TRAVERSE CITY — Thirteen women will commence their quests for the title of National Cherry Queen starting today.
The candidates will each make a presentation, then field questions about the cherry industry, travel and the National Cherry Festival today through Friday. The four finalists will be announced Friday evening, making them eligible for a combined $12,500 in academic scholarships.
“This is a scholarship-based program for these young women,” said Susan Wilcox Olson, media and marketing manager for the National Cherry Festival.
This year’s candidates are:
n Caroline Asiala. Graduated from Bay City Central High School and attends Alma College.
n Rachel Bogner. Graduated from Mason County Central High School and enrolled at Central Michigan University.
n McKenzie Campbell. A 2013 graduate of Northwestern Michigan College and will begin attending the University of Michigan.
n Caitlin Coates. A 2011 graduate of Traverse City St. Francis and attends Michigan State University.
n Kaitlin Hicks. A 2008 graduate of Elk Rapids High School and attending Northwestern Michigan College.
n Sarah Keech. A 2010 graduate of Traverse City West Senior High School and attends Salem College in North Carolina.
n Jenny Olds. A 2009 graduate from Buckley High School and also a graduate of Michigan State University.
n Audrey Prisk. A 2009 graduate of Traverse City West Senior High School in 2009 and a graduate of Point Park University in Pittsburgh.
n Kayla Roney. A 2008 graduate of Gaylord High School and a 2012 graduate of Michigan State University.
n Sonya Sayler. A 2008 graduate of Elk Rapids High School and a recent graduate of the University of Phoenix.
n Kiersten Sprague. A 2010 graduate of Traverse City Central High School and enrolled at Northwestern Michigan College.
n Ashley VanHouten. A 2010 graduate of McBain Public High School and attending Grand Valley State University.
n Ashley Wade. A 2007 graduate of Lake City High School and a 2011 graduate of Central Michigan University.
The announcement of the four finalists will take place Friday at 7 p.m. at Great Wolf Lodge. There is a $10 admission fee to attend the finalist ceremony.
The finalists will return to Traverse City during the 2013 festival from June 29 to July 6 to compete in the final round of judging.