Berkleigh Wright and Nina Cash made a splash in Miami.
The women, who are finalists for the 2023 SI Swim Search, strutted down the catwalk during the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Runway Show during Miami Swim Week. The event took place July 7 at W Hotel South Beach.
Brooks Nader, one of the four 2023 cover girls, opened the show alongside her three younger sisters, the outlet reported. Camille Kostek, the 2019 cover star, also returned for her sixth runway appearance. She was joined by 2022 co-Rookies of the Year Christen Harper and Katie Austin.
Cash and Wright are among seven Swim Search finalists who made their runway debut. They appeared alongside Achieng Agutu, Sharina Gutierrez, Penny Lane, Brittney Nicole and Jena Sims. SI Swimsuit veterans Roshumba Williams, Samantha Hoopes, Carol Alt, Elsa Benitez and Vendela Kirsebom closed out the 30-minute show.
SI Swim Search, an annual casting call, receives thousands of submissions from hopeful models every year. It aims to discover the outlet’s newest star. Readers can vote for their favorite model online through Aug. 31.
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Cash is a retired university associate dean from California. It was her husband who encouraged her to give the casting call a shot.
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“There is no expiration date,” Cash said. “You can keep going and going. … You can smooth over those road bumps. And that’s what I want to do. It’s never too late. It’s always right timing. I don’t think I would’ve been prepared to do this if I were younger. I think I am the best version of myself right now because I lived life. People talk about laugh lines — I have life lines. I’m not going to get rid of those life lines because that means I have lived life, and I’ve also been a lifeline to other people because of my age and my wisdom, my skills and my abilities. I have lived that. So, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
“It’s good to show younger women … that you can work in tech, in a male-dominated industry, and also be a model and an NFL cheerleader,” she shared.
Kostek, now one of SI Swimsuit’s most sought-after pinups, is an advocate for body positivity. She’s known for her #NeverNotDancing motto, which celebrates self-love and encourages people to move their bodies, no matter where they are.
NFL cheerleader Berkleigh Wright attends the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Show during Miami Swim Week 2023 at the W Hotel Miami Beach on July 7, 2023, in Miami Beach, Florida. (Mireya Acierto / Getty Images)
The original swimsuit issue ran in 1964. It has been a launching pad for models like Kathy Ireland, Christie Brinkley, Elle Macpherson, Kate Upton and Ashley Graham.