Miss California USA and Miss California Teen USA for 2014 were crowned Saturday during a pageant at the Terrace Theater in Long Beach.
Beverly Hills native Cassandra Kunze, 20, is the new Miss California USA. She is a Grossmont alum and current student at San Diego State University. UCLA student Bianca Vierra, 18, who was born and reared in San Francisco, is the new Miss California Teen USA.
Kunze previously served as Miss Teen San Diego County and Miss Teenage California in 2012. Her interests include international law, politics and film studies. She is a 2011 graduate of Grossmont College, just up the road from Santee.
Vierra is a model who previously served as Miss Teenage California in 2011 and Miss High School America in 2012. She describes herself as a "gym bunny" and has done volunteer work against bullying and on behalf of Angelman Syndrome awareness and the Cancer Prevention Institute of California and several other organizations.
Miss Congeniality was Kristina Blum of Eastern Sierra, the pageant's first blind contestant; Miss Photogenic was Lauren York of Carlsbad; and the Producer's Choice recipient was Chanelle Tuck of Santa Cruz.
The runners-up for Miss California USA were Natasha Martinez of Malibu, first runner-up; Amanda Delgado of North Orange County, second; Alexis Swanstrom of Pacific Beach, third; and York, fourth.
Runners-up for Miss California Teen USA were Gigi Gauthier of San Diego, first runner-up; Madison Day-Robinson of Carmel Valley, second; Toneata Morgan of Malibu, third; and Melanie Mitchell of Corona, fourth.
Two teen contests were named Miss Teen Congeniality: Caitlin Jusay of Santa Barbara and Tiffany Cooper of Antioch. The Teen Producer's Choice award went to India Williams of Lafayette.
The first Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants were held in Long Beach in 1952. The first Miss Teen USA pageant was held in Florida in 1983. The Miss Universe Organization is co-owned by businessman Donald Trump and NBC Universal.-City News Service