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Gorgeous day, gorgeous results for young OC surfers
Surfers from up and down the coast couldn't have asked for a more gorgeous winter day – or cleaner surf – than they experienced in the final rounds Sunday of a two-day National Scholastic Surfing Association open contest at Salt Creek Beach Park in Dana Point.
"Offshore winds in February are very unusual; it's gorgeous," said NSSA executive director Janice Aragon. "It's a beautiful weekend."
Three of the six divisions of the contest produced San Clemente winners – Griffin Colapinto in juniors, Malia Osterkamp in girls and Kade Matson in mini-groms. Coming close, as division runners-up, were Erik Weissinger of Huntington Beach, Tia Blanco of San Clemente and Cole Houshmand of San Clemente.
Aragon said a number of local standouts have been shining this year, looking good heading into regional finals, including San Clemente's Kevin Schulz, Colapinto and Matson, who is undefeated in his southwest explorer division.
"He's had quite a year this year," Aragon said.
The level of talent coming out of the younger generation is mind-blowing, she said.
"They just keep getting better and better, and more progressive," she said. "They are fearless, the stuff they are pulling now is pretty phenomenal – especially when it comes to the progressive stuff. They really push each other a lot. They just go for broke."
San Clemente's Tia Blanco had a strong start to the day and made it to the women's final, where she took second spot.
"It's just really fun down here; NSSA is putting on a great contest. I'm stoked to be a part of it," said Blanco, 15. "NSSA is a huge part of my life; I feel like there's a contest every weekend. It's great training for the next level."
The two-day contest was the eighth of 10 stops that began in September on the NSSA's Open Season tour. The next event is March 2-3 at Ventura.
1. Thelen Worrell-Malibu 13.84
2. Jake Marshall-Encinitas 12.13
3. Kevin Schulz-San Clemente 7.43
4. Austin Finley-San Diego 6.40
1. Griffin Colapinto-San Clemente 15.33
2. Thelen Worrell-Malibu 14.83
3. Micky Clarke-Ventura 11.76
4. Jake Marshall-Encinitas 7.84
1. Nick Marshall-Encinitas 18.17
2. Cole Houshmand-San Clemente 16.73
3. Eithan Osborne-Ventura 10.33
4. Crosby Colapinto-San Clemente 2.50
OPEN MINI GROMS
1. Kade Matson-San Clemente 12.17
2. Erik Weissinger-Huntington Beach 6.53
3. Sebastian Mendes-Agoura Hills 5.00
4. Taro Watanabe-Malibu 0.00
1. Frankie Harrer-Malibu 14.50
2. Tia Blanco-San Clemente 10.83
3. Kylie Loveland-Carlsbad 5.86
4. Malia Osterkamp-San Clemente 5.40
1. Malia Osterkamp-San Clemente 7.43
2. Jada Galland-Rancho Santa Fe 4.07
3. Tiare Thompson-La Jolla 3.53
4. Sidney Johnson-Carlsbad 1.77
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