Every Rose Parade has its queen, and the newest one is a 17-year-old varsity equestrian team captain who aspires to be a neurosurgeon.
Ana Marie Acosta of Altadena was named the 2014 Rose Queen at a coronation ceremony in Pasadena on Thursday night, chosen from the seven members of the 2014 Tournament of Roses Royal Court.
Together, they will make more than 100 public appearances, culminating in their featured spot in the 125th Rose Parade on Jan. 1.
“It was such a great feeling because there’s so many great girls up on this court and I’m so glad to be a part of them,” Ana Marie told KTLA-TV. “So when I heard my name it was amazing.”
Ana Marie and her royal court were selected based on their public speaking ability, poise, academic achievement and community involvement. For Ana Marie, that includes being captain of Polytechnic School's varsity equestrian team and a cabinet member of the school's Girls Service League, according to the Tournament of Roses.
She's also been accepted into the U.S. Hunter Jumper Assn.'s Emerging Athletes Program and plans to pursue a career as a surgeon specializing in neurology.
Her father, John Acosta, told KTLA at the coronation ceremony that the crowning was "just incredible."
“I can’t express it fully, I was just elated," he said. "It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
The Royal Court, which was announced earlier this month, includes:
Sarah Hansen, a 19-year-old Pasadena City College student who teaches preschool; Kayla Johnson-Granberry, a 17-year-old Pasadena High student who was an intern at the L.A. city attorney’s office; Jamie Kwong, 17, a senior who is president of the National Honor Society at La Salle High School; Katherine Lipp, a 17-year-old La Cañada High student who helped deliver meals to poor residents in downtown L.A.; Elyssia Widjaja, 17, captain of the speech and debate team at San Marino High; and Elizabeth Woolf, 17, a La Cañada High student who is a teacher’s assistant and editor of the school's yearbook.