Countdown To The 2001 NSSA Nationals

COUNTDOWN TO THE 2001 NSSA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS!

NATIONAL INTERSCHOLASTIC CHAMPIONSHIPS¿JUNE 23-24 SALT CREEK

NSSA 0’NEILL SMAS CHAMPIONSHIPS¿JUNE 24 SALT CREEK

NATIONAL OPEN AND EXPLORER CHAMPIONSHIPS¿JUNE 26-JUNE 30 LOWER TRESTLES

CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS GOVERNOR’S CUP¿JUNE 28-30 LOWER TRESTLES (Open Mens and Womens divisions)

THE 2001 NSSA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS IS PROUDLY SPONSORED BY: RUSTY, BODY GLOVE, SURFING/SURFING GIRL/BODYBOARDING MAGAZINES, HUNTINGTON SURF AND SPORT, REEF, KGRIP SKATE AND FCS.

As we celebrate our 10th year at magnificent Lower Trestles, the NSSA kids will enter the Nationals with a shot atstardom and an opportunity to make history. Here is a glimpse of what is in store for the most spectacular week inyouth surfing.

THE NATIONAL INTERSCHOLASTIC CHAMPIONSHIPS – Nationals week will kickoff with the NationalInterscholastic Championships at Salt Creek showcasing the hottest teams from across the nation. This year willby far display the most intense team surfing ever. The much anticipated match-up between two time defendingNational Champion San Clemente (#2 seed) and two time NSSA State Champion Carlsbad (#1 seed) should beabout as thrilling as it gets. Carlsbad will try to get even after their frustrating one point loss to San Clemente lastyear. In the mix will be San Dieguito who put together a strong third place finish at the State titles, Hawaii’sCampbell High School with their Joel Centeio/Dustin Cuizon one-two punch and the 17 time National ChampionHuntington Beach High School. What cannot be debated is both San Clemente and Carlsbad have a surplus ofdepth which makes them the odds on favorites. Carlsbad is stacked with top NSSA competitors includingWestern Open Mens Champion Dane Johnson, Che Stang, Mike Klein, Justin Wiegand, Josh Montgomery, SeanTaylor and National Bodyboard Champion Rusty Friesen. San Clemente’s team is just as potent with Greg Long,National Champions Travis Mellem and Patrick Gudauskas, Andrew Gahan and Dane Gudauskas. In addition,both teams have big incentives ? San Clemente is looking for a three-peat plus their fourth career title whileCarlsbad has waited one long year for sweet revenge. Also competing are Edison, Marina, Vista, Carpenteria andPoint Loma from California, Kalaheo, Kahuku and King Kekaulike from Hawaii and Point Pleasant from NewJersey. The rivalry between the top three college leaders from the Southwest Conference is fierce. DefendingNational Champion Mira Costa (#1 seed), talent deep Long Beach State (#2 seed) and eight time NationalChampion UCSB (#3 seed) can all taste victory. Mira Costa took a huge win at the State titles and team memberKyla Langen will be gunning for her second straight National title. UCSB won two of the four regular seasonevents plus team member Dylan Mignogna has been unstoppable in the Longboard division at the Nationals fortwo consecutive years. Long Beach’s Ben Will won both the Conference and State Mens titles. All three teamswill come out fighting. And we must not forget the improved USD and SDSU squads who could throw a wrenchinto the whole thing. Shorecliffs Middle School will be competing for their second straight National crown but notwithout a fight from former National Champions Sowers and Dwyer, cross-town rival Bernice Ayer andCarpenteria.
THE MAIN EVENT-THE NATIONAL OPEN CHAMPIONSHIPS OPEN MENS – Number one seed Dane Johnson from the Southwest Conference finished off a superb seasonwith a big victory at the Western Championships in challenging 6-10 foot Huntington. Sixteen year old NathanCarroll scored a sensational victory in the Open Mens division at the Hawaii Championships and will be thenumber one seed coming from there. The question is, can he pull off what Kalani Robb did in 1993 ? a win in theOpen Mens and Juniors divisions? No one has accomplished that amazing feat besides Kalani. 2000 NationalOpen Mens nner up Joel Centeio has got the moves, consistency and competitive savvy to dominate. Eric Taylorfrom the Southeast Conference scored his record achieving seventh title winning the Open Mens division at the2001 Eastern Championships. Greg Long has come on strong down the stretch and his local knowledge ofLowers will give him a big edge. Greg had an almost perfect heat at the Southwest Conference’s San ClementeOpen where his heat total was a near perfect 29.7 out of 30. We also heard that Greg had the highest scoringwave, a 9.75 at the recent PSTA Oceanside event. Sean Moody, a three time National Champion, will be one of themost intense competitors at Lowers because he wants that Open Mens title badly. Sean’s backside will be lethalon the long Lowers righthanders. The Southwest’s “Most Improved” surfer Ian Rotgans has powerful moves soif the waves have size, he’s sure to make a strong showing. Mike Klein also took “Most Improved” honors in theSouthwest and he can pull off some incredible manuevers. Che Stang has been schooled in the NSSA since he wasa grom and he has the dynamic moves to show for it. Che’s still in the hunt for his first National’s win. Southwest’s # 2 ranked Andrew Gahan and #3 ranked Nathaniel Curran put forth impressive numbers in theirrookie year this season which proves they will not be intimidated by the older guys.

OPEN JUNIORS-All eyes will be on last year’s champion Travis Mellem as he guns for his second consecutiveJuniors crown. His mammoth surfing display in the Juniors final last year will be tough to equal. However whenyou look at all of the super talent in the Juniors line up this year, the odds are excellent for more mind blowingperformances. Travis will be one of the most exciting surfers at Lowers to watch as well as Southwest andWestern Open Junior Champion Dane Reynolds who has a stockpile of incredible moves. Three time NationalChampion and Hawaii’s number one seed Dustin Cuizon will have a good shot at winning as does Hawaii’s #3ranked Kekoa Bacalso. Number two ranked Nathan Carroll could steal the show with a solid chance to pull offdouble titles. From the east coast, Shane Upchurch took an impressive victory in the Open Juniors division at theEastern Championships for his first NSSA title. Tommy O’Brien, David Awbrey, Jeremy Johnston and BrianToth were looking strong at the NSSA Easterns and could bring the National title home to the “right coast.”

OPEN BOYS-Southwest #1 seed Kellen Ellison scored the most wins in the NSSA this season with 13 ( 8 GoldCoast Menehuene and 5 Southwest Open Boys). He topped it off with a victory at the Western Championships inthe Explorer Menehuene division. Kellen will go head to head with Southwest Boys and Menehuene ChampionTanner Gudauskas who claimed 12 wins this season (Tanner had to sit out the Westerns because of an injury). Gold Coast grom Colin Schildhauer scored a super impressive win at the Western Championships in giant, gnarlysurf conditions. Leading off from Hawaii will be #1 seed Kyle Ramey and #2 seed Granger Larsen. >From theEast, two time National Champion Adam Wickwire will try to win another one for the NSSA east. Eric Geiselmanfrom the NSSA Southeast/North conference took his first ever NSSA title at the Easterns in the Menehuene division.

OPEN MINI GROMS-Word has it that 2000 Mini Grom Champion Thomas Clarke (better known as T-Grom)is ripping and looking stronger than ever. T-Grom will meet up with with the west coast’s #1 grom Kyle Kennellyand the east coast’s #1 grom Kris Wiernicki.

OPEN WOMENS-A lot of action is sure to take place in the Womens division this year. Southwest andWestern Champion Holly Beck will put the pedal to the medal looking for her first National Open title. Also backin action is four time National Champion Sena Seramur who was benched last year due to academic ineligibility. 2001 Eastern Champion Jamie DeWitt will go full bore to bring a National crown to the Northeast. At only 14years old, Southwest #2 seed Anastasia Ashley has the ability to pull off a victory over the older girls.

GOVERNOR’S CUP – The first annual Governor’s Cup will be held in conjunction with the National OpenMens and Womens divisions. Not only will the Open Mens and Womens Champions reap the glory of claiminga National title, but they will also take home the coveted “Governor’s Trophy.” The Goveror’s Cup is a series ofpremier athletic events exclusive to the California State Park system and the NSSA is proud that the NationalChampionships has been chosen to present this prestigious event!
MAKING HISTORY- THE TRIPLE CROWN THREATS – With all of the mounting NSSA records andaccomplishments over the past 22 years, there has been one grand achievement that has yet to be earned ? theNationals “Triple Crown.” The “Triple Crown” is victories in all three categories of the NSSA NationalChampionships – the Open, Explorer and Interscholastic divisions. In 2000, Joel Centeio got about as close asyou can get winning the High School Mens division for Campbell High School and then taking runner up in boththe Open Mens and Explorer Juniors divisions. Joel will once again be the frontrunner for a first ever “TripleCrown” triumph but we also have a few other top prospects. San Clemente High School’s Greg Long, CarlsbadHigh School’s Dane Johnson and Che Stang, Campbell High School’s Dustin Cuizon, UCSD’s Holly Beck andShorecliffs Middle School’s Tanner Gudauskas. If and when a “Triple Crown” victory finally happens it’sgoing to be AMAZING!!!

THE EXPLORER CHAMPIONSHIPS – Along with the youth divisions, the National Explorer Championshipsfeatures competition in alternative categories. In the Longboard division, defending National Champ Taylor Jensenwill try to make it two straight but he’ll have to contend with Eastern Champion Adrian Coloprete and WesternChampion Mike Gillard. 2000 National Masters Champion Mike Latronic will be back to do battle with Westernand two time National Champion Barry Deffenbaugh, Southwest Champions Darren Brilhart and Chad Wells,mega talented Greg Browning and Transworld’s Aaron Checkwood. The super skilled Seniors squad featuresmulti NSSA champion Chas Wickwire, former National Champions Mike Lamm and Mike Latronic, Scott Daleyand former World Champion Peter Townend.

THE NSSA O’NEILL SMAS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS – The NSSA National Championships inconjunction with O’Neill and Surfing Magazine will be presenting the first ever youth air championships. The airchampionships will be held on June 24 at Salt Creek during the National Interscholastic Championship event. Thetop six aerialists from the NSSA Eastern, Western and Hawaii Championships are invited to compete. The top twofinalists will receive wild card slots plus all expences paid to the Vans Surfing Magazine Airshow final at CaboSan Lucas in the fall of 2001.

WEST VS. EAST VS. HAWAII – It’s always fun to check out which coastline dominates the Nationals. In 2000,the NSSA West (Southwest and Gold Coast Conferences) came on strong and racked up 16 National titles whichincluded clinching five of the six Open crowns. NSSA Hawaii took seven National titles and the NSSA East(Southeast, Southeast/North, Florida Gulf and Northeast) claimed two.
to the Northeast. At only 14years old, Southwest #2 seed Anastasia Ashley has the ability to pull off a victory over the older girls.

GOVERNOR’S CUP – The first annual Governor’s Cup will be held in conjunction with the National OpenMens and Womens divisions. Not only will the Open Mens and Womens Champions reap the glory of claiminga National title, but they will also take home the coveted “Governor’s Trophy.” The Goveror’s Cup is a series ofpremier athletic events exclusive to the California State Park system and the NSSA is proud that the NationalChampionships has been chosen to present this prestigious event!
MAKING HISTORY- THE TRIPLE CROWN THREATS – With all of the mounting NSSA records andaccomplishments over the past 22 years, there has been one grand achievement that has yet to be earned ? theNationals “Triple Crown.” The “Triple Crown” is victories in all three categories of the NSSA NationalChampionships – the Open, Explorer and Interscholastic divisions. In 2000, Joel Centeio got about as close asyou can get winning the High School Mens division for Campbell High School and then taking runner up in boththe Open Mens and Explorer Juniors divisions. Joel will once again be the frontrunner for a first ever “TripleCrown” triumph but we also have a few other top prospects. San Clemente High School’s Greg Long, CarlsbadHigh School’s Dane Johnson and Che Stang, Campbell High School’s Dustin Cuizon, UCSD’s Holly Beck andShorecliffs Middle School’s Tanner Gudauskas. If and when a “Triple Crown” victory finally happens it’sgoing to be AMAZING!!!

THE EXPLORER CHAMPIONSHIPS – Along with the youth divisions, the National Explorer Championshipsfeatures competition in alternative categories. In the Longboard division, defending National Champ Taylor Jensenwill try to make it two straight but he’ll have to contend with Eastern Champion Adrian Coloprete and WesternChampion Mike Gillard. 2000 National Masters Champion Mike Latronic will be back to do battle with Westernand two time National Champion Barry Deffenbaugh, Southwest Champions Darren Brilhart and Chad Wells,mega talented Greg Browning and Transworld’s Aaron Checkwood. The super skilled Seniors squad featuresmulti NSSA champion Chas Wickwire, former National Champions Mike Lamm and Mike Latronic, Scott Daleyand former World Champion Peter Townend.

THE NSSA O’NEILL SMAS NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS – The NSSA National Championships inconjunction with O’Neill and Surfing Magazine will be presenting the first ever youth air championships. The airchampionships will be held on June 24 at Salt Creek during the National Interscholastic Championship event. Thetop six aerialists from the NSSA Eastern, Western and Hawaii Championships are invited to compete. The top twofinalists will receive wild card slots plus all expences paid to the Vans Surfing Magazine Airshow final at CaboSan Lucas in the fall of 2001.

WEST VS. EAST VS. HAWAII – It’s always fun to check out which coastline dominates the Nationals. In 2000,the NSSA West (Southwest and Gold Coast Conferences) came on strong and racked up 16 National titles whichincluded clinching five of the six Open crowns. NSSA Hawaii took seven National titles and the NSSA East(Southeast, Southeast/North, Florida Gulf and Northeast) claimed two.