Before announcing the 2012 Rose Queen on Tuesday morning, Tournament of Roses Assn. President Rick Jackson congratulated the seven princesses of the Royal Court for making it so far, but, he said, “there can only be one queen.”
Drew Washington, a 16-year-old captain of the varsity volleyball and track-and-field teams at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, secured the crown after her name was called, prompting a flurry of screams and cheers from her classmates at the ceremony.
Drew’s eyes widened, and her jaw dropped. The excited screams of her classmates competed with the Tournament of Roses band.
“Honestly, all I heard was my school, then my friends go wild,” Drew said. “I almost didn’t even hear my name being called. It was just such an electrifying feeling.”
Drew’s father, Craig Washington, was beaming. A member of the Tournament of Roses Assn., Washington described his daughter as “sedate” this past weekend over the potential that she could become queen.
“I’m so proud of my daughter,” he said. “I’m speechless. She is, too.”
Drew’s schoolmates were less surprised.
“I knew she was going to win.” Tera Trujillo said.
Claire Mudie said she was proud of Drew for being the youngest member of the Rose Court at 16. She added, “Drew has worked hard her whole life, and she deserves this to the fullest.”
Members of the Rose Court, all wearing Mikimoto pearl necklaces, said they had already discussed that no matter who was named queen, no feelings would change between them.
“We all know, no matter who wins, we’ll still be a family together,” said Rose Princess Cynthia Louie of La Cañada Flintridge.
“She’s a real leader amongst the seven of us,” said Rose Princess Kimberly Ostiller of Altadena. “I’m so happy for her.”
Last weekend, the seven members of the Royal Court — which also includes Stephanie Hynes, Morgan Devaud, Hanan Worku and Sarah Zuno — spent a night at Balboa Bay Club & Resort in Newport Beach. The two-day retreat offered them time to bond and cross “that bridge from friendship to sisterhood,” said Devaud ,18, of La Cañada Flintridge.
Jackson said the Rose Queen serves as “the leader of the pack,” and a busy one at that. The Rose Court is scheduled to attend more than 150 events in the coming year.
“She is the one who galvanizes the group,” Jackson said. “That’s why I believe the court committee picked [Drew] as the queen.”