Day One Of The 2003 NSSA Nationals At Lowers

Day One Of The NSSA National Championships At Lower Trestles
Technically, today wasn’t the first day of the NSSA Nationals. On June 21 and 22, the National Interscholastic and Air Championships were held at Salt Creek in peaky, fun conditions. U.C. San Diego, San Clemente, and Bernice Ayer took the college, high school, and middle school divisions respectively. In the air championships, Ola Eleogram edged out a top-notch field of Andrew Gahan, Nathan Carroll, Sterling Spencer, Brett Simpson, and Hank Gaskell. For the semi-complete results go to the bottom of the page.

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As for the Nationals at Lowers, today began with the early rounds of the Explorer championships—kinda’ like the warmups for the big time, a.k.a. the Governor’s Cup or Open championships. As usual for this time of year, June gloom and it’s sidekick south wind greeted competitors early in the morning. Being that it’s Trestles, the waves were still fun and the sun eventually came out.

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The Explorer division is the non-scholastic division—basically, anybody can enter and qualify. Yeah, they’re not as prominent as the Open (or student divisions) in the NSSA, but they’re just as tough. A good example is how the Explorer heats have six competitors compared to four in the Open. They only need two scoring waves in fifteen minutes—however, condensing six dudes on one peak can be chaotic—like running-into-each-other chaotic.

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The premier division in the Explorer championships has to be the juniors division. Premier names such as Dane Reynolds fill the sixteen first rounds and the heats just get tougher. There’s a lot of hype circling Dane right now, well, because he’s ripping. “In the fourteen years I’ve been doing this, I’ve never seen a frenzy surrounding a young surfer like I’ve seen with Dane Reynolds,” said Janice Aragon, Executive Director of the NSSA. “And I’ve seen all sorts of dynamos like Andy (Irons), Kalani (Robb), and the Hobgoods.”

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If you know Dane, you’d know he doesn’t care—he just wants to surf. Rumor has it his contract with Rip Curl’s running out and there’re some bidders looking to pay up and employ—he still doesn’t care. “He just takes it in stride,” said Aragon. Dane made an appearance for his first heat this morning and didn’t get a wave until the heat was halfway over—something he does often. Once he got started, his combination of moves followed by an air gave him first place.

Dane travels a lot, but he stayed home the last month to get ready for Nationals. After they’re over he plans on going to Indo and prepping for his new life as a professional, “I’m looking forward to next year,” said Dane.—AC

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NSSA O’Neill National Air Championships
1. Ola Eleogram
2. Andrew Gahan
3. Nathan Carroll
4. Sterling Spencer
=5. Brett Simpson
=5. Hank Gaskell

Interscholastic National Championship Results:
College Men
1. Sam Baugh-USD
2. Zach Plopper-UCSD
3. Dylan Slater-USD
4. Gustavo Reategui-UCSD
5. Tyler Anderson-UCSB
6. Chris Melton-UCSD

College Women
1. Loryn Wilson-UCSD
2. Natalee Trefen-MiraCosta
3. Marelle Yehuda-UCSD
4. Lauren McLean-UCF
5. Alison Arvizu-CSULB
6. Torri Alexander-CSUSM

College Teams
1. UCSD ‘A’-114
2. CSULB-83
3. USD-73
4. SDSU-68
5. UCSB VI-56

High School Men
1. Jeremy Johnston-New Smyrna
2. Jason Miller-San Clemente
3. Pat Gudauskas-San Clemente
4. Dane Gudauskas-San Clemente
5. Kirk Lindahl-San Clemente
6. Luke Walsh-King Kekaulike

High School Women
1. Colleen Mehlberg-San Clemente
2. Paige Alms-King Kaulike
3. Candice Appleby-San Clemente
4. Summer Meyer-San Dieguito
5. Courtney Andren-Melbourne
6. Eva Lewington-Huntington Beach

High School Teams
1. San Clemente ‘A’-151
2. Huntington Beach-102
3. San Clementte ‘B’-97
4. New Smyrna-92
5. King Kekaulike-63

Middle School Boys
1. Cory Arrambide-Cabrillo
2. Jeff Lukasik-Bernice Ayer
3. Trevor Saunders-Bernice Ayer
4. Ryan Burch-Oak Crest
5. Mike McCabe-Cabrillo
6. Logan Strook-Sowers

Middle School Girls
1. Marissa Barry-Shorecliffs
2. Lexie Papillion-Bernice Ayer
3. Chelsea Corwin-Bernice Ayer
4. Ming Jung Brown-Cabrillo
5. Oleema Miller-Shorecliffs
6. Tracy Pruse-Kapolei

Middle School Team
1. Bernice Ayer ‘Red’-114
2. Cabrillo-74
3. Shorecliffs ‘A’-65
4. Sowers-60
5. Dwyer-58