RENO, NEV. >> Miss North Carolina Cheslie Kryst, a 27-year-old lawyer who represents prison inmates for free, won the 2019 Miss USA title Thursday in a diverse field that included teachers, nurses and members of the military.
Miss Hawaii USA Lacie Choy made the top 15, joining the first woman of Samoan descent to ever compete in the event that dates to 1952.
As one of 15 finalists from a field of 51 contestants, both women will make tonight’s delayed broadcast of the pageant at 7 p.m. on Fox/KHON. The field was narrowed based on their performance in a series of events earlier in the week.
Choy, a 20-year-old University of Hawaii student, did not make it past the next round but Miss Nevada Tianna Tuamoheloa, 26, of Las Vegas advanced to the final five.
Alejandra Gonzalez of New Mexico was the first-runner up, and Oklahoma’s Triana Browne the second-runner up.
Kryst will represent the United States in the Miss Universe contest. Vanessa and Nick Lachey served as hosts of the two-hour, nationally televised event at Grand Sierra hotel-casino. The reigning Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers of Nebraska, crowned the winner.
It’s the first time the competition has been held in Reno. Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve was among the all-female panel of judges.