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Haakenson: OC surfers dominate NSSA Championships

Joe Surf

June 20, 2012|By Joe Haakenson

If there was any doubt Orange County had the best young surfers in the nation, doubt no more.

The National Scholastic Surfing Assn. Championships were held last weekend at Salt Creek and O.C. schools dominated.

San Clemente won the boys' high school national championship, and was followed by No. 2 Newport Harbor, No. 3 Huntington Beach, No. 4 Kamehameha (Hawaii), No. 5 Edison, Nos. 6 Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach) and Melbourne (Florida), No. 8 Jupiter (Florida), No. 9 Marina and No. 10 Manasquan (New Jersey).

"This is a huge accomplishment for the team and me personally," Newport Harbor Coach Matt Burns said. "The first thing I told my team this year is 'We are here to win a national championship. We are more than capable but it will take hard work and determination to accomplish this.'

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"Unfortunately, we came up short of that No. 1 spot to San Clemente, but to finish the year at No. 2 when competing against the best Hawaii, Florida, and California schools is great, too. We had numerous injuries in the beginning of the year, but we continued to work and were rewarded."

San Clemente's Trevor Thornton won the boys' high school individual national title, and other locals to finish in the top six were Newport Harbor's Colin Moran (third), Huntington Beach's Jack Boyes (fourth) and San Clemente's Ethan Carlston (sixth).

Newport Harbor's Shelby Detmers finished as the top local individual in the high school girls' division and she took second in the nation. San Clemente's Tia Blanco was third. In the high school longboard division, local kids swept the top five places — Edison's Jachin Hamborg won the national title and was followed by Huntington Beach's Tony Bartovich (second), Newport Harbor's Luke Rockwell (third), Marina's Tanner Martinez (fourth) and San Clemente's Casey Powell (fifth).

Huntington Beach won the junior varsity national title, and Dwyer took third in the middle school division. Other locals who won national championships in their respective divisions included John Elles of Huntington Beach (junior varsity boys), Maddie Gumbrecht of Marina (junior varsity girls), Gully Allee of Newport Harbor (junior varsity longboard) and Jeremy Guilmette of Dwyer (middle school longboard).

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The race for the Assn. of Surfing Professionals world championship officially started back in February, but now that Kelly Slater has taken first place in a tour event for the first time this season, it's safe to say the race has truly begun.

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