (2013) and Marley Hanson (2015). Marley was fourth runner-up at Miss SD over the summer and will be the first 2015 Teen to compete for a Miss USA state title.
Joining them are former Miss SD Tessa Dee, first runner-up to Lexy & Madison; 2016 semi-finalist Lainie Kessler; and past Teen semi-finalists Jhena van den Hoek and Paige Tracey (who competed in Iowa).
The 19 Miss contestants is similar to previous years, however Teen numbers have taken a significant hit, with this year's 21 contestants being 34% fewer than the average of the past three years.