The 2002 NSSA Nationals At Trestles

SURF’S UP FOR THE NATIONALS AT LOWERS!As destiny would have it, a pumping southwest swell hit on Friday, June 28 and delivered perfect 4-6 foot Lowers for the National Open Championships, Governor’s Cup and all of the Nationals finals.
The NSSA National Championships consisted of four separate championship events, conducting 273 heats in 29 separate divisions that ran over a seven-day span at two contest locations in two different cities.

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The 2002 NSSA Nationals set an all time attendance record for an event held at Lower Trestles. Steve Long, Lifeguard Supervisor for the South County State Beaches, reported that the single day attendance record was broken on Saturday, June 29 with approximately 2,000 people watching the action on finals day. In addition, Long also reported that the weekday attendance also set all time high records.

Dustin Cuizon’s victory in the Open Men’s division gives him a three-title sweep in the Open age categories. For the first time in NSSA history, Dustin, 17 of Ewa Beach, Hawaii, became the first surfer to take titles in Boys, Juniors and Mens. Dustin won the Open Boys in 1998, the Open Juniors in 1999 and the Open Mens in 2002. In addition Dustin also has racked up titles in the National Explorer Championships winning the Boys division in 1999 and the Juniors at this event.

For the second time in his youth career, Dustin Cuizon took command at Lowers and earned double titles. In 1999, Dustin took the gold in both the Open Juniors and Explorer Boys. This year, he paired up in the Open Mens and Explorer Juniors. Dustin’s title count now stands at five, moving to second in line to the all-time record of seven held by Bobby Martinez.

National titles in the Open Championships were split between all three coastlines. After a two-year drought on the “right coast” for Open gold, Florida surfers Karina Petroni and Jeremy Johnston won each of their divisions convincingly. Karina, 14 of Atlantic Beach was the first woman from the east coast to take the Open since Jessica Earl’s victory in 1997. Likewise New Smyrna’s Jeremy Johnston was the first male surfer to earn Open glory since CJ Hobgood’s victory in the Juniors in 1995. Dustin Cuizon scored a 23.3-20.0 victory over runner-up Dane Reynolds in the Open Mens and Governor’s Cup final and the payoff was huge. Dustin not only earned the two most prestigious decorations in youth surfing the Open Mens title and the Governor’s trophy, he also bagged the keys to a new 2002 Toyota Tacoma!
The surf came up right on schedule for the second annual Governor’s Cup competition, which runs in conjunction with the National Open Men’s and Women’s divisions. In it’s inaugural year in 2001, Californian’s Greg Long and Holly Beck claimed the Governor’s trophies. This year, the glory shifted to opposite coastlines. Dustin Cuizon took the Governor’s Cup for Hawaii and Karina Petroni won it for Florida. Right on cue, a clean, powerful southwest swell generated perfect 4-6′ surf for the Governor’s Cup Open Men’s and Women’s divisions’ preliminary rounds and finals.

The Governor’s Cup is the first in a series of Governor’s Cup events, premier athletic competitions to be held in California State Parks. The surfing competition is the first in a growing series of sports and recreational events. “The Governor’s Cup held at the Lower Trestles break of the San Onofre State Beach acknowledges an outstanding California State Beach with a truly California state sport and honors our talented youth,” said Ruth Coleman, Acting Director, California State Parks.

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OFFICIAL RESULTS NATIONAL OPEN MENS/GOVERNOR’S CUP FINAL
1st-Dustin Cuizon-23.3
2nd-Dane Reynolds-20.0
3rd-Andrew Gahan-17.7
4th-Justin Wiegand-16.4
5th-Kekoa Bacalso-12.3
6th-Jeremy Johnston-9.0

OFFICIAL RESULTS NATIONAL OPEN WOMENS/GOVERNOR’S CUP FINAL
1st-Karina Petroni-21.6
2nd-Lelani Gryde-18.6
3rd-Anastasia Ashley-17.8
4th-Kim Mar-16.2
5th-Lauren Sweeney-14.4
6th-Ashley Fagerstaedt-11.3

15-year-old Jeremy Johnston has been dreaming of a National title since his Open Boys days back in 1996. Jeremy’s experience and determination paid off at this year’s event. He claimed his first National title in the Open Juniors division in a power packed final featuring Hank Gaskell, Shane Valiere and TJ Barron from Hawaii and Kilian Garland and Kellen Ellison from California. Jeremy made three finals at the Nationals including the High School Men’s final at the Interscholastic Championships for New Smyrna Beach High School and a super impressive finals appearance in the Open Men’s division. Way to step it up Jeremy! Jeremy’s competitive achievements earned him the 2002 “Kalani Robb Most Inspirational Nationals Performance” award. It should be noted that Kalani’s awesome achievement in 1993 winning both the Open Juniors and Men’s titles is still yet to be matched!

This was 14-year-old Karina Petroni’s rookie year at the Nationals but you would never know it by her performance. Cool and confident, Karina took charge of the Open Women’s final and became one of the youngest women ever to clinch the prestigious title. The new east coast sensation also came runner up to 15-year-old Lelani Gryde in the Explorer Women’s final. Karina and Lelani owned it and they still have a few good years left in the NSSA. 15-year-old Anastasia Ashley took 3rd in both the Open and Explorer finals. Imagine how good these girls will all be by the time they are high school seniors!

Kai Barger, Clay Marzo, Granger Larson, Chas Chidester and Cory Arrambide were tearing Lowers apart and all five made both the Open and Explorer Finals. Kai, 12 of Haiku, Hawaii won the Open Boys for his second consecutive National title (Kai won the Explorer Menehuene in 2001). Tonino Benson 12, of Kailua-Kona made the big island proud winning the Explorer Menehuene division for his first National title. Dane “Air” Zaun capped off his excellent 2002 season making it a title sweep in the Mini Groms. Dane won the Southwest Conference, Western and National titles. Likewise, Dane gave us hint of what is in store in the future, busting a couple of airs in his heats. 11-year-old Dane is the first Mini Grom to go airborne at the Nationals! Look out O-SMAS!

15-year-old Dane Reynolds may have not walked away with any gold medals, but his name will be etched into the elite list of spectacular performances at the Nationals. Not since the Andy Iron’s show of 1996, has anyone electrified the crowd like Dane for the entire weeklong event! Every time Dane paddled out, the spectators looked on in eager anticipation of what he would try next. His turns were beyond vertical, his air attempts landed or not, brought roars of approval from the enthusiastic crowd. Even the judges were amazed. Dane’s talent and moves astonished even ASP WCT judge Tony Sutton, who has judged the best surfers in the world.Dane was the only one in the Open Men’s division to score a perfect 10. He had the opportunity in the Open final to close in on Cuizon, but instead of finishing off a good left with a safe off the top, Dane went for the flight path and nearly pulled a huge air 360. After the dust had settled, it became apparent that Dane’s skill and progressive style clearly widened the gap between him and the competition. The bar has been raised!

-Although no one captured the coveted NSSA “Triple Crown” with victories in all three-championship categories, two surfers and two bodyboarders made all three-division finals. Andrew Gahan and Jeremy Johnston made the High School Mens final at the Interscholastic Championship. Andrew also made the Explorer Juniors and Open Mens finals. Jeremy won the Open Juniors while stepping up an age division and impressively making the Open Men’s final. Josh Singh and Darren Moody made all three finals in the Bodyboard category.

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OTHER NATIONALS HIGHLIGHTS:-Nathaniel Curran didn’t close out his youth career on a three title sweep like he was hoping, but as a consolation he put on a powerful performance in the Explorer Men’s final to clinch his second career National title (Nathaniel won the Menehuene crown in 1997).
-Kilian Garland couldn’t quite match up to the ultra strong performance of Jeremy Johnston or Hank Gaskell in the Open Juniors, but he killed it in the Explorer Boys final. Kilian’s title count now stands at three. He took the Open Mini Groms in 1998 and the Open Boys in 2000 to go with his newly acquired gold in the Explorer Boys.
-Chad Wells clinched his second consecutive National title in Masters and Scott Daley took the gold in Seniors after years in the quest. Patrick Schlick came to Lowers pumped up and ready and MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! After years of hard-core determination and practice, Patrick finally nailed his first National crown in the Super Seniors division and second career National title (Patrick won the Seniors in 1990).

The Nationals seven-day marathon kicked off at Salt Creek with the National Interscholastic Championships. After San Clemente’s lopsided victory at the NSSA State titles in March, it wasn’t a shock that they would follow it up with Extra, Extra, read all about it! Dustin Cuizon and Karina Petroni win the Open divisions and Governor’s Cup. The NSSA Nationals sets all-time attendance records at Lowers and the surf was pumping!

THE NATIONAL INTERSCHOLASTIC CHAMPIONSHIPSThe Nationals seven-day marathon kicked off at Salt Creek with the National Interscholastic Championships. After San Clemente’s lopsided victory at the NSSA State titles in March, it wasn’t a shock that they would follow it up with a 129-89 walloping over runner up and defending champs Carlsbad. Andrew Gahan earned his first National title taking the High School Men’s final for San Clemente. Stephanie Cadman also stepped up for San Clemente and claimed the High School Womens. Justin Hugron took the Longboard title for Edison and Justin Crossman won the Bodyboard for Carlsbad. The victory was San Clemente’s third in four years and fourth career title. The Shorecliffs Middle School team clinched their third National title in as many years edging out State Champion Dwyer of Huntington Beach 92-90. Bernice Ayer of San Clemente finished third so make no bones about. With San Clemente’s two feeder schools at the top of the Middle School standings, San Clemente High School could rule the roost for years to come! UC Santa Barbara came out on top in the collegiate championships with a nail biting 92-88 victory over Mira Costa. Sam Baugh won the Collegiate Men’s crown for USD, Liz Clark took the Womens for UCSB, Eric Mehlberg won the Longboard for Saddleback and Manuel Melian took Bodyboard honors for UCSB.
O-SMAS-THE 2002 NATIONAL AIRSHOW CHAMPIONSHIPSAlthough the waves were in the small 1-3 foot range for the National Interscholastics and Airshow Championships at the Creek, the top 18 youth aerialists in the nation were trained and ready for battle. With 10,000 big ones in scholarship funds on the line, plus an invitation to the big league pro show in Santa Cruz this fall, the junior pilots were launching off anything that resembled a ramp. In the final, Patrick Gudauskas defeated last year’s champ Josh Montgomery and to no one’s surprise. Remember, it was Pat who nearly pulled off a daring frontside flip at the Newport O-SMAS event last February. Incidentally, Patrick’s been on a title roll for the past three years. He has now captured three National titles winning the Middle School Boys in 2000 and the Open Juniors in 2001.

NSSA NATIONALS ON TV!
Don’t miss the National Championships on ESPN2.The ESPN2 TV Airdates for the 2002 NSSA Nationals from Lower Trestles are as follows:Friday-July 12, 2002–6:30am Pacific/9:30am EasternTuesday-July 23,2002–6:30am Pacific/9:30am EasternTuesday-July 23,2002– 9:30pm Pacific/1:30am Eastern on July 24These programs are part oan didn’t close out his youth career on a three title sweep like he was hoping, but as a consolation he put on a powerful performance in the Explorer Men’s final to clinch his second career National title (Nathaniel won the Menehuene crown in 1997).
-Kilian Garland couldn’t quite match up to the ultra strong performance of Jeremy Johnston or Hank Gaskell in the Open Juniors, but he killed it in the Explorer Boys final. Kilian’s title count now stands at three. He took the Open Mini Groms in 1998 and the Open Boys in 2000 to go with his newly acquired gold in the Explorer Boys.
-Chad Wells clinched his second consecutive National title in Masters and Scott Daley took the gold in Seniors after years in the quest. Patrick Schlick came to Lowers pumped up and ready and MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! After years of hard-core determination and practice, Patrick finally nailed his first National crown in the Super Seniors division and second career National title (Patrick won the Seniors in 1990).

The Nationals seven-day marathon kicked off at Salt Creek with the National Interscholastic Championships. After San Clemente’s lopsided victory at the NSSA State titles in March, it wasn’t a shock that they would follow it up with Extra, Extra, read all about it! Dustin Cuizon and Karina Petroni win the Open divisions and Governor’s Cup. The NSSA Nationals sets all-time attendance records at Lowers and the surf was pumping!

THE NATIONAL INTERSCHOLASTIC CHAMPIONSHIPSThe Nationals seven-day marathon kicked off at Salt Creek with the National Interscholastic Championships. After San Clemente’s lopsided victory at the NSSA State titles in March, it wasn’t a shock that they would follow it up with a 129-89 walloping over runner up and defending champs Carlsbad. Andrew Gahan earned his first National title taking the High School Men’s final for San Clemente. Stephanie Cadman also stepped up for San Clemente and claimed the High School Womens. Justin Hugron took the Longboard title for Edison and Justin Crossman won the Bodyboard for Carlsbad. The victory was San Clemente’s third in four years and fourth career title. The Shorecliffs Middle School team clinched their third National title in as many years edging out State Champion Dwyer of Huntington Beach 92-90. Bernice Ayer of San Clemente finished third so make no bones about. With San Clemente’s two feeder schools at the top of the Middle School standings, San Clemente High School could rule the roost for years to come! UC Santa Barbara came out on top in the collegiate championships with a nail biting 92-88 victory over Mira Costa. Sam Baugh won the Collegiate Men’s crown for USD, Liz Clark took the Womens for UCSB, Eric Mehlberg won the Longboard for Saddleback and Manuel Melian took Bodyboard honors for UCSB.
O-SMAS-THE 2002 NATIONAL AIRSHOW CHAMPIONSHIPSAlthough the waves were in the small 1-3 foot range for the National Interscholastics and Airshow Championships at the Creek, the top 18 youth aerialists in the nation were trained and ready for battle. With 10,000 big ones in scholarship funds on the line, plus an invitation to the big league pro show in Santa Cruz this fall, the junior pilots were launching off anything that resembled a ramp. In the final, Patrick Gudauskas defeated last year’s champ Josh Montgomery and to no one’s surprise. Remember, it was Pat who nearly pulled off a daring frontside flip at the Newport O-SMAS event last February. Incidentally, Patrick’s been on a title roll for the past three years. He has now captured three National titles winning the Middle School Boys in 2000 and the Open Juniors in 2001.

NSSA NATIONALS ON TV!
Don’t miss the National Championships on ESPN2.The ESPN2 TV Airdates for the 2002 NSSA Nationals from Lower Trestles are as follows:Friday-July 12, 2002–6:30am Pacific/9:30am EasternTuesday-July 23,2002–6:30am Pacific/9:30am EasternTuesday-July 23,2002– 9:30pm Pacific/1:30am Eastern on July 24These programs are part of the DynoComm-produced X Surf Series. Dates and times are always subject to change.
2002 NSSA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS
NATIONAL OPEN MENS/CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS GOVERNOR’S CUP
1. Dustin Cuizon-Ewa Beach, Hi
2. Dane Reynolds-Ventura, Ca
3. Andrew Gahan-San Clemente, Ca
4. Justin Wiegand-Encinitas, Ca
5. Kekoa Bacalso-Mililani, Hi
6. Jeremy Johnston-New Smyrna Beach, Fla

NATIONAL OPEN WOMENS/CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS GOVERNOR’S CUP
1. Karina Petroni-Atlantic Beach, Fla
2. Lelani Gryde-Kailua Kona, Hi
3. Anastasia Ashley-San Clemente, Ca
4. Kim Mayer-Santa Cruz, Ca
5. Lauren Sweeney-Encinitas, Ca
6. Ashley Fagerstaedt-Kapaa, Hi

OPEN JUNIORS
1. Jeremy Johnston-New Smyrna Beach, Fla
2. Hank Gaskell-Hana, Hi
3. Kilian Garland-Orcutt, Ca
4. Kellen Ellison-Ventura, Ca
5. Shane Valiere-Kilauea,Hi
6. TJ Barron-Haleiwa, Hi

OPEN BOYS
1. Kai Barger-Haiku, Hi
2. Clay Marzo-Lahaina, Hi
3. Granger Larson-Lahaina, Hi
4. Cory Arrambide-Ventura, Ca
5. Kekoa Cazimero-Waimanalo, Hi
6. Chas Chidester-Haleiwa, Hi

OPEN MINI GROMS
1. Dane Zaun-Hollyglen, Ca
2. John John Florence-
3. Andrew Doheny-Newport Beach, Ca
4. Albee Layer-Haiku, Hi
5. Tayler Brothers-Osprey, Fla
6. Kedren Ferrero-Melbourne Beach, Fla

OPEN BODYBOARD
1. Josh Wills-Waianae, Hi
2. Kris Espinoza-Huntington Beach, Ca
3. Josh Singh-San Clemente, Ca
4. Nathan Rubio-Hilo, Hi
5. Darren Moody-Huntington Beach, Ca
6. Shelby Craig-Laguna Niguel, Ca

NATIONAL EXPLORER CHAMPIONSHIPS
EXPLORER MENS
1. Nathaniel Curran-Oxnard, Ca
2. Justin Wiegand-Encinitas, Ca
3. Matt Yates-Encinitas, Ca
4. Mike Maurer-San Clemente
5. Chris Abad-Oceanside, Ca
6. Steven Przybylowski-Huntington Beach, Ca

EXPLORER JUNIORS
1. Dustin Cuizon-Ewa Beach, Hi
2. Dane Reynolds-Ventura, Ca
3. Raymond Reichle-Sunset Beach, Hi
4. Kekoa Bacalso-Mililani, Hi
5. Pat Gudauskas-San Clemente, Ca
6. Andrew Gahan-San Clemente, Ca

EXPLORER BOYS
1. Kilian Garland-Orcutt, Ca
2. Chad Compton-Ventura, Ca
3. Tanner Gudauskas-San Clemente, Ca
4. Alex King-Paia, Hi
5. Nick Rozsa-Oxnard, Ca
6. Brady McKenzie-Yulee, Fla

EXPLORER MENEHUENE
1. Tonino Benson-Kailua Kona, Hi
2. Granger Larson-Lahina, Hi
3. Chas Chidester-Haleiwa, Hi
4. Kai Barger-Haiku, Hi
5. Cory Arrambide-Ventura, Ca
6. Clay Marzo-Lahina, Hi

EXPLORER WOMENS
1. Lelani Gryde-Kailua Kona, Hi
2. Karina Petroni- Atlantic Beach, Fla
3. Anastasia Ashley-San Clemente, Ca
4. Eric Hosseini-Newport Beach, Ca
5. Alana Brennan-Kalaheo, Hi
6. Lilia Boerner-Haiku, Hi

EXPLORER MASTERS
1. Chad Wells-Seal Beach, Ca
2. Arro Young-Ventura, Ca
3. Mike Latronic-Haleiwa, Hi
4. Andrew Valentine-Redondo Beach, Ca
5. Evan Slater-Carlsbad, Ca
6. Chas Wickwire-Seal Beach, Ca

EXPLORER SENIORS
1. Scott Daley-Manhattan Beach, Ca
2. Chas Wickwire-Seal Beach, Ca
3. Mike Latronic-Haleiwa, Hi
4. Keith Bybee-Carlsbad, Ca
5. Robert Weiner-Ventura, Ca
6. Sean Kelly-Oxnard, Ca

EXPLORER SUPER SENIORS
1. Patrick Schlick-La Mirada, Ca
2. Steve Weaver-San Clemente, Ca
3. Scott Lewis-Los Angeles, Ca
4. Bart Yarnold-Oxnard, Ca
5. Dwight Strayer-Malibu, Ca
6. Pat Conway-Woodland Hills, Ca

EXPLORER LONGBOARD1. Taylor Jensen-Coronado, Ca
2. Steve Newton-Capistrano Beach, Ca
3. Justin Hugron-Huntington Beach, Ca
4. Morgan Faulkner-Port Aransas, Tx
5. Dodger Kremel-Huntington Beach, Ca
6. Mike Gillard-Imperial Beach, Ca

EXPLORER BODYBOARD
1. Josh Singh-San Clemente, Ca
2. Darren Moody-Huntington Beach, Ca
3. Josh Wills-Waianae, Hi
4. Adam Cogshall-Ventura, Ca
5. Nathan Rubio-Hilo, Hi
6. Trey Edwards-Ponce Inlet, Fla

NATION