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Locals take top honors at USA Championships, appointed to national team

Local athletes named to the 2013-2014 USA Surf Team are (Top row L to R) Colton Ward (San Clemente), Griffin Colapinto (San Clemente), Cole Houshmand (San Clemente, Development Squad), Jacob Davis (Capo Beach) and (Bottom row L to R) Tia Blanco (San Clemente), Rachael Tilly (Capo Beach, Longboard Team) and Malia Osterkamp (San Clemente). Photo by Jack McDaniel
Local athletes named to the 2013-2014 USA Surf Team are (Top row L to R) Colton Ward (San Clemente), Griffin Colapinto (San Clemente), Cole Houshmand (San Clemente, Development Squad), Jacob Davis (Capo Beach) and (Bottom row L to R) Tia Blanco (San Clemente), Rachael Tilly (Capo Beach, Longboard Team) and Malia Osterkamp (San Clemente). Photo by Jack McDaniel

By Andrea Swayne

The Surfing America USA Championships wrapped up Saturday after seven days of competition at San Onofre State Beach—June 14 to 16 at Church Beach and June 18 to 22 at Lower Trestles—with 14 local surfers taking home trophies, six being named to the 2013-2014 USA Surf Team and two to the Development Squad.

Four divisions were won by San Clemente surfers. The Women’s 18+ Longboard division title was claimed by Tory Gilkerson and the Men’s 18+ Longboard win was taken by Cody Canzoneri. Griffin Colapinto took the win in Boys U16 and Cole Houshmand in Boys U14.

Houshmand was also named to the USA Team Development Squad for next season along with fellow San Clementean Crosby Colapinto and five other under 12 surfers.

“We couldn’t have wished for a better end to the season. The surf was great and the kids were ripping. It was especially gratifying to see the Boys U18 division full of USA Surf Team members who are graduating out of the program going full out in their heats, going big. They earned an unbelievable 12 to 14 scores in the excellent range in their final. It was unbelievable to watch,” said Greg Cruse, Surfing America executive director. “The judging was phenomenal too. There were a couple of interferences that needed to be explained but we didn’t hear complaints. The whole Surfing America program is based on a foundation of strong, unbiased, fair judging and that came through in this event. The judges really got it right.”

The level of surfing in all of the divisions was at an all-time high throughout the event but the talent on display heat after heat in the Boys U12 division—a division that was nearly cut due to limited contest hours when the event first moved to Lowers in 2010—spoke volumes about where the USA team is headed in the future.

And although the dust has yet to settle on this year’s contest, organizers are already looking forward to next year which will mark the fifth anniversary of the Surfing America USA Championships at Lowers, the 10th anniversary of Surfing America being awarded its National Governing Body status by the International Surfing Association and the 150th anniversary of the State Park system.

Jacob Davis of Capistrano Beach on his way to a third-place finish in Boys U16 and reappointment to the USA Surf Team. Photo by Jack McDaniel
Jacob Davis of Capistrano Beach on his way to a third-place finish in Boys U16 and reappointment to the USA Surf Team. Photo by Jack McDaniel

“We’re stoked to be back to Lowers and to have the permit again next year. It’s a privilege and we are thankful to the State Park for allowing us to hold the event,” Cruse said. “It’s nice to see competitors, their families and friends respecting the environment and keeping everything pristine despite the large scale of the event. We want to continue to come back year after year.”

For more information about Surfing America and the USA Surf Team, log on to www.surfingamerica.org.

 

USA TEAM MEMBERS FOR 2013-2014

Boys U18: Kanoa Igarashi, Huntington Beach; Daniel Glenn, Florida; Colt Ward, San Clemente; Jacob Davis, Capistrano Beach; Nic Hdez, Santa Cruz; Thelen McKinna-Worrell, Malibu.

Boys U16: Jake Marshall, Encinitas; Griffin Colapinto, San Clemente; John Mel, Newport Beach; Nolan Rapoza, Long Beach; Luke Gordon, South Carolina; Ryland Rubens, Pacific Beach; Eithan Osborne, Ventura.

Girls U18: Tia Blanco, San Clemente; Frankie Harrer, Malibu; Steffi Kerson, Pacific Palisades; Kylie Loveland, Carlsbad.

Girls U16: Meah Collins, Costa Mesa; Maddie Peterson, New Jersey; Malia Osterkamp, San Clemente; Emory McClary – South Carolina; Caroline Marks, Florida.

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