HARRISON, N.Y. – Teens from Eastchester and Ossining were among the five finalists of the Miss New York Teen U.S.A. pageant held Sunday night at SUNY Purchase.
Jackie Groccia, 15, of Eastchester was the runner-up and Brittany Smith of Ossining was fourth runner-up to Long Island-native Nikki Orlando. Joanne Nosuchinsky, representing Hell’s Kitchen, was named Miss New York U.S.A. Each winner beat out 200 other pageant hopefuls, and will represent the state moving forward in the Miss Teen and Miss America competitions.
The ladies donned their finest swimwear, evening gowns and offered their insight into matters that affect them as the field was whittled down to the eventual winners through several eliminations.
The event was hosted by actress Susie Castillo, a former pageant contestant herself, who conducted interviews with past winners and kept the crowd cheering their contestants on during the pageant.
“All the women on this stage have spent countless hours finding sponsors, preparing, working with charities and of course, hitting the gym,” she said to open the show. “The contestants have been busy rehearsing and getting themselves ready. It’s hard to believe the weekend is almost over.”
The evening got started quickly, as the field was trimmed from 200 down to 20 semifinalists based on scores from Saturday’s preliminary rounds. Following the swimwear competition, the field was cut in half to 10 for the parade of evening gowns, and then to five for the “final question.”
Miss Teen Hudson Valley, Marissa Matzen, 17, made it no further than the swimwear cut, getting knocked out in the round of 20. Miss Hudson Valley, Jessica Pinckney, 25, also received an award for earning the highest scores in the evening gown competition.
A notable panel of judges was in charge of crowning Nosuchinsky as the newest Miss New York USA and Orlando as Miss New York Teen USA, including celebrity stylist Darius Baptist, MTV personality Evan Starkman and professional BMX rider Nigel Sylvester.