By Mike Chaiken
You can say central Connecticut’s towns of Southington, Bristol, and Plainville did well at the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Pageant Saturday.
Miss Southington Kaitlyn Tarpey is the 2013 Miss Connecticut. And Krystiana Bouchard of Southington, competing as Miss West Hartford’s Outstanding Teen, is the new Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen.
After her win, Tarpey said, after a beat of speechlessness, “I’m so happy. I’ve worked very, very hard. And I’m so ready to represent not only myself and the state organization but all the other girls I competed against this week. I’m ready to rumble and I’m ready to work. “
After three days of competing—the finals and the preliminary events, Tarpey said, “There was a weird sense of calm over me (over the course of Miss Connecticut). I’ve been praying a lot this week. I was very comfortable with everything I’ve done. I knew that all I needed to do was put my best foot on that stage and I felt I did that and I’m happy with the end result.”
As for what she was looking forward to over the next year, Tarpey said, “There are so many things I’m going to be looking forward to that I don’t even know are going to be coming. But being at Miss America in Atlantic City (in September) will be so wonderful because all of my friends and family won’t have to drive that far or fly that far to come and see me.”
Additionally, Tarpey said, “I’m really excited to start my work with Krystiana (Bouchard) .We’ve been friends for the past three years. I’m just so excited to serve and so excited to be Miss Connecticut. I’m still a little bit surprised—I’m hungry, too.”
“I’m really, really excited. I’m so proud of myself,” said Bouchard after the pageant when asked how she was feeling after winning Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen. “I’m looking forward to the year ahead.”
As for how she was feeling as the pageant weekend progressed and she watched the other teen contestants on stage, Bouchard said, “As the nights went on, I got a little bit more nervous. The experience was great and the girls were amazing. The competition was very strong.”
As the year begins, what is the Southington teen looking forward to? Bouchard said, “I get to work with so many amazing organizations. I get to expand my own platform (fighting multiple sclerosis). And I’m looking forward to going to Florida (Orlando to compete for Miss America’s Outstanding Teen in August).”
In addition to Bouchard and Tarpey representing central Connecticut, Miss Southington’s Outstanding Teen Madison Yurgaitis finished as fourth runner-up and Miss Forestville’s Outstanding Teen Jillian Duffy finished in the top 10 to earn the right to compete in finals night.
Besides winning the top teen crown, Bouchard won overall fitness in the teens.
Tarpey also received the overall health and fitness award in the Miss category. She also received overall honors in talent for her Irish step dancing routine.
Other contestants from the area competing throughout the week at Miss Connecticut and Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen competition were:
Southington: Miss Plantsville Shannon Murphy, Miss Plantsville’s Outstanding Teen Katerina Belales, and Miss Milldale’s Outstanding Teen Olivia Sica.
Bristol: Miss Forestville Julie Gianoni, Miss Bristol Aubrie Przybysz, Miss Bristol’s Outstanding Teen Jaymie Bianca.
Plainville: Plainville’s Outstanding Teen Brooke Cyr.
Several of these local contestants received honors on Saturday night at the Garde Arts Center in New London.
Besides placing in the top 10, Duffy received the Teen Fighting Spirit Award.
Bianca won the Teen Miss Congeniality Award.
In addition to placing in the top 5, Yurgaitis received the Teen Community Service Award and the Academic Award.
Murphy won Miss Congeniality in the Miss category.
Gianoni won the academic award from the Miss America Organization in the Miss category.
Przybysz received the non-finalist health and fitness award.
On the second night of preliminary competition, local contestants also received early awards.
Tarpey won the health and fitness preliminary competition. Bouchard received the teen health and fitness award.
Additionally, a few other non-competition honors were distributed.
Gianoni received a bronze medal from the Duke of Edinburgh Award. The award, eligible to persons ages 14 to 25, awards bronze, silver and gold medals to those who successfully complete requirements in four areas: community service, physical fitness, special skill and adventurous journey.
Duffy received the MiracleMaker Award from Connecticut Children’s Medical Center for raising the most funds for the CCMC this past year. Duffy, who is a leukemia survivor and was treated at CCCM, raised $2,200 for the hospital.
On the first night of competition, June 20, none of the locals received awards.
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