By Ted Waddell
MONTICELLO July 19, 2005 While trotters raced around the cinder track at Monticello Raceway on Sunday afternoon, a bevy of beautiful ladies competed in the preliminary round of the 12th annual Ms. Monticello Raceway Beauty Pageant.
After the opening round results were tabulated, 16 ladies advanced to the finals, which are scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 24 at the raceway.
The pageant was originally scheduled to have 15 semifinalists, but three ladies tied with an overall score of 79. A perfect score for the preliminary round would have been a 100, if a contestant had received a 10 in the swimsuit category and a 10 in the evening gown category from each of the five judges. None of the semifinalist earned a perfect score of 100, however.
After the judges narrow down the the 16 semifinalist to the last two contestants this Sunday, the winner will be decided by crowd reaction.
Those 16 semifinalists who will compete on Sunday for the title of Ms. Monticello Raceway 2005 are: Linda Bader of Marlton, NJ, Tammylou Curci of Marlboro, Amanda De
groat of Thompsonville, Melissa Esposito of Wallkill, Marisol Fortea of Middletown, Blaise Goimez of Middletown, Tierra Griffin of Newburgh, Jessica Johnson of Maybrook, Lindsay Karchawer of Goshen, Elizabeth Lounsbury of Montgomery, Jennifer Orlowsky of Hurleyville, Maria Pappas of Forestburgh, Francine Saltares of Newburgh, Shawanna Trautmann of Rock Tavern, Karla Welch of Middletown and Kimberly Weyandt of Narrowsburg.
As the contestants strutted their stuff in the swimsuit competition, several members of the crowd broke out their cameras to record the event as emcee/trackman Larry Roman asked the contestants a series of questions. The swimsuit competition was followed by another round of questions when the contestants were dressed in formal evening wear.
Among those watching the pageant was Mary Bellock of Fosterdale. Her 19-year-old daughter Melissa took to the stage in the opening round.
Its exciting, Mary Bellock said. Whether she does good or not, its another experience
a fun thing for her to try, and maybe get some money for college.
Melissa Bellock graduated from Sullivan West Central School in 2004 and is now studying elementary education at SUNY Oneonta.
So what was it like to compete in a local beauty contest?
The competition is tough, Melissa said. Its something new to try and get money for school.