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Locals win titles at Miss Portales pageant

Exhausted but satisfied seemed to be the feeling Sunday afternoon at the end of the Miss Portales Extravaganza pageant at Portales High School.

Alexa Vigil, 19, who took home the title of 2016 Miss Portales on Sunday, said she was fully prepared to eat and sleep after going home.

“When winning the crown, I was completely humbled, because I knew all the girls were remarkable,” Vigil said. “I am humbled, and I’m honored to represent such a wonderful community.”

Vigil, who is native to Portales, attends New Mexico State University as a business major and received the title of Miss Eastern New Mexico last year.

Three other women also took home 2016 miss titles on Sunday:

* Danielle Peltier of Aztec — Miss Southern New Mexico

* Chelsea Tillman — Miss Farmington

* Ashley Fresquez of Albuquerque — Miss Duke City

Anne Harding of Albuquerque received first runner-up while Leah Taylor received second runner-up.

Fresquez, 20, attends the University of New Mexico majoring in political science and is thinking about going to law school.

Fresquez previously won the titles of Miss Santa Fe and Miss Corrales.

“Santa Fe was a lot different for me, because I was traveling to Santa Fe a lot more. But it was great because I got to know a different city and really be involved in that city,” Fresquez said, adding that she is especially excited to represent her hometown now.

“It will be better, because I live in Albuquerque, so being able to actually represent my hometown, I feel like I’ll be able to do a lot more with my platform (Heart-to-Heart Project)” Fresquez said. “Being able to represent Albuquerque means a lot, because that’s where I was born and raised.”

Danielle Peltier, 19, of Aztec, a New Mexico State University student majoring in chemistry who wants to go into medicinal research in the neuroscience sector, was also no stranger to titles, having previously won Miss Dona Ana County and Miss San Juan County.

“I’m excited, because I have a much bigger area to work from,” she said of her new Miss Southern New Mexico title. “I get all the way from Silver City to Hobbs. I feel like individual titles like cities are great, but the more you can get, the more you can spread your platform around the whole state.”

And, Peltier said, the Miss America Pageant program goes hand-in-hand with her platform of eating disorder awareness and body positivity, because it emphasizes self-confidence in women.

“When I was younger, I did have issues with self-image and dieting and things like that. It’s just a really important part of my life, and I want to help others overcome it,” Peltier said. “I know a lot of people say, ‘How can you promote eating disorder awareness when you’re strutting in a swimsuit?’ But I believe it gives everyone confidence. It gives me personal confidence.”

Madison Belcher, 15, of Texico participated in pageants when she was younger, but this was her first time to experience a pageant in the Miss America program.

“I was ecstatic. It was very humbling to do everything and to work so hard and see all your hard work pay off,” she said of winning the Miss Portales Outstanding Teen title. “Now I get to have a year of service and get to compete in Miss New Mexico Outstanding Teen, and that’s amazing. I’m just so excited.”

Kara Young and Haley Baca also won the outstanding teen titles of Miss Eastern New Mexico Outstanding Teen and Miss Roosevelt County Outstanding Teen.

Baca, 15, of Portales was brand new to pageant life with Sunday’s pageant being her first ever.

“I was really excited and kind of surprised, because I thought I wouldn’t win because it’s my first pageant,” she said. “I was like ‘Oh my goodness, I won. This is really exciting.'”

But despite being new to the crown, Baca said she was not nervous on Sunday, because it reminded her of dance recitals she used to perform in.

“I think I’ll be more nervous for that one (Miss New Mexico) since it’s going to be bigger, but I’m excited,” she said of moving on with her Miss Roosevelt County teen title.

Sophia Ornelas, 15, who was also new to pageants, wasn’t letting not placing get her down.

During the waiting period for final results, Ornelas said win or lose, she had no regrets.

“I feel happy; I feel good,” she said. “I had fun. It was a really neat experience.”


©2015 The Portales News-Tribune (Clovis, N.M.)

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