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Professional Model From Texas Named Miss USA

May 21, 1986

MIAMI (AP) _ Christy Fichtner, a green-eyed blonde from Texas, said capturing the 1986 Miss USA crown and representing the United States in the Miss Universe pageant is ″the greatest feeling in the world.″

Miss Fichtner, a 23-year-old model from Dallas, beat 50 women during Tuesday night’s nationally televised pageant to win the title and some $175,000 in cash and prizes, including a new sports car, a black mink coat, a grand piano and a five years’ supply of cosmetics.

″I want to scream ‘I love the United States’ and I’d like to go swim about 60 miles,″ the 5-foot-8 Miss Fichtner said. ″The first thing going through my mind is that I’ve traveled all over the world for the past eight years and I’ve gained this great appreciation for this country. And being able to represent it is the greatest feeling in the world. This is the greatest night of my life.″

Her duties include representing the United States in the Miss Universe Pageant, scheduled for July 21 in Panama.

About 100 supporters from Texas, who cheered and waved miniature Lone Star flags whenever Ms. Fichtner’s name was mentioned during the ceremonies, went wild when she was named the winner.

″There was so much reaction around me I was just part of it,″ said Ruth Walker, Ms. Fichtner’s grandmother. ″I still don’t believe it.″

Both her grandmothers, who are in their 80s, attended the pageant along with the rest of her family, said Miss Fichtner.

During an interview this morning on ABC-TV’s ″Good Morning America,″ Miss Fichtner was asked what it’s to walk out on a stage wearing a bathing suit.

″You just throw your shoulders back and think that you’ve done enough aerobic classes that they’re going to think you look good,″ she said, adding that she was nervous early in the pageant.

She said, however, that she wasn’t sure she wanted to continue modeling, which she has done for eight years.

″I’d like to go on to something else. I’m not sure what it is yet; we’ll see what this year brings.″

Halle Berry, Miss Ohio, was named first runner-up; Tami Tesch, Miss Georgia, second runner-up; Cindy Williams, Miss Mississippi, third runner-up; and Kelly Parsons, Miss California, fourth runner-up.

Ms. Berry, 19, is from Oakwood Village, Ohio, and attends Cleveland School of the Arts majoring in voice and theater.

Ms. Tesch, 21, is from Hephzibah, Ga., and hopes her aerospace engineering studies at Georgia State University help her become an astronaut.

Ms. Williams, 22, is an anchor for an NBC affilliate in Hattiesburg, Miss.

Ms. Parsons, 22, is a model from Chatsworth, Calif., who plans to pursue an acting career.

The other semi-finalists were Tricia Bach, Miss Illinois; Rhonda Nobles, Miss North Carolina; Teresa Lucas, Miss Oklahoma, and Maribeth Curry, Miss South Carolina.

Game show emcee Bob Barker and Mary Frann, co-star of ″Newhart,″ were the co-hosts of the special.

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