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Palomarez first runner-up in national contest

Brookhaven’s Ashley Palomarez was named first runner-up in therecent Miss U.S. Teen 2006 pageant in Las Vegas.

The 19-year-old Palomarez, who won the state title earlier thisyear, had orientation for the national program on Aug. 22 and hadthe opportunity to meet the other contestants. That night, thecontestants attended a formal/semiformal dinner.

The ladies had a swimsuit photo shoot, opening number rehearsalsand interviews the next day. However, panic set in later that nightwhen the contestants went through evening gown and swimsuitcompetition during preliminary night.

“The funniest thing would be to be a fly on the wall in thedressing room,” said Palomarez, referring to the chaos and oddbeauty tricks backstage.

In addition to being first runner-up, Palomarez was honored asthe overall swimsuit winner and got a national modeling contractwith Malibu. Palomarez should begin that modeling work in catalogsnext August.

Palomarez had her family go to the national pageant with her forsupport. Her mother, Sudie; sister Savannah, 17; brother Rico, 14;her grandparents and here aunt were part of the contingent rootingfor Palomarez.

Palomarez will be a guest speaker and modeling coach for apageant workshop on Sept. 9 at Susan’s Shoppe, where she has beenemployed for two and a half years. Palomarez is currently a studentat Southwest Community College majoring in cosmetology.