By Mike ARVIZU
Seven young women were selected to the 2013 Tournament of Roses Royal Court at Tournament in Pasadena on Monday morning. The seven princesses were selected out of a group of 33 who vied for an opportunity to ride on the royal float during the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day.
The 2013 Royal Court — Mayfield Senior School student and Pasadena resident Vanessa Manjarrez, 17; La Cañada High School student and La Cañada resident Madison Teodo, 17; San Marino High School student and San Marino resident Sonia Shenoi, 17; Maranatha High School student and Altadena resident Kathryne Benuska, 17; Pasadena High School student and Pasadena resident Nicole Nelam, 17; La Salle High School student and Pasadena resident Tracy Cresta, 17; and Mayfield Senior School student and Pasadena resident Victoria McGregor, 17 — were revealed in front of a crowd of classmates, family, friends, and media.
The ceremony began on time at 9:30 a.m. under balmy skies, with guests arriving as early as an hour before the ceremony began. Each of the 33 Rose Court finalists, dressed casually in brightly colored outfits, beamed nervously as newspaper and television photographers recorded their entrance. Queen & Court Committee Chairwoman Joan Madsen introduced the 33 finalists. Silence permeated the grounds of Tournament House in the final seconds before the first Rose Princess was revealed.
Mayfield Senior School student and Pasadena resident Vanessa Manjarrez was the first to be named by Madsen. As her name was called, Manjarrez eloquently made her way down from the group of 33 girls and took her position at center stage.
The young women who were selected to the Royal Court, and the young woman who will be selected as the Rose Queen next week, represent the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl game on New Year’s Day. The 33 finalists represent an estimated 1,000 young women who try out each year for their chance to become part of an elite group of young women dating back to 1905, said Madsen.
For Rose Princess McGregor, just making it to the final cut of 33 was “unbelievable,” she said. “It’s crazy. I think it’s going to be really a rewarding experience. I think it’s going to be an opportunity to get to know these girls really well and to represent our hometown.”
Rose Princess Teodo says she will use her experience on the Royal Court to assist her as she begins her career later in life, especially when it comes to job interviews. If she can handle the spotlight of being on the Royal Court, she can handle any interview, she said.
“Trying out is great interview skills,” Teodo said. “You learn so much about yourself — how you interview, if you get nervous or not. It’s a really good process to go through. It teaches you a lot about yourself.”
McGregor said that trying out for the Rose Court is a school tradition, and feels nervous at the prospect that she will now be the center of attention when she returns to school.
“I’m not usually in the spotlight, and the fact that everyone came out to support me today is really exciting,” she said.
Rose Princesses Teodo and Shenoi were banner carriers in the 2012 Tournament of Roses Parade. The two girls got to know each other during the parade and were delighted to meet again when they became reacquainted during the Rose Court tryouts, said Shenoi.
“I had no idea you were trying out,” said Teodo to Shenoi. “Then we saw each other at the final round.”
The 2013 Rose Queen will be revealed at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 16 at Tournament House, with her coronation taking place at an invite-only luncheon on Oct. 25.