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February 9, 2004
Michelle Lombardo Wins 2004 Sports Illustrated Fresh Faces Model Search

Latest News: 2005 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models: A Site ...

Michelle Lombardo, Triathlete

Yahoo! News:

Michelle Lombardo may have just seated her last party of four. The 20-year-old restaurant hostess turned sales associate is the winner of Sports Illustrated's nationwide swimsuit issue model search, the magazine announced Sunday.

"This is a dream come true," said Lombardo, a triathlete from Glastonbury, Conn., who now lives in Los Angeles. "I would always pick up my brother's copy of the swimsuit issue. I always thought that if I ever got into modeling, I would love to make it into Sports Illustrated."

Besides appearing in the popular issue, which comes out Wednesday, she also wins a three-year, $75,000 contract with NEXT Model Management and a 2004 Nissan 350 Z Roadster.

"Sports Illustrated looks for models with the perfect combination of beauty, athleticism and personality for the swimsuit issue," Smith said. "Michelle perfectly embodies what the issue has always been about."

So how does Michelle keep such a terrific figure?

We understand she wakes up every day at 6:30 to go swimming.

She says she is a born athlete. Her lifetime involvement in sports has shaped her into the person she is today. Sports has taught her self-esteem, respect, perseverance, responsibility and determination. In highschool, she focused mainly on volleyball.

Since moving to Southern California, she continues to play on the beach. She is also a tri-athlete.

Where is Michelle from? Glastonbury, Connecticut

Who did she beat?

Her biggest contender was 20 year-old, Maggi Caruthers from Wichita, Kansas. Maggi is passionate about basketball and volleyball.

Other top contenders included:

~ 21 year-old, Lauren Stengel from Louisville, KY (a dancer who also loves to play basketball and softball)

~ 22 year-old, Olivia Chan from Folsom, CA (a 49er and Sacramento Kings fan)

~ 20 year-old, Cassie Kramer from San Antonio, Texas (a cancer survivor)

~ 19 year-old, Angie Simon from Long Beach, CA (a soccer and water polo player)

~ 20 year-old, Monique Jones from Taunton, MA (whose sport is cheerleading)

~ 19 year-old, Lauryn Harrow from Denver, CO (a team player who loves to run, play tennis and basketball)

Congratulations, Michelle!

Boy, did you have some stiff competition. All of these women have healthy, fresh faces. It must be that new skill set of yours. You did a great job selling yourself, and getting your community of friends and family to rally around you in the final vote tally. We also love your smile!

~Tim & Jennifer

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