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Winners named in mother-daughter look-alike contest

Weekly staff chooses eight finalists for online voting

The votes are in, and the winners of this year's lookalike contest, by a landslide, are mother and daughter Kristine Cozzo and Katelynn Jensen, 15, a freshman at Foothill High.

"A lot of Katelynn's friends will say, 'Is that your older sister?'" Kristine said with a laugh. "I take that as a compliment."

The family moved to Pleasanton from Newark in 2012, and the next year someone told them about the Pleasanton Weekly's Mother-Daughter Lookalike Contest. They always meant to enter, Kristine noted, but she kept forgetting.

"This year I put it on my calendar," she said. "We took the picture and submitted it on time."

The picture was a bit of a challenge, she added, since as the mom, she is the one who usually takes the pictures of Katelynn, her older brother and younger sister (who, with light brown hair and blue eyes, does not look at all like her mom).

"Katelynn and I look a lot alike, and we also act alike," Kristine explained. "She is definitely my mini-me. My mom will laugh sometimes and say, 'Oh, my gosh, there's two of you.'"

She said Katelynn didn't always look like her; the resemblance surfaced when she hit her teens.

"We both have the same freckle placement," she added.

Their Japanese ancestry also gives them a similar appearance -- Kristine is a quarter Japanese and Katelynn, an eighth.

Kristine and Katelynn garnered a large percentage of the nearly 1,800 votes cast by Weekly readers.

"I want to thank our friends, family and the Walnut Grove community," Kristine said.

Although her younger daughter goes to Hearst Elementary, Kristine is the office assistant at Walnut Grove Elementary and everyone rallied behind her.

Taking second place in the lookalike contest were Tessie Wagner-Pease and her daughter Emily Pease, who is 24.

"I have four children, one son and three girls, but the other girls have blonde hair," Tessie said. "Most of our pictures have multiple kids in it, but Emily is the only one who looks like me."

After they took the photo for the contest, Emily posted it on Instagram and friends commented on their resemblance.

The startling similarity came in Emily's adolescence when, for a while, they were the same height, her mom said.

"When she first started growing, in high school, people would do a double-take thinking she's me," Tessie recalled.

Now Emily is 4 inches taller, so they look more alike in a photo than in person, Tessie said.

"Now people do comment, but it's not like before, when they would do a double-take and be confused," Tessie said.

They have more in common than their looks: Both are graduates of Amador Valley High.

"My husband and I went to St. Mary's College, but all four of our children went to Chico State," Tessie said. "The two older ones are out of college and have real jobs now."

Emily works at ServiceMax in Pleasanton, where she asked her coworkers to cast votes for her. Although Tessie was once in the corporate world, she now works in her husband Jim's CPA business, Pease Tax and Accounting Services Inc.

"Everybody loves the contest, and I've known people over the years that are in it," Tessie said. "I've always voted, it's fun."

She also observed that the resemblance of the mothers and daughters in the contest varies from year to year.

"My sibling told me, 'You have a lot of competition this year,'" she said.

Three dozen submissions were made to the contest this year, and the Weekly staff chose eight finalists for the online voting. Besides being featured in this week's Mother's Day story, the top finishers receive tickets to the Alameda County Fair and cash prizes.

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