Pageant prepares for debut

By Carolyn Cole
Published on February 21, 2008

Fifteen women will contend for the First Miss Mustang crown Saturday, and the winner will compete in the Miss Oklahoma pageant.

Two Canadian County residents, Brittany Whitman, a sophomore at Southern Nazarene University, and Skye Dawn Couts, Oklahoma City Community College sophomore, have entered the pageant, in which the winner will receive a $1,200 college scholarship, as well as training, clothes and expenses for the Miss Oklahoma Pageant. The top four contestants will receive gift packages from local businesses.

Other contestants include: Rozalon Doolen, a senior at Ada High School; Brittany Long, a freshman at Oklahoma Baptist University; Casey Hill, a Cameron University senior; Katelyn Kirk, a sophomore at Oklahoma State University; Erika Hebron, an Oklahoma City University junior; Amanda Barfield and Caitlyn Waters, both sophomore students at the University of Central Oklahoma; and St. Gregory College Junior Anna Marie Costello.

Five University of Oklahoma students also plan to compete including freshmen students Tina Aniebok Alyssa Banks and Brienne Vandiver, as well as Sophomore Katie Hoffmeir and Junior Tiffany Legg.

To qualify to compete in Miss Mustang, contestants must be between the ages of 17 and 24, either college students or college bound and live within 125 miles of the 73064 zip code. Organizer Rita Tate said in the contest’s second year, they plan to limit Miss Mustang’s boundaries to the immediate area, but she wanted to make sure they drew contestants on short notice.

“We are excited about it,” she said. “I think we are going to have a great winner and representative. It is fun to realize how much pride there is in the community.”

Contestants will start the competition with 15-minute interviews with judges fielding questions ranging from their interests, to national and world events and their platform. Tate said the interview is taken seriously and makes up a quarter of a contestant’s overall score. The interview sessions will start at 9 a.m. and will continue for almost four hours.

Then contestants will break for lunch and return for pageant rehearsal. The community is invited to attend the pageant, which will start at 7 p.m. in the Mustang Centennial Elementary gymnasium.

Tickets are $5 per person, and Tate said the proceeds will help cover costs from this year’s pageant and pay Miss Oklahoma’s entry fees for the Miss Mustang winner.

The pageant will begin with an opening musical number introducing the contestants. Women will model a swimsuit, which is 15 percent of their score, and then they will perform a talent — 35 percent of the score. Then contestants will don evening gowns and answer a question presented by judges — their answer is 5 percent of their score, while the gown score is 20 percent.

Tate said the contestants come from a variety of backgrounds, and for a few, this is their first pageant experience.

“It doesn’t matter — sometimes judges prefer the fresh people,” she said.

Sponsors include Tate Publishing, Venus’ Closet, Step it Up Family Footwear, Charlie Bean Gourmet Coffee, Rod’s Dry Cleaning, Luxury Nails, Heavenly Hands and Mustang Recreation Center.

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