Eight local surfers make the trophy rounds at Surfing America Prime Event No. 3, Dec. 13-14 at Salt Creek

(L to R) Bethany Zelasko (Dana Point), and from San Clemente, Crosby Colapinto, Hagan Johnson, Jett Schilling, Malia Ward, Malia Osterkamp and Alexxa Elseewi were all finalists in the Surfing America Prime Event No. 3 at Salt Creek, Dec. 13-14. Not pictured, Griffin Colapinto. Photo: Jack McDaniel
(L to R) Bethany Zelasko (Dana Point), and from San Clemente, Crosby Colapinto, Hagan Johnson, Jett Schilling, Malia Ward, Malia Osterkamp and Alexxa Elseewi were all finalists in the Surfing America Prime Event No. 3 at Salt Creek, Dec. 13-14. Not pictured, Griffin Colapinto. Photo: Jack McDaniel

By Andrea Swayne

Thanks to San Clementeans Crosby Colapinto, Griffin Colapinto, Alexxa Elseewi, Hagan Johnson, Malia Osterkamp, Jett Schilling, Malia Ward and Bethany Zelasko of Dana Point, nearly half the field of finalists at event No. 3 on the Surfing America Prime contest series belonged to area surfers.

A large swell arrived along the Southern California coast just in time to deliver big surf to Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point, for the two-day event, Dec. 13 and 14. On Saturday, off-shore winds brought waves in the 5- to 7-foot range with 8-foot sets. The size tapered off a bit on Sunday but clean conditions remained.

Griffin Colapinto won the Boys U18 division at Surfing America Prime, event No. 3 , Dec. 12-13 at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point. Photo: Jack McDaniel
Griffin Colapinto won the Boys U18 division at Surfing America Prime, event No. 3 , Dec. 12-13 at Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point. Photo: Jack McDaniel

As one of the tour’s most formidable breaks, Salt Creek is known for providing a challenge to even longtime locals and professional surfers. These surfers more than handled the tricky conditions; they shined. Perfect 10s appeared on the scorelines of Colapinto and Schilling.

“We should call this the Surfing America Prime Salt Creek Masters,” said announcer and Surfing America USA Surf Team coach Ryan Simmons—more than once.

The Girls U16 division saw Zelasko taking top honors—her first in Prime competition—and Elseewi claiming the fourth-place spot. Osterkamp and Ward went third and fourth, respectively, in Girls U18. Schilling won the Boys U14 division, Crosby Colapinto was third and Johnson fourth.

The Boys U18 win went to Griffin Colapinto, earning him a Surfing America wildcard entry—and second round seeding—into the American Pro Surfing Series Shoe City Pro QS1000 at the Huntington Beach Pier in January.

Their next Prime event will be held Jan. 10-11 at Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz.

Results: Surfing America Prime Event No. 3, Dec. 13-14 at Salt Creek

BOYS U14
1. Jett Schilling, 16.37, San Clemente
2. Griffin Foy, 14.74, Huntington Beach
3. Crosby Colapinto, 13.84, San Clemente
4. Hagan Johnson, 10.83, San Clemente

GIRLS U16
1. Bethany Zelasko, 9.03, Dana Point
2. Alyssa Spencer, 7.97, Carlsbad
3. Meah Collins, 6.10, Costa Mesa
4. Alexxa Elseewi, 3.16, San Clemente

BOYS U16
1. Ryland Rubens, 15.66, Pacific Beach
2. Eithan Osborne, 8.06, Ventura
3. Braden Jones, 7.23, Arroyo Grande
4. Josiah Amico, 3.40, Ventura

GIRLS U18
1. Tia Blanco, 11.27, Oceanside
2. Meah Collins, 8.30, Costa Mesa
3. Malia Osterkamp, 6.53, San Clemente
4. Malia Ward, 4.70, San Clemente

Boys U18
1. Griffin Colapinto, 12.23, San Clemente
2. Nolan Rapoza, 11.83, Long Beach
3. Nathan Young, 9.77, Fountain Valley
4. Ben Coffey, 8.50, Santa Cruz

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