A Miss USA hopeful who attended UNLV has a celebrity spawn connection.
Miss Wyoming USA Claire Schreiner, who lettered in the high jump for the Rebels for three years (2007-2008-2009), has been dating Cody Gifford, the son of NBC "Today" co-host Kathie Lee and NFL Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, for more than a year.
Last September, Kathie Lee, a former opening act in Las Vegas for Bill Cosby, Shecky Green and Rich Little, was so pleased with the romance that she announced "big news in our family" on the "Today" show after Schreiner won the Miss Wyoming title last fall. Kathie Lee said they had been dating for seven months.
An over-achiever, Schreiner was a team captain for the UNLV track and field team and made the Mountain West Conference's academic honors. She majored in broadcast journalism and was an intern with ESPN until recently. Her job included assisting with the taping of "Mayne Street," hosted by former UNLV quarterback and ESPN veteran Kenny Mayne.
In early March, she tweeted: "Heading to Florida with Cody! Can't wait for the sunshine!"
Cody, who turned 20 in March, tweeted on Wednesday that he was "Rooting for @MissWYusa2010" to "become the next Miss USA." Word has he's attending the pageant.
Other news from the Miss USA camp at Planet Hollywood Resort, host site of the pageant, which airs Sunday on NBC (KVBC-TV, Channel 3, 7 p.m. on tape delay):
■ Miss Nebraska Belinda Wright is dealing with the tragic loss of her father, Harry, who was killed in a farm accident a week ago.
■ Miss Washington Tracy Turnure is following in the high heels of her twin sister Tara, who has competed her last year as Miss Washington USA 2009.
■ Miss Minnesota Courtney Basara is the great, great granddaughter of Prince Eugen of Sweden.
■ Miss Wisconsin Courtney Lopez is a dance performer for the Milwaukee Brewers. Miss Arizona Brittany Bell is a dancer for the NBA Phoenix Suns.
THE SCENE AND HEARD
The restaurant side of Cathouse, which opened at the Luxor in 2007, closed Friday, in a switch to an ultralounge venue. ...
For the second year in a row, Playboy's Playmate of the Year unveiling party will be held tonight at the Palms Hotel Casino. Open to the public for the first time, the event at Rain nightclub features singer Robin Thicke. Tickets are available at The Pearl box office at the Palms or through Ticketmaster. ...
The preliminaries for the Ultimate Elvis tribute artist contest will be held for the first time in Las Vegas July 23-24 at the Fremont Street Experience.
The cast of Human Nature, on hand Friday at Minus5 Ice Lounge at Mandalay Place for a ceremony introducing "The Inhumane Nature" cocktail. Human Nature celebrated its first anniversary at Imperial Palace earlier in the week.
THE PUNCH LINE
"Often mistaken for character actor Randy Quaid." -- From David Letterman's Top Ten Signs You're Not Going to Win the Miss USA Pageant