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2017 Rose Court Royalty

At a cool 68 degrees Fahrenheit, conditions were optimal Tuesday for roses to bloom.
For Shannon Larsuel and Autumn Lundy, this was a seed planted years prior. The two best of friends were announced as members of the 2017 Tournament of Roses Royal Court, joining five others as they brightly blossomed before hundreds of excited family members, friends and fans at Tournament House in Pasadena.
“Everything we’ve ever done, we’ve done together,” Lundy, a senior at Polytechnic School, said as she stood with the other Rose Princesses following the announcement.
Evidently, “everything” also includes finishing each other’s sentences.
“It’s going to make us closer,” Larsuel, a senior at Mayfield Senior, added as she stood beaming next to her friend. “We’ll end up being the same person.”
Also named to the Royal Court were Audrey Cameron of Blair High School, Victoria Castellanos of Temple City High, Maya Khan and Lauren Powers of Arcadia High, and Natalie Petrosian of La Cañada High. One of the seven will be named the 99th Rose Queen at an Oct. 20 event at the Pasadena Playhouse.
Larsuel and Lundy grew up as next-door neighbors in Altadena (their parents were even friends prior). Both have long aspired to what culminated Tuesday and hope to become doctors when college is all said and done.
“I’m still kind of in shock,”
Larsuel said. “It’s been a great process meeting all of the other girls doing this.”
Larsuel has been a member of the National Honor Society since 2014. She also volunteers at Jack and Jill of America Inc. Pasadena Chapter Group V, where she is teen vice president. She spent her summer interning at the Stanford Institutes of Medicine Research.
Lundy serves as co-president of the Black Student Union at Poly and has been the organization’s student ambassador for the past three years. She also is part of the Girls Service League and volunteers with the Kids Space Halloween Festival, Reading Partners, Soccer Without Borders and Villa-Parke Community Center in Pasadena.
In the moments leading up to Tuesday’s announcement — which whittled down the 34 finalists to seven — Lundy said her fingers were crossed for the prospect of sharing the stage with Larsuel.
“And then it happened,” Larsuel said. “It’s really beyond our wildest dreams.”
Dori Larsuel, a Pasadena native, said her daughter has had eyes on becoming a Royal Court princess since she was 5.
“It’s a stiff competition,” Dori Larsuel said. “To have her represent the city I grew up in and my parents grew up in is truly an honor.”
Kim Lundy, pointing out her daughter’s artistic background, said Tuesday ended up just the way she would have painted it.
“The icing on the cake was her best friend made it, also,” Kim Lundy said. “It’s like two daughters made it.”
In her free time, Shannon
Larsuel said she enjoys reading, traveling and exploring. She hopes to study human biology with a pre-med focus at Yale
University and work in pediatric oncology treating children.
“They are the future,” she said. “If I can help a little boy or little girl go on to change the world, I want to do that.”
Frank Karl, a theology teacher at Mayfield Senior, described Shannon Larsuel as an “incredibly smart and incredibly organized” student who also knew when it was time pull back and “be one of the crowd.”
“I can’t wait for her to be my doctor or my kids’ doctor,” he said. “She will someday.”
Autumn Lundy plays for Poly’s varsity girls’ soccer team and also for the Crescenta Valley Soccer Club and, as her mother said, enjoys drawing and painting in her spare time. She said she also acts in plays and musicals and wants to continue to grow her artistic side as she furthers her education
“She has a lot of passions,” Kim Lundy said of her daughter. “She does a little bit of everything.”
Autumn Lundy said she wants to attend Baylor University, where she wants to study human biology and human physiology in hopes of becoming a doctor.
“I can’t picture myself doing anything else,” she said.
The Royal Court will represent the Pasadena area at more than 100 events between now and Jan. 2, when the Rose Court will ride in the 128th Rose Parade and attend the 103rd Rose Bowl Game Just shy of 1,000 girls interviewed for Royal Court consideration starting Sept. 10.

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