By MIKE CHAIKEN
The daughter of the owners of a Bristol business is now Miss Connecticut’s Outstanding Teen.
Samantha Anderson, competing as Miss Constitution’s Outstanding Teen, won the title at the Mohegan Sun Cabaret on Sunday afternoon. She was one of 16 girls vying for the opportunity to represent the state at the Miss America’s Outstanding pageant this summer.
Anderson is the daughter of Bill and Tara Anderson, the owners of Bristol’s First Class Automotive.
Backstage, inbetween congratulatory hugs and kisses, Anderson said, “I’m so excited, so excited.”
“I always thought it was within my grasp,” said Anderson of her feelings about her chances as the competition continued over the weekend. (Contestants competed in a private interview with judges on Saturday.) “I just needed to work as hard as I could and be as confident as I could and be true to myself.”
In addition to a private interview with judges, contestants competed in talent, lifestyle and fitness, evening gown, and on-stage question.
Anderson, who represented Bristol last year as Miss Mum City’s Outstanding Teen, performed a lyrical dance for her talent entry.
As the year with her state title progresses, Anderson said first and foremost on her mind is competing at the national competition in August. “That’s not even a question.
“But,” said Anderson, “I’m also looking forward to getting involved with the Children’s Miracle Network more than I was before.” CMN is the official charity of the Miss America Organization. She also is looking forward to promoting her own personal platform, “Waving the Red Flag: Bully Prevention.”
To the other girls competing Sunday, Anderson said, “Never give up, I was a first runner-up last year and I came back in and I was stronger than ever.”
As the winner Sunday, Anderson received a $1,500 scholarship and several other prizes.
Although they didn’t take home the crown on Sunday, the other local representatives fared well at the annual scholarship pageant. Miss Forestville’s Outstanding Teen Allison Duffy finished in the top eight. Miss Southington’s Outstanding Teen Gabrielle Sturgeon won the People’s Choice award. Jaymie Bianca of Bristol, Miss Windham County’s Outstanding Teen, won the overall interview award and the Miracle Maker Award. The Miracle Maker award is given to the contestant who has raised the most money for the Children’s Miracle Network.
Other local competitors on Saturday were Taylor Plourd, Miss Bristol’s Outstanding Teen, and Alyssa Daly, Miss Plantsville’s Outstanding Teen.
First runner up Sunday was Tara Shaye Lynch, who was competing as Miss Quinnipiac Valley’s Outstanding Teen and attends Cheshire Academy.
Second runner up was Taliyah McGee, who was competing as Miss Stamford’s Outstanding Teen and attends Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School.
Third runner-up was Elle Sauli, a student at Newtown High School competing as Miss Greater Rockville’s Outstanding Teen.
Fourth runner-up was Brooke Cyr, Miss Westbury’s Outstanding Teen, who attends Holy Cross High School in Waterbury.
Other top eight finalists were Ariana Puglisi of Wolcott, who attends Mercy High School as Miss New Haven County’s Outstanding Teen; and Amanda Morelli of Wolcott, who attends Wolcott High School and competed as Miss Wolcott’s Outstanding Teen.
PHOTOS by MIKE CHAIKEN