Nerves give way to thrills as Tournament of Roses announces Royal Court

With the Pasadena City College Lancer Band playing in the background, Tournament of Roses officials on Monday named the seven young women who will make up the 2013 Rose Court. The women were selected from a group of 33 finalists, their numbers called out during a ceremony at Tournament House in Pasadena.

The members of the Rose Court are: Kathryne Benuska of Maranatha High School; Tracy Cresta of La Salle High School; Vanessa Manjarrez of Mayfield Senior School; Victoria McGregor of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy; Nicole Nelam of Pasadena High School; Sonia Shenoi of San Marino High School; and Madison Teodo of La Cañada High School.

Teodo and Shenoi participated in the Rose Parade last year as members of a Girl Scout troop, but Teodo said being a member of the Rose Court is something else.

“I knew I wanted to be in [the parade] again, and at least try out for it,” she said. “This whole process has been amazing and taught me so much about myself.”

Teodo is captain of the La Cañada High Spartans varsity volleyball team and serves as a volunteer at Verdugo Hills Hospital.

Students from Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy were out in full force for McGregor on Monday morning, screaming McGregor's name and holding handmade signs that read, “I love you, Victoria!”

McGregor admitted she was nervous.

“I didn't want to mess up and fall, but I was excited when they called my number, because my entire senior class is here and my friends and family,” McGregor said. “Even if I didn't make it, they'd all still be proud of me.”

Sacred Heart is also the home school of the 2012 Rose Queen, Drew Washington of Pasadena.

Benuska said it has been a long journey so far, and she has yet to begin the estimated 150 public appearances and other Royal Court obligations before and after the Rose Parade on Jan. 1.

“You go through this and you never think that you might be one of the seven girls that gets chosen, because what are the odds?” she said. “I woke up this morning really nervous thinking: ‘If I get it, that would be great; if I don't, it's OK with me.' But it's awesome that it's me. And I feel so lucky and blessed.”

The identity of the 2013 Rose Queen will be announced on Oct. 16.

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