Fiesta Bowl court selected

By Larry Mullenix

Arizona Daily Wildcat

It will be more than two months before the Arizona football team finds out whether it will earn its first-ever Rose Bowl bid.

There are three UA students, however, who have already secured themselves a bowl bid in the Fiesta Bowl, though, not the Rose Bowl.

Raina Wagner, Lori Kloenne and Erin Westerlund, the three members of the University of Arizona student body named to the Fiesta Bowl Queen's court, are faced with long hours and lots of travel from now until Jan. 2, as well as a $750 scholarship .

The three women were named to the Fiesta Bowl Queen's court last Tuesday in a ceremony held at the Buttes in Tempe.

The court will represent the Fiesta Bowl in about 60 events, culminating with the bowl game Jan. 2. Included in these events are the Arizona Pageant of Bands and the Fiesta Bowl Parade on Dec. 30 and 31, respectively.

Tucson will host one of the most popular events that the court will attend. The Fiesta Bowl Basketball Classic will be held at McKale Center Dec. 28-30. The tournament begins with the Western Kick-Off Dinner Dec. 27.

All are expecting Tucson's interest for the Fiesta Bowl to be high after the Wildcats' 29-0 victory over Miami last year.

"The Fiesta Bowl is not just a Phoenix event anymore," Wagner, a journalism and history senior, said. "It is an Arizona event."

Some might say the pressures and demands that come with being a court member are too much, but Kloenne, a merchandising and consumer studies senior, said she feels differently.

"The time constraints that 60 events put on your schedule has already been outweighed by the experiences that we have been through," she said. "Meeting the Fiesta Bowl committee people who run the largest single event in Arizona each year was one of the most exciting things I have ever done."

Wagner, who was named runner-up to Queen Denise DeAlva of Arizona State University, said she is glad to be involved with some of the most prestigious events in Arizona.

"We will be going as official representatives of the Fiesta Bowl to the Governor's Ball, where some of the most powerful people in the state will be," Wagner said.

The ball will be held on Dec. 31. Wagner said she thinks the experience alone is worth any problems the time constraints may cause.

"The great thing is that a majority of the events occur after finals are over and so our studies will not be affected," Wagner said.

Westerlund, a political science junior, said she agrees.

"Being a good-will ambassador is really worth the time involved," she said. "We will meet so many influential people and be recognized by so many organizations that I cannot think of any negatives."

Because of the intense week before the game, the queen and her court will be living together to make organization easier.

No problems are expected, however, because these strangers have gotten to know each other over the past few months while involved in the selection process.

"We commute together from Tucson to Phoenix, and that has helped us become closer," Westerlund said.

"I think of all of us as friends. With what we are about to go through, I think we will be the best of friends by Jan. 2."

The three UA students on the court is a drastic change from last year when all members were ASU students.

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