Raquel Rusing of Carlsbad, CA was crowned the 58th Fairest of the Fair and Miss San Diego County on Friday, May 16, during the Fairest of the Fair Pageant at the California Center for the Arts Escondido.
By winning the pageant, Rusing holds the dual title, Fairest of the Fair and Miss San Diego County. As Fairest of the Fair, Rusing will be the official hostess for the 2003 San Diego County Fair; which runs June 13 - July 6 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. As Miss San Diego County, she is eligible to compete in the Miss California pageant, which is part of the Miss USA organization.
The competition was keen as 30 community queens vied for the crown during two days of intense competition, May 15 and 16. Contestants were graded on four criteria. Those criteria were: 25 points for Interview, 15 points for Sportswear, 15 points for Evening Gown, and 15 points each evening for Poise & Personality. The top ten candidates advanced to the final round on Friday night, which consisted of answering impromptu questions for an additional 20 points. A panel of six judges graded contestants in each of the competition categories.
Rusing earned the most points. The next highest finishers in the pageant comprise the official Fairest of the Fair “Court.” Members of the Court assist the Fairest of the Fair in her goodwill ambassadorial duties during the Fair and throughout the year.
The Court members are: First runner-up, Lisette Diaz, Miss San Ysidro; Second runner-up, Kacy Thompson, Miss Santee; Third runner-up, Jennifer Morgan, Miss Alpine; and Fourth runner-up, Andrea Schneider, Miss Rancho Bernardo.
In addition to winning the overall crown and title, Rusing also won the pageant’s Essay contest. During the first rehearsal for the pageant, contestants were given one hour to write a paper of 300 words or less on a subject they were presented at the rehearsal. Rusing’s essay was chosen by a panel of judges headed by Jack Gaffney of the San Diego City School District.
The Miss Congeniality Award, voted on by the pageant contestants, went to Miss San Marcos, Kelsey Nygaard.
The Speech award, which was judged by members of Toastmasters International, was presented to Miss La Mesa, Troy Lemperle.
The Photogenic Award, chosen by a panel of photographers from Light Impressions of San Diego, was given to Miss Clairemont, Cristin Grettenberger.
Fairest of the Fair / Miss San Diego County, Raquel Rusing, is a 17-year-old senior at Carlsbad High School, and is the daughter of Gregory and Roxanne Rusing. Rusing belongs to several clubs at Carlsbad High School including Art, Drama, and Dance Clubs. She is also the Official Thespian Teacher for Christian Youth Theater and captain for the National Comedy High School Team. Her special interests include dancing, acting, improvisational theater, drawing, and photography.
Rusing’s ambition is to graduate high school with a 4.4 grade point average; then major in mathematics and art at a 4-year university and graduate with a teaching credential in five years. She hopes to teach high school calculus and algebra and maintain a gallery of her artwork.
Her philosophy of life: “Without love there is no existence. Love binds, fixes, empowers, shapes, and causes all good things in time - because of this there is no such thing as wasted time.”