Prime Time Dos:
Dane Zaun And Courtney Conlogue Take WSA Prime Event 2 At Churches – By Ryan Brower
Heading up the Southern California coast from DMJ's, the location of the first Western Surfing Association (WSA) Prime event on September 27-28 (for coverage on this contest head here), Camp Pendleton spans to the east and the vast Pacific to the west. After half an hour you come to one of the most famed surf spots in all of SoCal, Trestles, which was the site for the second of six WSA Prime contests this season.
"We want the judging to be fair and consistent. And we also want to do our best to hold the events at the best places possible," said WSA's Greg Cruse.
With that, the WSA served up another Prime event at a premier spot. This one being held at Churches this past Saturday, October 11th in wind-blown two to three foot surf. Due to a separate contest being held on Sunday at the break, the WSA used double beaching and the organization of its crew to complete the entire contest in one day.
The six Prime events are setting a path for advancement to the USA Championships, with only the top four events for each surfer being factored in. So missing an event isn't necessarily going to hinder a chance at the team.
Having been in France for the Quiksilver King Of The Groms International Finals for the DMJ's event, Kolohe Andino came into the Churches event raring to go and put up a big showing. "Brother" didn't disappoint and surfing solid the entire morning got him a slot into the final.
This Boys U16 final came down to the Thorne brothers (Taylor and Jared), Kolohe, and Ian Crane battling it out. This heat was almost too close to count, as the difference between first place and last place was a meager .93 point. Needless to say, it was Thorne brother Taylor who ended up taking the win, as well as the ratings lead.
And what’s it like having a brother duel in a heat you ask: “It definitely makes us more competitive,” says Taylor. “He beat me the heat before the finals, but i didn’t want to lose to him two times in a row. I think it motivated me a lot.”
On the girl's side of things, it was Courtney Conlogue in the U18 division once again setting her dominance as one of the top female amateur surfers in North America. She's been on a tear since winning Nationals earlier this year, and things don't look to be slowing down for the young Californian. “This being the first year for this event, you have to excel in your ratings to show you have what the team needs,” Courtney says.
Though Lakey Peterson made things a lot harder for Courtney this time around, Courtney still ended up ousting her good friend by .46 point in the final once again. So going into the third Prime event (to be held at Oceanside Harbor on December 6th), Courtney's lead over the Lakey is only 750 points. It’s still open at this point, and Courtney knows this: “This is only two events of many and the competition is getting better and learning new strategies.”
In the Boys U18 division there were two PacSun USA Surf Team members who were looking to come back strong after early exits at the DMJ's event. Dane Zaun and Chase Wilson both bounced back and put up great showings, both making it to the finals at Churches.
"I knew I needed to get a good result," said Zaun, who ended up taking the win at Churches. "I never really had a crazy heat at the contest, just kept winning my heats with a couple solid scores. Did that all the way to the final."
Both the surfers and the WSA crew running the contests have raised the bar of competition at these Prime events. This is making for an exhilarating path to the USA Championships, as everyone knows the importance at the Primes. "For every kid, probably the biggest thing you could do is be on the USA Surf Team. So every kid down at the WSA's is trying their hardest to make a statement in front of Surfing America and everybody that works there."
Final Results For The PacSun WSA Prime 2008 At Churches:
Boys Under 18
1. Dane Zaun
2. Christian Arballo
3. Chase Wilson
4. Victor Done
Boys Under 16
1. Taylor Thorne
2. Kolohe Andino
3. Jared Thorne
4. Ian Crane
Boys Under 14
1. Kanoa Igarashi
2. Colin Moran
3. Jacob Davis
4. Jake Marshall
Girls Under 18
1. Courtney Conlogue
2. Lakey Peterson
3. Taylor Pitz
4. Cassidy Wehsener
Girls Under 16
1. Melina Smith
2. Anise Guzman
3. Emmy Merrill
4. Catherine Clark
For full ratings check out: WSA Prime Ratings
Next event Oceanside Harbor, South Jetty December 6th.