OCEAN CITY — Kaitlyn Schoeffel began to tear up as she walked the runway for the first time as Miss New Jersey Saturday night.
Schoeffel, of Egg Harbor Township, was crowned Miss New Jersey 2017 at the Ocean City Music Pier over runner-up Olivia Michael and will represent the Garden State at the Miss America pageant in September at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.
Earlier in the night, hundreds of people from across the state waited to take their seats in the Music Pier auditorium for the final night of the Miss New Jersey pageant.
Friends and family carried signs and wore buttons supporting their favorite contestant.
The evening’s hosts, 6ABC meteorologist Karen Rogers and SNJ forecast Nick Pittman introduced the 28 contestants, with Pittman saying since both he and Rogers “predict the future,” they know this year’s Miss New Jersey will become Miss America.
Miss Atlantic County Jacqueline Algarra, Miss Atlantic Shores Natalie Ragazzo, Miss Cape Shores Sandra Hilla, Miss Coastal Shores Krystle Tomlinson, Miss Columbus Day Olivia Michael, Miss Eastern Shores Kaitlyn Schoeffel, Miss Monmouth County Area Jessica Milne, Miss Seashore Line Amanda Rae Ross, Miss South Jersey Jaime Gialloreto and Miss South Shore Madison Welsh’ scores advanced then the next level of competition, along with the people’s Choice awarded to miss Ocean County Area Olivia Suarez.
Just as quickly as the top 11 contestants names were called, the girls headed backstage to change for to prepare for perform their talent.
The contestants then walked the runway for the lifestyle and fitness competition, then evening wear.
The top five selected contestants then answered judges’ questions for the final competition event.
The results of the final competition are at PressofAC.com.