NSSA Interscholastic State Champs Goes Off At Churches

March 12, 2008 : – – The NSSA kicked off its 2008 Championship Series March 7-9 with the Interscholastic State Championships at Church beach in the treasured San Onofre State Park. Consistent combo swells from the northwest and southwest provided rippable two to four foot conditions for 350 student surfers at Churches fun cobblestone reef.  

15 colleges, 12 high schools and 10 middle schools competed for prestigious State Championship crowns while also vying for qualification to the 2008 National Interscholastic Championships June 18-21 at Salt Creek.

The UC Santa Barbara Gauchos were the number one team going into the State titles and they’re still there. Fueled by Men’s finalists Matt Johnson and Charles McMahon, the Gauchos squeaked out a 124-122 victory over the 2007 National Champion San Diego State Aztecs. Going into the finals, the Aztecs trailed UCSB 116-113 with two surfers from each team in the final.

In an exciting showdown, Johnson’s third place finish and McMahon’s fifth place finish was enough to spoil the San Diego’s chances of stealing the thunder away from the reigning conference champs. Defending College Men’s State Champion Jason McIlwee of Saddleback scorched the final winning it by more than a five point margin. “It feels really good to win this again,” McIllwee said.

“The waves are fun, the skies are sunny. All of the elements combined perfectly for a really great event.” The San Clemente local sealed his second successive State title posting an excellent 8.83 and a second ride of 6.67. “I try to get down here and surf, especially before this event,” McIlwee said. “I love it down here. Church is a fun wave and really contestable.”

McIlwee says he’ll be back at Saddleback next year and is looking forward to going for three straight. Lauren Sweeney continued to sizzle in the College Women’s snagging her fourth consecutive State title and destroying the final by a six point margin. Troy Mothershead continued to be invincible in State competition collecting his sixth straight crown.

He started his Interscholastic campaign in 2003 winning the Middle School title for Bernice Ayer. Then he won four straight with the San Clemente High School team and now he is a force for Point Loma College. “My first title was for Bernice Ayer and that was the year we beat Shorecliffs,” Mothershead exclaimed. “Then in my freshman year, I got the call to surf on the “B” team for San Clemente and somehow I won.

It just kept happening from there. But I have never won the National Interscholastics and I really want to do that.” Mothershead ripped a 9.0 ride collecting the highest single wave score of the championship finals. “There is something about Church, I just like it and always have done pretty well. I just hang ten and do cutbacks. That’s how you do it out here.”

No. 4 ranked Huntington Beach High School came ready to challenge and it showed as they trounced the competition 108-82 over runner-up Carlsbad. The State Championships provides a stiff early test to the Nationals and the Oilers came prepared and focused on their championship goal, which was a key element to their success. The 17-time National Champs came marching in from the get-go and never surrendered their lead from round one.

Although National Champion San Dieguito, Carlsbad and San Clemente kept it close after the first round, the Oilers went on a tear in round two and never looked back. The championship result may have been lopsided but the High School Men’s final was well represented with HB, San Clemente, Carlsbad, Carpenteria, and Edison team members.  “I’m amazed at the high level of surfing this weekend,” said Huntington Beach head coach Andy Verdone.

“The traditional powerhouses like San Clemente, Carlsbad and San Dieguito are still killing it and always a threat.” Now Edison is right there and Newport Harbor has some mad skills and are going to be dangerous.” Oiler team members Ky McGeary and Quinn McCrystal earned High Men’s final berths placing second and fifth respectively.

HB’s special teams also played a significant role with Sara Taylor placing fifth in the Women’s final and Wade Carden taking sixth in Longboard. “Team captain Quinn McCrystal led us all the way through to the finals and he’s been trying to do that for four years,” Verdone said. “We have a great class this year. Our entire team was down here giving support. Our coaches Barry and Jeff Deffenbaugh are emphasizing fundamentals again whereas I think we got away from that in the past few years. They are former NSSA Champions and they bring youth and excitement to the squad.”

San Clemente High School’s Doug Van Mierlo made the hometown crowd proud winning the Men’s final in a close decision over HB’s McGeary 13.66-13.33. Both surfers put on an electrifying aerial show with McGeary launching a huge aerial reverse on a right earning the highest wave score of 8.83 while Van Mierlo was punting on the steeper, racy lefts. Newport Harbor’s Kaleigh Gilchrist nailed her first NSSA championship title in a close decision over Laguna Beach’s Taylor Pitz 10.50-10.17.

Pitz was in contention after notching a heat high 7.0 wave but fell a fraction short on her second score. Both Gilchrist and Pitz hold a top five ranking in the Southwest Open Season. In the Longboard division, Edison’s Jeff Newell surfed strong enough to claim his first NSSA championship crown despite getting slapped with an interference penalty.

With HB’s elevation to No. 1 status and their confidence riding high, the National Championships will be as exciting as it gets. Last year’s runner up Carlsbad is sick of silver and will be hungry to go all the way in 2008.  Reigning National champion San Dieguito will be on a quest to defend and eight-time National Champion San Clemente can’t be overlooked.

Edison and Newport Harbor made plenty of noise at State and could be a title sleeper in June. When asked about his National title hopes Verdone said, “I think our chances are strong and we are going to be there to compete. Salt Creek is a whole nother venue with a different approach. I’m excited for the kids.” It would be their first since 1998.

“I think we have a good chance to win the Nationals and we’re definitely not going to start slacking off now,” added McCrystal. “I’m going to get everyone out there bright and early tomorrow, keep working and keep going. We haven’t won the Nationals in ten years, so I’d be stoked to finally be the one to bring it back.”

As expected, Shorecliffs dominated the Middle School Championships with a 138-77 blowout over Sowers.  For the third consecutive year, Shorecliffs came with a powerhouse squad that led from start to finish. The team boasted five of the six finalists in the Boys division including defending Boys State Champ Ian Crane who pulled off his second straight.

In an extremely tight final, Crane used his impressive aerial skills to edge out Carpenteria’s Parker Coffin.  Crane stomped a technical frontside air reverse on a left, which earned a 7.17 and put him out front of the pack. “I wanted to stick to the lefts because I’m goofy-foot,” Crane said. “I was going for the bigger moves and then pulled that air reverse which was enough.”

In the Girls final, Shorecliffs’ Melina Smith claimed her first NSSA championship title.  Dwyer’s Tony Bartovich surfed a fantastic heat in the Longboard final posting two good wave scores of 7.67 and 6.00 and taking the victory by a four point margin.

Results

COLLEGE TEAM
1. UCSB-A 124
2. SDSU-A 122
3. Saddleback 88
4. CSUSM-A 87
5. Mira Costa –Red 76
6. UCSD 61
7. Point Loma 59
8. USD 49
9. CSUSM-B 45
10. UCSB-B 41
11. Cal Poly San Luis Obispo-A 36
12. Mira Costa-White 31
=13. SDSU-B 25
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo-B 25
15. Golden West 15

COLLGE MENS
1. Jason McIlwee-Saddleback 15.00
2. Chris Smith-CSUSM 9.83
3. Matt Johnson-UCSB 9.66
4. Ryan Judson-SDSU 9.50
5. Charles McMahon-UCSB 9.17
6. Tyler Smith-SDSU 8.00

COLLEGE WOMENS
1. Lauren Sweeney-UCSD 15.50
2. Allie Brown-SDSU 9.33
3. Ericka Cook-Saddleback 8.50
4. Devon Holloway-USD 5.50
5. Michelle Reeves-Saddleback 5.17
6. Kristi Rife-Mira Costa 4.50

COLLEGE LONGBOARD
1. Troy Mothershead-Point Loma 16.67
2. Billy Harris-Mira Costa 14.00
3. Christian Clark-CSUSM 11.17
4. Chris Smith-CSUSM 10.17
5. Corey Hartwyk-UCSB 8.00
6. Wyatt Harrison-USD 7.33

HIGH SCHOOL TEAM
1. Huntington Beach 108
2. Carlsbad 82
3. San Dieguito 72
4. San Clemente 69
5. Edison 68
6. Newport Harbor 66
7. Carpenteria 53
8. Mira Costa 50
9. Laguna Beach 44
10. Santa Barbara 27
11. Palos Verdes 16
12. Marina 14

HIGH SCHOOL MENS
1. Doug Van Mierlo-San Clemente 13.66
2. Kyle McGeary-Huntington Beach 13.33
3. Dominic DiPietro-Carlsbad 11.50
4. Kokoro Tomatsuri-Carpenteria 10.00
5. Quinn McCrystal-Huntington Beach 8.00
6. Vance Smith-Edison 7.66

HIGH SCHOOL WOMENS
1. Kaleigh Gilchrist-Newport Harbor 10.50
2. Taylor Pitz-Laguna Beach 10.17
3. Heather Jordan-Carlsbad 7.33
4. Alexa Dilley-San Dieguito 7.00
5. Sara Taylor-Huntington Beach 6.50
6. Rachel Harris-Carpenteria 6.00

HIGH SCHOOL LONGBOARD
1. Jeff Newell-Edison 10.34
2. Paul Smeltzer-Carlsbad 9.17 tiebreak
3. Brent Bowen-Mira Costa 9.17 tiebreak
4. Scott Brandenburg-San Clemente 8.00
5. Chris Cravey-San Dieguito 7.83
6. Wade Carden-Huntington Beach 7.00

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAM
1. Shorecliffs-Red 138
2. Sowers-A 77
3. Shorecliffs-White 61
4. Dwyer 60
5. Marco Forster 56
6. Carpenteria 32
7. Sowers-B 31
8. Niguel Hills-A 29
9. Shorecliffs-Blue 27
10. Niguel Hills-B 16

MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS
1. Ian Crane-Shorecliffs 13.00
2. Parker Coffin-Carpenteria 12.00
3. Josh Giddings-Shorecliffs 10.83
4. Breyden Taylor-Shorecliffs 7.50
5. Trevor Thornton-Shorecliffs 5.17
6. Wyatt Brady-Shorecliffs 3.59

MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS
1. Melina Smith-Shorecliffs 9.84
2. Lulu Erkeneff-Marco Forster 7.50
3. Paige Ortiz-Dwyer 5.17
4. Torrey Miethke-Sowers 4.50
5. Emmy Lombard-Shorecliffs 3.84
6. Danielle Wyman-Niquel Hills 2.50

MIDDLE SCHOOL LONGBOARD
1. Tony Bartovich-Dwyer 13.67
2. Zack Stapley-Shorecliffs 9.50
3. Scott Weinhardt-Marco Forster 9.34
4. Andy Nieblas-Shorecliffs 8.16
5. Mason Klink-Shorecliffs 6.67
6. Chandler Stirrat-Sowers 4.25

NSSA.org

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1. Jason McIlwee-Saddleback 15.00
2. Chris Smith-CSUSM 9.83
3. Matt Johnson-UCSB 9.66
4. Ryan Judson-SDSU 9.50
5. Charles McMahon-UCSB 9.17
6. Tyler Smith-SDSU 8.00

COLLEGE WOMENS
1. Lauren Sweeney-UCSD 15.50
2. Allie Brown-SDSU 9.33
3. Ericka Cook-Saddleback 8.50
4. Devon Holloway-USD 5.50
5. Michelle Reeves-Saddleback 5.17
6. Kristi Rife-Mira Costa 4.50

COLLEGE LONGBOARD
1. Troy Mothershead-Point Loma 16.67
2. Billy Harris-Mira Costa 14.00
3. Christian Clark-CSUSM 11.17
4. Chris Smith-CSUSM 10.17
5. Corey Hartwyk-UCSB 8.00
6. Wyatt Harrison-USD 7.33

HIGH SCHOOL TEAM
1. Huntington Beach 108
2. Carlsbad 82
3. San Dieguito 72
4. San Clemente 69
5. Edison 68
6. Newport Harbor 66
7. Carpenteria 53
8. Mira Costa 50
9. Laguna Beach 44
10. Santa Barbara 27
11. Palos Verdes 16
12. Marina 14

HIGH SCHOOL MENS
1. Doug Van Mierlo-San Clemente 13.66
2. Kyle McGeary-Huntington Beach 13.33
3. Dominic DiPietro-Carlsbad 11.50
4. Kokoro Tomatsuri-Carpenteria 10.00
5. Quinn McCrystal-Huntington Beach 8.00
6. Vance Smith-Edison 7.66

HIGH SCHOOL WOMENS
1. Kaleigh Gilchrist-Newport Harbor 10.50
2. Taylor Pitz-Laguna Beach 10.17
3. Heather Jordan-Carlsbad 7.33
4. Alexa Dilley-San Dieguito 7.00
5. Sara Taylor-Huntington Beach 6.50
6. Rachel Harris-Carpenteria 6.00

HIGH SCHOOL LONGBOARD
1. Jeff Newell-Edison 10.34
2. Paul Smeltzer-Carlsbad 9.17 tiebreak
3. Brent Bowen-Mira Costa 9.17 tiebreak
4. Scott Brandenburg-San Clemente 8.00
5. Chris Cravey-San Dieguito 7.83
6. Wade Carden-Huntington Beach 7.00

MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAM
1. Shorecliffs-Red 138
2. Sowers-A 77
3. Shorecliffs-White 61
4. Dwyer 60
5. Marco Forster 56
6. Carpenteria 32
7. Sowers-B 31
8. Niguel Hills-A 29
9. Shorecliffs-Blue 27
10. Niguel Hills-B 16

MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS
1. Ian Crane-Shorecliffs 13.00
2. Parker Coffin-Carpenteria 12.00
3. Josh Giddings-Shorecliffs 10.83
4. Breyden Taylor-Shorecliffs 7.50
5. Trevor Thornton-Shorecliffs 5.17
6. Wyatt Brady-Shorecliffs 3.59

MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS
1. Melina Smith-Shorecliffs 9.84
2. Lulu Erkeneff-Marco Forster 7.50
3. Paige Ortiz-Dwyer 5.17
4. Torrey Miethke-Sowers 4.50
5. Emmy Lombard-Shorecliffs 3.84
6. Danielle Wyman-Niquel Hills 2.50

MIDDLE SCHOOL LONGBOARD
1. Tony Bartovich-Dwyer 13.67
2. Zack Stapley-Shorecliffs 9.50
3. Scott Weinhardt-Marco Forster 9.34
4. Andy Nieblas-Shorecliffs 8.16
5. Mason Klink-Shorecliffs 6.67
6. Chandler Stirrat-Sowers 4.25

NSSA.org