MARQUETTE - Northern Michigan University cosmetology students won the Grand Prix award for averaging the highest overall team score at the 2002 Chicago Midwest Beauty Competition.Thirteen NNW students joined more than 275 competitors from the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. A number of participants use the Chicago event as a warm-up for July's World Hairdressing Competition in Las Vegas. "This is the first time we've been involved in this high-level competition," said NMU professor Judi Rousseau. "We weren't surprised the students did well, but we were thrilled to learn we won the top school award. Hairstyling is a competitive field, and if students can compete at the Midwest level, they know they can compete anywhere. These events build self-confidence and the students become better stylists because it's all about attention to detail." NMU received a trophy and a $2,000 cash prize, sponsored by Avlon Industries. According to Rousseau, the money will be used for future growth and events in the cosmetology department. Three NMU students were awarded medallions in individual competition: Megan Abrams of Curtis, Mich., placed 8th in the Ethnic Long Hair Evening category; Chelsea Striler of Marquette placed 10th in Ladies Cut, Color and Design; and Jessica Hill of Negaunee placed 10th in Gents Cut, Color and Design. The fourth competition category was Long Hair Bridal. All styles were done on mannequin heads. Other NMU participants included Erica Dollar, Beth Ingison and Robin Smith of Marquette; Diana Hubbard and Tanuny Mattila of Republic; C.J. Wilcox of Crystal Falls; Kim Geronimi of Iron Mountain; Elisa Stamp of L'Anse; Noel Rousseau of Munising; and Mequela Lucero of Chandler, Ariz. The team was coached by Judi Rousseau, Becky Simmons, Debbie Peterson and Jeanne Graves.