Floyd grad to compete in national pageant

Freedom New Mexico

One of eastern New Mexico’s own is heading to Las Vegas, Nev. to compete in the Mrs. United States Pageant, held July 22 and 23.

Noel Hunt of Clovis won the title of Mrs. New Mexico and is hoping to at least make it into the top 10 for Mrs. United States.

“I’m a little nervous, but I’m really excited too,” Hunt said between last-minute shopping trips. “I’m looking forward to meeting all the other women from the other states.”

Hunt, 22, is bringing her husband and 2-year-old son Rylan along with her for the competition.

“I need them with me,” she said.

Hunt said she’s making the trip thanks to 27 local sponsors, who donated a total of $2,500.

“I’m so grateful for the nice people in a small town who came through for me at the last minute,” Hunt said.

The preliminary competition begins Wednesday, with Thursday dedicated to finals at the Orleans Hotel and Casino.

Hunt, a senior at Eastern New Mexico University and a 2005 graduate of Floyd High School, said since she began her campaign she’s received some negative feedback about her husband’s past.

Her husband, Darin Hunt, was convicted of unlawful hunting in 2004. An article in the Clovis News Journal about Noel’s achievement of the Mrs. New Mexico title sparked negative comments on the Web site, questioning Noel’s right to represent the state considering her husband’s past.

“It was hard at the beginning. I couldn’t believe people would be so harsh. People are so quick to judge another person by their past,” Hunt said. “He is a changed man and a wonderful man. He made a mistake, but who hasn’t?”

Hunt said despite a few bumps along the road, she’s glad of what she’s doing. Her running platform is breast cancer awareness and she said she plans to help with fundraisers and educational programs across the state.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity so I’m not going to let anything hold me back,” she said.

On the ‘net:

www.myspace.com/mrsnmunitedstates2009

www.mrsunitedstates.com/pageant.asp