The five-day event, from which the winner goes on to compete for the Miss America title, included interviews with judges and preliminary and final talent, swimsuit and evening gown competitions.
Lange, who earlier this year was named Miss Burlington County 1987, was one of five women from the tri-county area to participate in this year's Miss New Jersey Pageant.
"I was hoping for a chance at the title but I wasn't expecting it," Lange said backstage at Cherry Hill High School East after the pageant. "This is a milestone for me," she added, saying that she would try to do her best in the 1987 Miss America Pageant, to be held Sept. 12 to 19 in Atlantic City.
Miss Camden County 1987, Kristine Mackin, was selected as one of the five talent winners among those who did not place in the top 10 in the pageant.
Mackin, 21, of Bellmawr, who graduated last month with a degree in physical therapy from Thomas Jefferson University, performed an acrobatic jazz dance - accompanied by the song "Conga" - in a preliminary talent competition on Friday night.
Mackin had also been Miss Camden County 1985. As a former member of a USO troupe, she has entertained at children's hospitals, senior citizens activities and shows for the military.
Mackin said she entered the Miss Camden County Pageant because of the poise and confidence that participation in pageants could give her and because of the scholarship money available to contestants.
Miss Gloucester County 1987, Kimberly Grayce Bolyard, also was chosen a talent winner among those who did not place in the top 10 in the pageant.
Bolyard, 19, of Sewell, a Temple University junior in the fall, sang a rendition of "Birth of The Blues" in a preliminary talent competition on Friday.
She said she had performed in dinner theater and telethons and had sung the National Anthem before boxing matches in Atlantic City casinos.
Bolyard said she wanted to be a professional entertainer. She entered pageants, she said, "to expose my talent (and) just to get a lot of response.
"I came in first runner-up the first time I entered Miss Gloucester County (in 1986) and I said 'whoa,' that's a good deal," Bolyard said.
Mackin and Bolyard each received a $125 scholarship for their talent victories.
Loren Aucencia Fossie, Miss Glassboro State College, also participated but did not place in the top 10 in the Miss New Jersey Pageant.
Fossie, 20, of Willingboro, will be a a senior at Glassboro State College this fall. Fossie was Miss Ben Pilla 1987, Miss Burlington County 1985 and Miss Willingboro 1985. She was also third runner-up in the 1986 Miss Glassboro State College Pageant.
Fossie said her mother, Aucencia Greene, entered her in her first pageant - Miss Willingboro 1985 - shortly after her family had moved to Willingboro
from Cherry Hill "as a way (for Loren) to meet friends." As it turned out, she said, she met friends and won the title.
Kimberly Wilson, Miss Washington Township, also competed in the Miss New Jersey Pageant but did not place in the top 10.
Wilson, 18, of Washington Township, is a June 1987 graduate of Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill. She said she participated in several teen pageants before becoming Miss Washington Township 1987.
She said some former queens had encouraged her to begin entering pageants and "I got hooked once I got in."
In Saturday night's finals, the 5-foot-7, blonde, hazel-eyed Lange performed a dramatic monologue titled "Percy", which she wrote. In the monologue, she played a bedraggled British woman with a Cockney accent speaking to her best friend who had died.
She also modeled a red evening gown and a one-piece dark blue swimsuit in Saturday night's finals.
Lange said she believed she might have had an edge over the 25 other contestants because of her modeling and drama training, which she said made her "very used to being on stage."
Lange is a theater major at Villanova University, but said she might have to delay her studies there this academic year because of her duties as Miss New Jersey. She said she had been planning to graduate in May 1988.
Lange also placed in the top 20 of the Miss New Jersey U.S.A. Pageant in 1986.
She said she wanted to enter the Miss New Jersey Pageant because of the prestige and scholarship money that would come with the title and with participation in the Miss America Pageant.
For winning the Miss New Jersey Pageant, Lange received $3,500 in scholarships and several thousand dollars in gifts, including clothing and jewelry.
Lange also won a preliminary swimsuit competition on Thursday night.
First runner-up in the pageant was Linda Maria Wilson, Miss Monmouth County. Second runner-up was Meri Therese Rivers, Miss Passaic County.
Third runner-up was Kimberly Eve Chapman, Miss Cumberland County. Fourth- runner up was Sheila Louise Handley, Miss Cape May County.