Miss Hawaii USA makes top 15 in national pageant
  • Thursday, June 20, 2019
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Miss Hawaii USA makes top 15 in national pageant

  • COURTESY MISS USA

    Miss Hawaii Lacie Choy.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    The marquee promotes the Miss USA pageant an hour before it began Thursday, May 2, 2019 at the Grand Sierra hotel-casino in Reno, Nevada. It’s the first time the northern Nevada city on the edge of the Sierra has hosted the event that dates to 1952. This year’s contestants included a psychological operations expert in the Army reserves, an ex-NFL cheerleader working to become a surgical nurse and a lawyer who represents some prisoners for free. (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS / 2018

    Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers participates in the swimsuit and evening gown stage of the 67th Miss Universe competition in Bangkok. The women who want to be crowned the next Miss USA include a psychological operations expert in the Army Reserves, a former NFL cheerleader on a career path to become a surgical nurse and a lawyer who represents unjustly jailed prisoners for free. The 51 contestants representing each U.S. state and the District of Columbia take the stage Thursday in Reno, Nev., for the first time at a hotel-casino where Vanessa and Nick Lachey will serve as hosts.

  • COURTESY MISS USA

    Miss Nevada Tianna Tuamoheloa.

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.

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