San Francisco woman wins Miss California crown

The Fresno BeeJune 29, 2013 


Miss Silicon Valley Crystal Lee, 21, is crowned 2013 Miss California by 2012 Miss California Leah Cecil, right, on Saturday night in Fresno.


After repeated attempts over the last three years, Miss Silicon Valley Crystal Lee finally won the Miss California crown on Saturday at the William Saroyan Theatre in Fresno.

Lee, 21, of San Francisco, is a Stanford University graduate and was first runner-up at last year's Miss California competition.

"I'm so excited, so grateful, so fulfilled, so overwhelmed and so appreciative," Lee said Saturday night. "It's just such a privilege to compete on the same stage" as the other contestants.

As winner, Lee receives a $12,000 scholarship, in addition to $800 she won in the preliminaries, from the Miss California pageant. She advances to the Miss America pageant.

Lee's ballet performance won her the preliminary talent competition Tuesday and she also won the evening wear preliminary Friday night.

Miss South Coast Caylynn Simonson, 22, of Bakersfield, was named first runner-up. Miss Culver City Katy Tang, 24, of Anaheim, was second runner-up. Third runner-up was Miss Central Coast Jordan Krinke of Placentia and fourth runner-up was Miss Pasadena, Laura Berger of Glendale.

This year's Miss California pageant marked the 21st consecutive year it was held at the Saroyan Theatre.

The 61 Miss California contestants included seven other central San Joaquin Valley local pageant winners: Miss Fresno County Elizabeth Anne Farr, 22, of Bakersfield; Miss Clovis Jenny Tormey, 22, of Clovis; Miss Tulare County Alisha Ginsberg, 18, of Visalia; Miss Central Valley Tayler Wolfe, 20, of Cutler; Miss Central California Regional Prisca Shiralian, 23, of Fresno; Miss Kings County Bailee Lyles, 17, of Lemoore; and Miss Fullerton Salisha Thomas, 21 of Fresno.

On Friday, local girls took the top three spots in the Miss California's Outstanding Teen competition.

Miss Clovis' Outstanding Teen Mikaela Harris, 16, was selected Miss California's Outstanding Teen 2013. Harris, a student at San Joaquin Memorial High School, also won Wednesday's preliminary talent competition on the piano.

First runner-up was Miss Orange County's Outstanding Teen Hannah Huyck, 17, of Clovis. Huyck, a student at Clovis High School, won the evening wear preliminary Tuesday night.

Second runner-up was Miss Los Angeles County's Outstanding Teen Kirstin Bangs, 17, who is also a student at Clovis High School.

Other local competitors included: Miss Fresno County's Outstanding Teen Emma DenBesten, 16, of University High, who placed in the top 12; Miss Kings County's Outstanding Teen Tiffany Richardson, 15, of Lemoore High placed in the top 12; Miss Central Valley's Outstanding Teen Chelsea West of El Diamante High in Visalia; and Miss Tulare County's Outstanding Teen Riley Stockton, 17, of Central Valley Christian High School in Visalia.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6371, or @Quinn_Western on Twitter.

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