SAN CLEMENTE, California (Tuesday, May 4, 2010) – The third stop on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) North America Pro Junior Series, the ASP Grade-2 Oakley Pro Junior, saw current regional ratings leader Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 16, lead an elite field of international ASP Pro Junior surfers through to the Semifinals by punting massive aerials in clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at the famous break of Lower Trestles in San Clemente, California to post some of the day's highest scores.
Dramatic upsets also unfolded during the Oakley Pro Junior action when current ASP Dream Tour rookie Jadson Andre (Natal, BRA), 20, and local San Clemente talent Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 16, were eliminated due to interferences.
Several international ASP Pro Junior standouts competing in the Oakley Pro Junior are looking to hone their competitive skills prior to entering the main event, the ASP PRIME 6.0 Lowers Pro, while the regional standouts are hungry to capitalize on the valuable ratings points towards qualification for the inaugural ASP World Junior Tour.
Gieselman relied on above-the-lip surfing to stamp his authority on the field with a variety of massive aerials on the steep Lowers lefthanders to take out a remarkable Quarterfinals heat victory over international prodigy Gabriel Medina (Maresias, BRA), 17, who was a Round 1 standout, and Hawaiian Granger Larsen (Lahaina, HI), 20.
"Gabriel (Medina) went crazy in his first heat and I didn't really have the best opener and I just got mad," Geiselman said. "Then I saw that I was surfing against Gabriel and I thought, 'alright, I'm going to have to do some pretty big stuff,' and that's what I did. Luckily I kept getting those lefts and it just worked out. I knew I was going to have to do big airs if I was going to compete with those guys."
Geiselman, who is currently leading the hotbed of American talent on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, is satisfied with his opening performance, but remains focused on the remainder of the Oakley Pro Junior to retain his No. 1 seed.
"This is guaranteed the hardest Pro Junior of the year, so I'm happy to be in the semis," Geiselman said. "I've still got another heat to try and make it through, so I need to stay focused, but I'm really happy with the way that the first day has gone."
Conner Coffin (Santa Barbara, CA), 17, relied on striking rail-to-rail power surfing to eliminate reigning ASP Pro Junior Champion Maxime Huscenot (REU), 17, in their Quarterfinals bout while topping reigning ASP North America Pro Junior Series Champion Nat Young (Santa Cruz, CA), 18, who advanced behind Coffin in second.
"That one wave (his 8-point score), everyone was paddling for the first one, and I was just hoping there would be one behind it," Coffin said. "I was just out the back by myself and it was a perfect wave. I got a wave just as good as that one in the heat before and bogged, so I needed to make up for it in that heat."
Coffin's advancement into the Semifinals has been no easy task, as the powerful young Santa Barbara surfer has had to navigate through an intense field of international talent who are out to compete in both the Oakley Pro Junior as well as the ASP PRIME 6.0 Lowers Pro.
"My first round heat this morning was gnarly too," Coffin said. "The whole contest is so gnarly because it's a small field and all of the international juniors are here. Every heat out here seems like it could be a final, so I'm stoked to have made the Semifinals."
Kiron Jabour (North Shore, HI), 19, was another standout who battled through the global contingent of ASP Pro Junior talent to advance to the Semifinals while eliminating Lower Trestles local and current ASP North America Pro Junior Series No. 2 Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 16, in their Quarterfinals bout.
"Making it through to the Semifinals, I'm really stoked," Jabour said. "It's a really tough contest with only a Round of 32 format. Every person in this junior event is a top guy and all of the heats are really hard to get through. I'm really happy that I made it through."
Jabour is one of several Oakley Pro Junior competitors looking to capitalize on the ASP Pro Junior heats prior to entering their ASP PRIME 6.0 Lowers Pro against several ASP Dream Tour competitors.
"This is exactly what I wanted," Jabour said. "I wanted the Pro Junior to happen first and get a feel for the conditions and get warmed up and into contest mode."
Jabour is also out to make a dent on the ASP North America Pro Junior series ratings to qualify for this year's inaugural ASP World Junior Tour.
"It's definitely my goal to make the World Junior Tour," Jabour said. "I have this year and one more at a chance to really do well in the Pro Juniors and really stamp a good result for myself. It's absolutely my goal to do well on the Pro Junior stage over the next two years."
Kicking off tomorrow's action will be Round 1 of the ASP PRIME 6.0 Lowers Pro competition. The flock of impressive talent set to compete in the event includes former three-time ASP World Champion Andy Irons (Hanalei, HI), 31, defending 6.0 Lowers Pro Champion Fred Patacchia (North Shore, HI), 28, and progressive standout Dane Reynolds (Ventura, CA), 24, amongst others.
6.0 Lowers Pro action will begin tomorrow at 8am local time and be webcast LIVE via 6.0lowerspro.com.
For additional ASP information log on to aspworldtour.com or aspnorthamerica.org.
Oakley Pro Junior Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Tyler Newton (HAW) 14.33, Evan Thompson (USA) 12.00, Dege O'Connell (HAW) 12.00, Fisher Heverly (USA) 10.70
Heat 2: Conner Coffin (USA) 14.33, Nat Young (USA) 11.83, Maxime Huscenot (REU) 9.71, Michael Dunphy (USA) 6.92
Heat 3: Kiron Jabour (HAW) 13.03, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 12.74, Dillon Perillo (USA) 12.10, Kolohe Andino (USA) 10.55
Heat 4: Evan Geiselman (USA) 17.00, Andrew Doheny (USA) 15.90, Granger Larsen (HAW) 15.73, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.27
Oakley Pro Junior Round of 32 Results:
Heat 1: Evan Thompson (USA) 13.84, Nat Young (USA) 11.93, Gabe Garcia (USA) 7.17, Chase Wilson (USA) 5.83
Heat 2: Dege O'Connell (HAW) 14.17, Michael Dunphy (USA) 11.67, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 10.82, Mitch Crews (AUS) 9.34
Heat 3: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.70, Tyler Newton (HAW) 13.67, Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.80, Luke Davis (USA) 10.43
Heat 4: Maxime Huscenot (REU) 11.84, Fisher Heverly (USA) 11.50, Cristobal De Col (PER) 7.80, Albee Layer (HAW) 7.73
Heat 5: Dylan Goodale (HAW) 13.47, Evan Geiselman (USA) 12.33, Jacob halstead (USA) 7.37, Jadson Andre (BRA) 6.10
Heat 6: Dillon Perillo (USA) 11.87, Andrew Dohney (USA) 9.17, Oliver Kurtz (USA) Levi Gonzales (HAW) 7.03
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.70, Kolohe Andino (USA) 16.43, Hiroto Arai (JPN) 13.77, Brent Reilly (USA) 10.60
Heat 8: Granger Larsen (HAW) 14.60, Kiron Jabour (HAW) 11.90, Quinn McCrystal (USA) 9.27, Nick Rupp (USA) 8.76