Following an application process that began in September, the Homecoming court was narrowed down to the final five last week and the winners were announced at Friday night’s bonfire. The newly crowned Homecoming King Sam Rowan and Queen Brigetta Barrett shared their thoughts on the process, their fellow nominees and their win.
What was your reaction to being nominated?
Brigetta Barrett: I didn’t exactly know how to feel at first. I never expected to be Homecoming queen ever in life. I just always grew up the tomboy and for most of my life I never really felt like I was that girl.
It was kind of like, “Oh, all right,” at first and then I grew to be really excited about it once it sunk in.
Sam Rowan: I was pretty surprised. I didn’t know what the time commitment was going to be, but I was kind of going into it with open thoughts and going to see what happened.
What events did you participate in throughout the week?
Barrett: On Monday night we went around the sorority houses and they announced us as the Homecoming court. We also had Club Olympics throughout the week. Friday was the coolest for me because we actually got to participate as the Homecoming court team at the tug of war.
Rowan: Throughout the week we met up pretty much every night. Me and the guys would go out to dinner and hang out, whether we were doing a philanthropy event or a mixer, just meeting with people, or introducing ourselves to sororities … we were all doing it together.
What are your thoughts on fellow nominees?
Barrett: They’re a really great and fun group of people. I knew Jill Moore already because we’re both athletes and we have this established relationship together.
It was really fun getting to know the other girls that are in sororities and that was really cool for me because I never really get to socialize with sorority girls because I’m in McKale all the time. For the most part our worlds never clash, so it was really cool to get to know them. These were a really cool bunch of people and they have such great dreams and are motivated in life.
Rowan: You know what, I’m going to be closer with those guys than I think I really expected to be, with those guys and with the Bobcats. I think I made some friends for life. The experiences we shared over that week were pretty memorable.
What was your reaction when you won?
Barrett: I was really shocked, to be honest. I just kind of stood there and they were like, “All right Brigetta, you can go get your flowers.”
I wanted to win, but for some reason half of me was not necessarily expecting it. Or maybe I kept that mindset so that I wouldn’t be disappointed if I didn’t win. It was definitely a lot of shock and then a lot of appreciation for my fellow classmates that felt that I deserved it.
Rowan: I was in shock. Austin Thompson was the incumbent king last year and I swam with him for two years now. I think very highly of him so it was an honor to be even included in conversation with him I guess.
What does being Homecoming queen or king mean to you?
Barrett: I’ve just been thinking about my college experience and the experience of going through Homecoming week and how everyone has really accepted me for me and how I didn’t have to be a certain thing in order for them to accept me.
It was cool because I felt like God was telling me I had always been enough so it didn’t matter if I won necessarily, but that it was great for me to accept myself for who I am.
Rowan: It really solidifies my place in the university, more than anything. I’m a transfer student and I think, more than anything, it just means that this is where I was supposed to be in the first place.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
Barrett: I want to say thank you to everybody at the University of Arizona, staff, faculty, alumni, undergrads for all their support of me on and off the track.
I would also like to say thank you to Jesus Christ for just all the blessings I’ve had this far in my life.
Rowan: I would like to thank [Associate Athletics Director] Becky Bell, for thinking of me when thinking about nominations, my parents for coming down and continually supporting me, and Arizona Athletics.
I’d like to thank my coaches for letting me do this, they’ve been pretty accepting of the time commitment it takes to do the Homecoming court.