Four Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy students, three La Cañada High School students and one Flintridge Preparatory School student were among the 31 young women named Thursday as finalists for the 2011 Rose Queen and Court.
The Flintridge Sacred Heart finalists are: Brittany Tom, Camille Coffey, Katie Thomson and Paige Conti; the LCHS finalists are Margaret O'Brien, Evanne Friedmann and Maanika Keesara; and the Flintridge Prep finalist is Jessica Montoya. A complete list of finalists can be found on the Tournament website.
The seven court members will be announced on Monday morning at the Tournament House on Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena. The Rose Queen will be named on Oct. 19.
Jan. 1, 2011 will usher in the 93rd Rose Court, a tradition that has become a highlight of the New Year's Day celebrations in Pasadena. Court members serve as the face of the Tournament of Roses, making hospital visits and hosting the visiting football players that will compete at the Rose Bowl Game. In addition, the Rose Queen and her court members ride on a float in the annual Rose Parade.
Competing for one of the seven coveted spots is a rite of passage for young woman in the San Gabriel Valley. Candidates must be between 17 and 21 years of age, and have to be enrolled at a school within the trustee area of Pasadena Community College.
The 31 finalists were formally presented to the media Thursday as Tournament officials, and a handful of very proud parents, looked on.
"I had no idea I would make it this far," Friedmann said. "On the first tryout I touched my hair and stuttered and I thought oh my goodness I am out."
When she received her most recent letter notifying her that she had advanced, Tom said, she jumped up is celebration.
"It has been amazing," said Tom. "I thought making it past the first cut was exciting, so making it this far has just been [terrific]. I have learned a lot, I have met a lot of great people."
Montoya said she has dreamed about being a member of the Rose Court since meeting one of the past queens while she was still in elementary school.
"I have her little autograph on a piece of paper in my little tin lunch box that I keep all my memories in, and I have never forgotten that," Montoya said. "I idolized her. For me to be able to do that for some other little girl would be incredible."