Rob Potter | Democrat
JOHN MANZI, RIGHT, who served as the emcee for Sunday afternoon’s finals of the 2008 Ms. Monticello Raceway Pageant asks the crowd if Courtney Blauvelt, center, should win the title or if Tyler Kilcoin, left, should win the crown.
Blauvelt takes raceway darling title
By Rob Potter
MONTICELLO The United States Postal Service has a motto about the mail being delivered no matter how bad the weather.
After Sunday afternoon, the Ms. Monticello Raceway Beauty Pageant could adopt a similar slogan.
A thunderstorm forced a change of venue during the pageant finals, but much to the delight of the dozens of family members and friends who showed up to cheer on the 15 finalists, the program went on as scheduled.
After the 15 swimsuit-clad finalists paraded on stage for the six judges, the sky opened up. A pelting rain, which was accompanied by loud rumbles of thunder and bright flashes of lightning, forced the spectators to run for cover.
Monticello Gaming & Raceway Events Planner Lori Rothman decided to move the pageant into the raceway grandstand for the rest of the swimsuit competition.
The rain stopped as the swimsuit contest concluded, so emcee John Manzi, the 15 lovely ladies, the six judges and Chris Tully, who was escorting the ladies to and from the stage, walked back down to the outdoor stage which was set up next to the track.
Following the evening gown competition, those scores were added to the swimsuit marks to determine the top three ladies.
Moments later, Manzi announced that the top three were Courtney Blauvelt, Tyler Kilcoin and Christina Richichi.
He then announced that Richichi, a 20-year-old Newburgh resident, was the second runner-up. Richichi earned $1,000 for being the second runner-up.
Manzi noted that as per the wishes of pageant sponsor Larry Roman, who usually serves as the emcee but could not attend Sunday’s finals because he was in New York City for his father’s 80th birthday party, the winner would be determined by the crowd.
The crowd had two opportunities to cheer for Blauvelt and Kilcoin. After the crowd clapped, screamed and yelled for each lady, it was determined that the ovation for Blauvelt was louder. Manzi then declared Blauvelt the 2008 Ms. Monticello Raceway and Kilcoin the first runner-up.
In addition to a sash and a bouquet of red roses presented by 2007 Ms. Monticello Raceway Ashli Tolli, Blauvelt received $7,500. Kilcoin earned $2,500 for being named the first runner-up.
The 20-year-old Blauvelt, who resides in Napanoch, was a finalist in the 2006 Ms. Monticello Raceway Pageant. When asked if that finish motivated her to compete this year, Blauvelt smiled and said “yes.”
“I’m very excited,” Blauvelt continued. “All of the finalists are so beautiful, I didn’t expect to win. But I’m very happy that I did.”
Blauvelt majors in biology and minors in chemistry at SUNY Fredonia. She plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in December.
Blauvelt, who said her career goal is to earn a doctorate in physical therapy, noted that she will use her prize money to help pay for graduate school.
The 12 finalists who did not make the top three each received $100. They were: Brenda Britton of Highland, Christina Buechel of Wallkill, Bridget Clark of Middletown, Ciara Gaglio of Wurtsboro, Ashley Goff of Circleville, Patrice Hamilton of Middletown, Samantha Krieger of Highland Falls, Jessica Laymon of Swan Lake, Nicole Northrup of White Lake, Katy Schlichtman of Rock Hill, Kristyn Sprague of Montgomery and Marisol Velazquez of Monticello.
The six judges for the pageant were: Richard Lerman, who is the controller of a medical group in Goshen; Dave Little, a sportswriter and handicapper for the New York Daily News; Joe Logan, Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds at Ellenville High School; Rob Potter, Democrat Sports Editor; Barry Rothman, Vice President of a trucking company which supplies the fashion industry in New York City and Ashli Tolli, the 2007 Ms. Monticello Raceway.