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Miss California announces five top preliminary performers

From left, Miss Culver City Hilary Haskell, 23, Miss Malibu Coast Shaniee Parker, 24, reigning Miss California Bree Morse, 23, and Miss North Coast Jessa Carmack, 22. Haskell and Parker tied for top talent during the second preliminary round June 29 and Carmack won the fitness category.
From left, Miss Culver City Hilary Haskell, 23, Miss Malibu Coast Shaniee Parker, 24, reigning Miss California Bree Morse, 23, and Miss North Coast Jessa Carmack, 22. Haskell and Parker tied for top talent during the second preliminary round June 29 and Carmack won the fitness category. Special to The Bee

All 49 contestants in the Miss California pageant at the Saroyan Theatre in downtown Fresno compete for top swimsuit and talent in each preliminary round.

Judges have already recognized the five top women in talent and fitness in earlier preliminary rounds and were scheduled to announce two more Thursday night, the final preliminary round.

Talent is worth 35 percent of the contestants’ total scores, and fitness is worth 15 percent. Talent and fitness winners each receive $500 in scholarships.

Miss North Bay, Jessa Carmack, 22, won the second round of preliminary competition in fitness on Wednesday. She is a graduate of San Jose State University and a cheerleader for the San Francisco 49ers.

For the talent portion Wednesday, judges couldn’t narrow their choice to just one talented woman, resulting in a tie between Miss Malibu Coast and Miss Culver City. Miss Malibu Coast, 24-year-old Shaniee Parker, played Vittorio Monti’s “Czardas” on the clarinet, and Miss Culver City, 23-year-old Hilary Haskell, played her own arrangement of “Rhapsodie Espagnol” on the piano. Parker attends UCLA and Haskell recently graduated from Claremont McKenna College.

Representing a Valley region, Miss Sierra Nevada, 22-year-old Rita Garabet, won the fitness preliminary Tuesday. She is a graduate of the University of Redlands and plans to study dentistry.

Miss Orange Coast, 24-year-old Izamar Olaguez, performed “A New Life” from the “Jekyll & Hyde” musical, securing the daily talent victory on Tuesday. She is a student at California State University, Bakersfield.

People’s Choice voting ends Thursday night. Voters can visit the Miss California website and vote for their favorite contestants. Each vote costs $1, and all proceeds raised will go toward Miss California 2016’s winning scholarship. The winner will be announced Saturday at the Miss California Competition and will earn a spot in the Top 15 contestants.

JoAnna Kroeker: 559-441-6247, @jobethkroeker

Miss California competition events

Talent: 35 percent

Evening wear: 20 percent

Fitness: 15 percent

On-stage question: 5 percent

Morning interview: 25 percent

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