Local girls succeed at pageant

By Kristelle Siarza: CNJ Correspondent

ALBUQUERQUE — Kalila Pack succeed at her goal to make friends at last weekend’s Miss New Mexico American Co-ed Queen pageant.

A student at Clovis Christian School, Kalila also took home third place in the Sweetheart Division in her first pageant.

“She’s a little diva,” said Elizabeth Pack, Kalila’s mom.

Madison Belcher, 5, of Dora won the home title of Miss New Mexico American Coed Princess.

Contests are judged on their performance during an interview and an evening gown show.

Kalila wore a cyan dress for the evening gown competition.

She also found plenty of time to make friends.

“It was really cool cause she was the first one I met,” said Saryn Swanson, 8, another Sweetheart contestant from Albuquerque.

The New Mexico competition feeds into the American Coed Pageant competition, which has competitions for girls from ages 3 to 21 in separate age divisions, according to pageant director Michele Skroch.

The competition helps girls and young women build confidence and learn conversation skills, Skroch said.

“We have no experience with pageants,” said Elizabeth Belcher, Madison’s mother. “She enjoys playing the piano, and we took any avenue for her to play.”

Madison had her chance to play “Beauty and the Beast” in front of an audience of 200 during Friday’s finale.

“We’ve tried to get her into soccer, sports, or ballet, to develop other interests,” said Belcher. “At a track meet, she told me, ‘I don’t like to run, I like to play.’”

Crowned the title of Princess on Friday, Madison has the chance to compete at the national competition in Florida.