Norman North’s Briana Kuestersteffen is still in a bit of shock even though she is in New York City for the Wendy’s High School Heisman ceremony.
It’s been a whirlwind of a trip for the senior, who is one of 12 finalists for the award, which honors student-athletes for their hard work and dedication in athletics, academics and community leadership.
Kuestersteffen did not finish as the national winner, losing to Saints Peter and Paul (Md.) senior Emily Granger, but it’s still an experience she will cherish.
On the boys side, Kingfisher’s Landon Nault missed the ceremony for Friday’s football semifinal game, but he will join the group Saturday. The national winner for the boys is East Greenwich (R.I.) senior Andrew Miner.
Kuestersteffen took time Friday to visit with The Oklahoman via phone from New York City about her trip.
Q: You arrived earlier this week, how’s the trip going so far?
A: It’s going great. I love making memories with all of these wonderful people. It’s my first time in New York and I’m so excited.
What are your thoughts on the city?
So far I love it. They’re giving us great tours and we’re seeing wonderful. Today we went to the Rockefeller Center and we saw the tree and we saw the Rockettes show. Tomorrow we’re going to the 9/11 Memorial.
You get to meet the collegiate Heisman finalists. What are your thoughts on that?
I’m looking forward to meeting all of them. It’s just a great opportunity that I actually get to meet them and have a conversation with them about their experiences and everything.
When did it hit you that you are a finalist?
It didn’t really sit in until I was actually in the car on the way to the hotel in New York. I knew what was going on, but I don’t think it really ever sunk into my brain until I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m actually on the way to the hotel.’
Kingfisher’s Landon Nault is joining you Saturday after initially backing out due to the football semifinals. Have you spoken with him?
I have been emailing him since he couldn’t make it. I said that I would give him any footage or photos that I took today just so he wouldn’t feel like he was missing out.
How much does this all mean to you?
It’s a huge honor, especially considering how many high school athletes apply. I feel really honored to even be in this position. It’s great for Wendy’s to do something like this.