Updated at 10:10 a.m. March 6, 2012
Lindsey Rochelle Palser, 21, was crowned Miss La Mesa for its centennial year Friday night, and Jaclyn Combs, 16, will reign as Miss Teen La Mesa as 600 friends and family members packed Sonrise Community Church in Santee.
Palser attends Grossmont College with plans to transfer to San Diego State, and Combs is a student at High Tech High School in Point Loma.
Palser had entered the pageant once before, and after receiving the centennial sash from Mayor Art Madrid, she said she was “super excited. I can’t wait to get involved with the community. I'm ready to get started.”
Cuyamaca College student Cassandra Steppat, 19, was first runner-up for Miss La Mesa, and Grossmont High School varsity cheerleader Skyler Youngblood, 16, was runner-up for Miss Teen La Mesa.
Palser picked at random this question to answer: Are pageants relevant in today’s society? Relaxed enough to start with a joke about Toddlers and Tiaras being a great show, Palser went on to reply that pageants offer young women a chance to learn valuable skills.
Jaclyn* drew the question: Should parents be allowed to read their children's text messages? She said yes, citing several reasons, including being a part of their kids’ lives.
San Diego State student Victoria Heyne was crowned Miss Santee, and West Hills High School junior Casey Maynard was chosen Miss Teen Santee.
Heyne, 21, and Maynard, 16, also answered contestant-submitted questions and modeled evening gowns for a panel of judges.
As part of the pageant's centennial theme, more than a dozen former Miss La Mesa's took part, including Miss La Mesas of 1956 and 1958 (see list below).
A total of 31 entrants were scored on personal interview, speech, poise and personality, sportswear, evening gown and an on-stage question.
The young women will spend their year attending grand openings, parades and city events. The Miss winners each received a $1,000 scholarship and the Teen winners each received a $500 scholarship.
The La Mesa Essay winners each received $250 scholarship from La Mesa Chamber President Mary England in memory of her son Bobby and the Santee Essay winner each received a $250 scholarship thanks to Sportsplex USA.
Palser works part time at Bank of America as a teller and plans to obtain her bachelors in Media Communication at SDSU.
Kuty says Palser has been involved in some type of volunteer work for more than 18 years—ever since she signed up as a Brownie Girl Scout. Her dreams are to be an advocate for families of spinal cord injury patients. She enjoys traveling and is looking forward to her next adventure.
Jaclyn has a 4.2 GPA and plays varsity softball. She aspires to be an ambassador for the United Nations.
In addition, several former Miss La Mesa titleholders were in attendance for the celebration including:
- Miss La Mesa 1956, Connie Mastorakos
- Miss La Mesa 1958, Suzanne Reamo
- Miss La Mesa 1981, Adabelle Robertson
- Miss La Mesa 1985, Kathy Boulter
- Miss La Mesa 1987, Heather Hale
- Miss La Mesa 1988, Robin Suter
- Miss La Mesa 1989, Kelli Cando
- Miss La Mesa 1990, Jervaun Marino
- Miss La Mesa 1991, Marsi Mitrovitch
- Miss La Mesa 1994, Laura Bartz
- Miss La Mesa 1996, D’Ann Dobbins
- Miss La Mesa 1997, Merilee Norman
- Miss La Mesa 1999, Natalie Hiebing
- Miss La Mesa 2000, Alexandra Stathoulis
- Miss La Mesa 2003, Troy Lemperle
- Miss Teen La Mesa 2004, Starling Ferguson
- Miss La Mesa 2007, Kristina Johnson
- Miss La Mesa 2008, Camille Neeley
- Miss Teen La Mesa 2008, Hope Phipps
- Miss Teen La Mesa 2009, Katarina Schweitzer
- Miss La Mesa 2010, Erynne Grecco
- Miss Teen La Mesa 2010, Danamarie McNicholl-Carter.
On Saturday morning—the day after the pageant—several of the former titleholders posed for a photo at the historic train on Spring Street and La Mesa Boulevard.
Other results for La Mesa were as follows:
- Miss La Mesa 2012, Lindsey Palser
- 1st Runner up, Cassandra Steppat
- Miss Teen La Mesa 2012, Jaclyn Combs
- 1st Runner Up, Skyler Youngblood
- 2nd Runner Up, Mackenzie Manns
- Miss Congeniality, Cassandra Steppat
- Miss Photogenic, Cassandra Steppat
- Teen Miss Congeniality, Susanna Wiggins
- Speech Award, Lindsey Palser
- Miss Teen Photogenic, Jaclyn Combs
- Interview Award, Lindsey Palser
- Teen Speech Award, Jaclyn Combs
- Essay Award, Heather Bardin
- Teen Interview Award, Jaclyn Combs
- Teen Essay Award, Catherine Jones
*Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Skyler had answered this question.