Borrego Sun - Since 1949

2018 Miss Borrego Reigns


Last updated 11/2/2018 at 10:34am

Jolene Nacapuy

The eyes were on the stage as the crowd that filled the Borrego Springs High School gym anticipated who of the seven contestants would be crowned Miss Borrego 2018 – 19 on Oct. 13.

With all the calculations tabulated by Kathy King, emcee Fred Jee made the announcements.

Ana Mares Fuertes was named Miss Congeniality, a vote made by each of the contestants. First princess was awarded to Camila Hernandez, and second princess went to Gabriela Rocha.

2017 Miss Borrego Mariana Arias then passed on the Miss Borrego crown, and the reigns to Dennise Cecena, the 2018 – 19 winner.

Princesses from Lakeside, Julian and Ramona joined the festivities, watching the girls begin their night in casual wear, provided by Borrego Outfitters, with a three-minute dance to the song "Whistle," choreographed by Corie Loera.

The contestants individually came back on stage to describe how this year's Borrego Days theme, 'Eyes to the Skies,' corresponded with their life, and what it means to them.

Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Linda Haddock then shared a few words before handing over the microphone to departing honorary mayor Jim Wilson. Wilson, who served two-terms as Borrego's honorary mayor, introduced his successor Andy Macuga, owner of the beloved Carlee's Restaurant.

He made Macuga promise that he will keep the stoplight in a place where the sun will never shine upon it and will never be seen hung over any road in Borrego. Macuga answered, "I got the perfect spot, right over the bar in Carlee's," as the crowd chuckled. He then shared a brief summary of his comings to Borrego, before saying, "Thank you for this honor. Borrego Springs has given me so much and I will continue to give back, proudly and will respectfully represent the community as the honorary mayor." He also said to the contestants, "win or lose, you are now representative of this wonderful community of Borrego Springs."

Judges for the evening were Rob Klein, Jamie Waldon and Donya Hughes, who critiqued each contestant carefully, based on their personal statements, casual dress, individual speeches, formal wear, and their poise.

Coordinator Sylvana Meeks, who again, put on a wonderful pageant with all her hard work and dedication.

Following a brief intermission, the girls were escorted back onto the stage by their partners, in their lovely, star-studded evening gowns, as the crowd cheered.

With everyone's hearts beating and racing with anxiety to see who will be crowned, Miss Borrego 2017 Mariana Arias shared a few words of wisdom to the contestants, and what she has learned in the last year as the reigning Miss Borrego.

Arias with thanking everyone in the community, including her court, first princess Yuridia Leal, and second princess and Miss Congeniality Nicole Del Bono.

"I'm proud to know such empowering and lovely young women like you. I urge you to always believe in yourselves and keep your head held high, because you have made it this far, and you are capable of even more," she said.

"To Miss Borrego and Court 2018 – 19 who get crowned this evening, tonight is only the first day of an amazing journey, where you will get to experience the beauty that is our town." Arias tells them in order to be a queen is to believe that you are, and to wear your crown with pride.

She thanked her family and friends for their unconditional love and support.

Miss Borrego Dennise Cecena dreams of becoming a solo artist, but she also would like to pursue a career in nursing. Cecena wants to attend San Diego State University and double major.

Miss Congeniality 2018 – 19 Ana Mares Fuentes hopes to attend Loma Linda University and dreams of becoming a radiology technician.

First princess Camila Hernandez hopes to attend a two-year college before transferring to a four-year, and become a dermatologist.

Second princess Gabriela Rocha hopes to attend UC Berkley majoring in psychology or criminal justice in hopes of becoming a clinical psychologist or criminologist

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