Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

For the first time, two Alice High School seniors will be competing at the FCCLA 2007 National Leadership Meeting in Anaheim, Calif.

The duo of Linda Lopez and Cristal Perez won at the state competition held in Dallas earlier this month with their Senior Chapter Showcase presentation.

The girls utilized large wigs, shimmering disco outfits and platform shoes, along with theme music, to engage the judges in an active presentation of all the worthwhile activities the students of the AHS organization have participated in all year long.

Their time in the limelight at state was confusing in the end.

When the top six were announced on stage, the girls weren't able to hear the announcement.

As the top six teams collected their trophies, only the fourth and first place trophies were left on stage.

Team sponsor Barbara Garcia said they told the girls from the audience, pointing at the first place trophy, "go get it, you won, you won." The girls were surprised.

"We were really just shooting for the top six, we didn't think we were really going to win," Perez said.

"Really, what were the odds of us actually making it with 30 teams competing?" Lopez said. "We thought they said fourth place, and our team was like, 'what are you doing? You got first.'"

One of the judges on his scorecard said he enjoyed their presentation because it reminded him of how dorky his childhood was, Lopez said.

They also commented that the girls had great personalities.

"When we went out there, it was just to have fun," Perez said.

Which is the same attitude they're taking with them to California this summer. The national competition will take place July 7 to 13.

It seemed not only the judges were taken aback by their outfits. They were constantly being complemented by other people at state on how creative they were with their costumes.

"People would walk up to us and say, you have a lot of guts to dress in costumes like that. But we were just being ourselves," Lopez said.

"What costume?" Perez said, jokingly.

This is only the third year AHS FCCLA has been competing at any level, so having a team win at state and then go on to nationals is an important milestone, but both Lopez and Perez take their accomplishment in stride, they said.

Both girls are excited about their chances at nationals, and are going out there with the mindset of just doing their best and having fun.