Rangely teen competes in pageant

RANGELY — Thompson Valley High School in Loveland was the site of this year’s Miss Colorado USA and Miss Colorado Teen USA competition and Lily Urbanik from Rangely was one of 70 young women in the Teen Class.
At 15 and a high school sophomore, she was among the handful of the youngest competitors with the average age of the others at 17 and consisting mostly of seniors or a few who had already graduated. To her credit, through her poise and appearance, most of her fellow competitors and even some of the staff thought she was one of the older ladies.
The event began in the morning of Saturday, Oct. 11 with registration and then orientation for the girls and their parents. The girls were then sequestered for their judges interviews and practice training commenced afterward. The preliminary round commenced at 8 p.m. with the Miss and the Teen girls’ programs running their events at staggered intervals.
Both groups, all wearing basic black semi-formal attire, gave an introduction walk-through before the cheering audience, giving their name, age and hometown. One of the Misses contestants had only a partial right arm and hand but she carried on with all the vitality and charisma of any other lady. They then continued on with the swimwear competition and then the evening gown presentations wrapped up the evenings events. The Teens were limited to a one-piece swimsuit, but the Misses were allowed two piece suits, so long as they were not extreme. Also, for the young ladies’ safety, they were strictly chaperoned at the event and when they were transported to their motels for the evening.
After breakfast, it was back to the school to continue rehearsals until the finals round began at 4 p.m. First, all of the Teens gave another introduction walk and then the 15 finalists for that group was an-nounced. Urbanik was not selected to be a finalist, but she continued on to help her new friends prepare for the rest of the competition. The Misses finalists were then announced and the next round of swimsuits and evening wear commenced for both groups. After this round, the final five ladies in each group were selected and wrapped up with a question and answer session with each finalist before the judges and audience.
The final countdowns began, culminating with Taylor Schettler of Castle Rock being selected as the 2009 Miss Colorado Teen champion and Patrice Williams of Colorado Springs winning the title of Miss Colorado USA. The ladies will go on to represent the state in the national programs that will be broadcast later this fall.
Although she missed out on some of the homecoming activities at home, Urbanik said of the experience, “The feeling of getting on stage in front of a thousand people in your evening gown and swimsuit (in high heels) and have them cheer for you is an awesome experience. The people were great, and I met a lot of new friends.”
She also gratefully thanked her local sponsors: Frank Huitt, Urie Trucking Inc., Rangely District Hospital, the Rio Blanco Herald Times, grandparents Lillian and George Urbanik, Columbine Medical, Wendy Roberts at Just Hold Still Photography, Lisa Lanosga for Mary Kay, White River Market, sister Rachael Borra, Harold Sexton, Mountain West Oil Field Services in Vernal, Utah, and proud parents John and Barbara Urbanik.