The beginning of this year’s Nationals started with the school championships. The first finals in the Explorer side of things were being set today and the favorites were definitely filling the slots. In the men’s final, it’s Sean Louden, Kuilee Murphy (who’s been ripping the whole week), Matt Keenan (who got his wrist ripped when Matt King fell on him), Bart Templeman, Austin Ware, and Matt Gilligan. [IMAGE 2]The juniors include Timmy Reyes, Joel Centeio, Sean Moody, Che Stang, Anthony Petruso, and Matt King. Wow!
Today was the first day for the boys and women’s divisions. The level of talent in these divisions just seems to get better and better. Dustin Cuizon and Melanie Bartels are perfect examples.
Melanie’s surfing is unbelievable. The announcer pronounced her as one of the top women surfers in the world and I couldn’t agree more. She definitely has a great style and looks incredibly smooth on her turns. [IMAGE 3]Dustin is Dustin. His performance this morning was unstoppable. As impossible as it seems, his surfing’s getting better and better. Dustin joins what I feel is the all-star final for years to come with Travis Mellem, Nathaniel Carroll, Alex Parker, Kekoa Bacalso, and T.J. Barron.
Speaking of T.J. I caught him right after his semifinal heat in the middle of eating his hot dog. Here’s a quick interview.-AC