Compiled by Zach Cavanagh
Olympica Gymnast Wins State Championship
Olympica Gymnastics’ Level 7–10 teams traveled to San Diego to compete at the State Championships on March 16-18 and earned seven top-three wins including two State Championships.
Dana Point’s Level 8 gymnast, Natalie Bray is the state champion on floor with a score of 9.500, as well as the all-around state champion with a score of 37.725 in the 13-year-olds division. Bray also took silver on bars with a score of 9.525.
Bray’s wins add to her season record of six golds, seven silvers and one bronze medal in six meets. Along with her teammates, Bray now moves ahead to USA Gymnastics’ Regional Championship on April 14 in Reno, Nevada.
Ladera Ranch’s Sarah Quan won bronze on beam, scoring 9.450. In the 12-year-olds division, Allison Karner of Laguna Niguel won silver on bars with her score of 9.475. Level 7 gymnast, Julia Rojas of San Clemente won silver on beam with a score of 9.575, as well as bronze in the all-around with a score of 37.700.
Strong Turnout for 31st Annual Ocean Challenge
While the threat of rain may have turned away some, nearly 200 entries in stand-up paddleboard, paddleboard, canoe and surf ski races descended on Dana Point Harbor for the 31st Annual Ocean Challenge hosted by the Dana Outrigger Canoe Club on March 17.
The longest running winter paddle sport race in California got fine conditions for racing with a downwind, downswell return to the delight of most paddlers.
The field stretched from the Keikis, children as young as 10 or 12 years old from the Paddle Academy, inside the harbor to a large group of 60-year-old-plus racers in the long and short courses that extended outside of the harbor.
The Ocean Challenge also welcomed the Slovakian national flatwater racing team that crushed the course in the double surf skis. The Slovakian team trains at the Newport Aquatic Center during the winter.
Tim Burdiak and Philippe Boccara posted the best long-course time in double surf ski at 1:06:29 and best short-course time in the double surf ski at 38:10.
Ryland Hart took the 14-foot SUP category on the short course at 55:42. Tyler Bashor finished second at 56:04 and Dave Boehne took third at 1:00:19.
The Ocean Challenge is part of a Southern California racing series that runs from November to April. The final race will run in Newport Beach.
Several local sponsors donated paddling gear for those who placed including Infinity, Killer Dana, Koloa, Kokua, OceanPaddle Sports and Quickblade.