OCEAN CITY — The first night of preliminary competitions are complete ahead of the Miss New Jersey 2018 crowning this weekend.
Thursday marked the first night of preliminaries for this year's 28 contestants at Ocean City Music Pier.
On the first night, half of the contestants competed in the swimsuit and evening gown categories, and the other half competed in the talent and on-stage question-and-answer portions.
Winners for the swimsuit category and talent categories were chosen at the conclusion of the first night: Miss Coastal Shores Natalie Ragazzo and Miss South Shore Jaime Gialloreto tied for the swimsuit portion, and Kyra Seeley, Miss Seashore Line, won the talent portion with an Irish step dance routine.
The groups will switch categories during the preliminary competition at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Ocean City Music Pier.
Current Miss New Jersey Kaitlyn Schoeffel at Thursday's preliminary competition performed dance routines for the crowd, and said it's "bittersweet" that a new Miss New Jersey will be crowned in a few days.
"I’m definitely sad," she said. "But I’m excited to start a new chapter."
1 of 28
Name: Avery Wythe Age: 20 Hometown: Port Republic School: University of Notre Dame Platform: Show You C.A.R.E. Talent: Dance
Name: Christa Steiner Age: 19 Hometown: Beach Haven School: Manhattan School of Music Platform: ART for smART Talent: Broadway Vocal
Name: Lauren Staub Age: 24 Hometown: Avon School: Montclair State University Graduate Platform: It Starts with a Script: Tackling the Opioid Epidemic Talent: Vocal
Name: Disha Dass Age: 23 Hometown: New Milford School: Rutgers University-Master of Education Candidate Platform: “One Billion Rising” Talent: Piano
Name: Sophia Vicari Age: 21 Hometown: Magnolia School: Fairleigh Dickinson University Platform: The Princess Promise Talent: Vocal
Name: Michelle Wanner Age: 19 Hometown: Sea Isle City School: St. Joseph’s University Platform: Puppies with Professions Talent: Dance
Name: Alyssa Sullivan Age: 22 Hometown: Cape May School: Rowan University Platform: Peer Challenge Commit 2 Character Talent: Vocal
Name: Amanda Rae Ross Age: 22 Hometown: Egg Harbor School: Stockton University Platform: Autism Acceptance Talent: Dance
Hometown: Ocean City
School: Belmont University
Platform: Anxiety and Depression — Ending the Stigma
Name: Julia Magill Age: 21 Hometown: West Deptford School: Rowan University Platform: Feeding our Families Talent: Lyrical Dance
Name: Olivia Cruz Age: 21 Hometown: Vineland School: University of the Arts Platform: Love Through Laces Talent: Dance
Name: Madison Welsh Age: 19 Hometown: Westville School: Neumann University Platform: SPIN-Share Positive Instead of Negative Talent: Tap Dance
Name: Jacqueline Algarra Age: 23 Hometown: Marlton School: Holy Family University Platform: The National Eating Disorder Association and Body Positivity Talent: Vocal
Name: Annelise Malgieri Age: 21 Hometown: Branchville School: William Paterson University Platform: No Mind Left Behind: A Mental Health Awareness Initiative Talent: Dance
Name: Hannah Marie Vendetta Age: 21 Hometown: Pitman School: Rowan University Platform: Save Your Lungs, Save Your Life Talent: Polynesian Dance
Name: Jade Glab Age: 18 Hometown: Belmar School: Brookdale Community College Platform: Fit, Fun & Fabulous – Health Eating Habits Talent: Opera
Name: Ashley Terpak Age: 19 Hometown: Sparta School: County College of Morris Platform: Eating Disorder Awareness – Alex’s Story Talent: Dance
Name: Jessica Milne Age: 24 Hometown: New Milford School: Fairleigh Dickinson University– Graduate Platform: LGBTeen Advocacy Talent: Vocal
Name: Katrina Biss Age: 23 Hometown: Pompton Lakes School: William Paterson – Grad School Platform: Erase the Stigma-Substance Abuse Awareness, Recovery & Prevention Talent: Vocal
Name: Jessica Ervey Age: 21 Hometown: Andover School: Centenary University Platform: Hope Garden for Domestic Abuse Talent: Jazz Dance
Name: Alexandra DeForge Age: 19 Hometown: Brick School: Wagner College Platform: Minding Your Health-Striking Down the Stigma Surrounding Mental Health Talent: Vocal
Name: Ria Gulati Age: 22 Hometown: Fair Lawn School: Rutgers University – Graduate Platform: “Use Your Life” – Discovering Your Best Self Through Volunteerism Talent: Hindi Jazz Vocal
Name: Jessica Indio Age: 23 Hometown: Hammonton School: Fashion Institute of Technology Platform: The Wealth in Health: The Payoff in Healthy Living Talent: Dance
Name: Jaime Gialloreto Age: 18 Hometown: Woolwich Township School: Loyola University Platform: Don’t Get Nutty: Food Allergy Awareness Talent: Dance
Name: Marielle Marlys Age: 20 Hometown: Wall School: New York University Platform: Be Smart, Don’t Start Talent: Piano
Name: Justine Murray Age: 19 Hometown: Denville School: Syracuse University Platform: Ready, Set, Vote Talent: Vocal
Name: Amanda Peacock Age: 18 Hometown: Williamstown School: Montclair University Platform: Distracted Driving Awareness: Just Drive #ItCanWait Talent: Vocal
Name: Kyra Seeley Age: 21 Hometown: Middlesex School: Rutgers University Platform: Shining A Light On Mental Health Talent: Irish Step Dance
The Press will continue to have full coverage and photos of the preliminary competitions, with a live blog.
On Wednesday, the contestants rode down the Ocean City boardwalk in the annual parade as famous and notable women in history.
A new Miss New Jersey will be crowned on Saturday.