ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Mr. Hilltopper pageant a success

Jessica Smith

Dressed in sharp formal wear and flashing confident smiles, 11 gentlemen strutted across the stage trying their best to earn the 2004 Mr. Hilltopper title.

But that was only half of the show.

The 11 men went all out to impress the judges of the Mr. Hilltopper pageant last night, including going half nude to capture everyone’s attention. Bowling Green residents and Western students watched the Mr. Hilltopper pageant at Van Meter Hall Auditorium last night in hopes that their favorite gentleman would win.

While some of the contestants volunteered to be in the pageant, other’s participation in the event was voted on by their fraternities.

The winner was Bowling Green freshman Gef Cherwak. First runner up was Brian Ohning, a junior from Hendersonville, Tenn., and second runner up was Owensboro senior Joe Cox.

“I borrowed a lot of things for the pageant,” Cherwak said. “The ChiOs really helped me out.”

The first event began with a spirit category in which contestants showed off their best Western spirit. Some contestants simply dressed in all red and waved a Western towel while others involved the crowd by shouting cheers and doing flips.

To make things even more interesting, a couple of brave gentlemen went with the less is more approach and chose to wear Speedos with Alpha Delta Pi letters on the rear.

Next, the contestants answered questions during the ‘Dress for Your Dream Vacation’ while attempting to impress the judges with their unique costumes ranging from beach attire to race car costumes.

Any answer which involved taking the ADPis with them on their dream vacation scored big points with the judges.

In answering the question, “If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?” Cox said it would be bringing peace to the world and closeness between Delta Tau Delta, his fraternity, and ADPi.

During the final round, contestants stepped it up for a formal wear competition. Songs from Boyz II Men and Usher serenaded the crowd while contestants modeled shy smiles and were escorted across the stage by ADPi members.

After a brief intermission, contestants were brought back out for everyone to hear the grand announcement of who would be crowned Mr. Hilltopper.

Becky Owens, a junior from Evansville, Ind. and President of ADPi drum rolled from the podium as Bowling Green junior and ADPi member Carolyn Parker announced the winners.

ADPi members crowded around Cherwak while they chanted and danced in celebration. Flashes of cameras went off as girls surrounded him for pictures.

“I felt that I was outgoing enough to win,” Cherwak said. “Anyone could have won, but I really enjoyed being in front of everyone. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.”

When asked what he was going to do to celebrate, Cherwak said, “studying for my midterm tomorrow.”

Most contestants agreed that they had fun during the pageant.

“My favorite part was when Matt Allen was helping me paint letters on my chest and listening to him say ‘I gotta quit helping you so I can fix my hair’ five or six times,” said Elizabethtown freshman Leo Sweet.

Despite a couple of obstacles in the program, both Owens and Parker agreed the show went well.

“I was glad to see the crowd get involved,” Owens said. “It made our jobs a lot easier.”

Reach Jessica Smith at [email protected]