This past weekend at Jiquiliste Beach in Nicaragua the Surfing America PacSun USA Junior Surf Team posted the best results since Surfing America was founded! The team won a Team Silver Medal in the Aloha Cup Team Relay, Overall Team Bronze Medal, 2 Individual Bronze Medals and an Individual Copper.
“We have always had the talent to do well, but what has been missing in the past was the sense of ‘TEAM.’” New coaches Ryan Simmons and Micah Byrne set out last June to build a cohesive unit out of our individual talent,” said Surfing America executive director, Greg Cruse. “In the past we have done very well through the initial days of competition and then have ‘the bad day’ where a bunch of our surfers get knocked out of the qualifying rounds and have lost almost immediately in the repechage rounds. This year the kids were supporting each other all the way through, keeping each other’s heads in the game and on task, and buoying each other into the later rounds. For the first time since 2004, we had 3 surfers in the finals!”
These results, and the number of young ASP World Tour surfers coming through our system, validate that the Surfing America Program is working to raise the bar in the USA. The Surfing America Prime series is a series of 9 events that give Junior Surfers the opportunities to compete against the best surfers in the world. ASP/ISA Judges, computer scoring, 20 minute 4 person heats, are prepping these kids for ISA, Junior Pro and WQS events. Surfing America has been a developmental program for potential young USA Surf Team members with a number of training sessions and camps. Nutrition, strength, cardio and flexibility training custom tailored to each team member by Surfing America Medical Director, and DSC Performance Training founder, Kevyn Dean, have kept the team healthy and given them the stamina to endure the 9 day ISA marathon.
“I was super stoked to see the team develop over the year,” said head coach, Ryan Simmons. “These kids went from being adversaries in their regional and Junior Pro competitions, to being friends and having each others backs. The competition was tough and a grind,” continued Simmons, “but these kids all had a great time and kept the spirits high throughout. The kids were great representatives of our country and were bright and articulate in their post heat interviews. They should all be proud of their performance.”
The Silver medal went to the USA Aloha Cup Team featuring surfers, Thelen McKinna-Worrell, Colin Moran, Lulu Erkeneff, Kevin Schulz and Cam Richards.
Individual medalist were:
Jake Marshall – Bronze – Boys U16
Nikki Viesins – Bronze – Girls U18
Frankie Harrer – Copper – Girls U16
The most significant factor of these results was they got them in the largest field ever for an ISA World Junior Championships with 286 competitors and 30 countries vs. 177 competitors from 24 countries in 2004 Tahiti, the next best results.
“Ryan and I were talking last night and we have both learned a lot at this event,” said assistant coach Micah Byrne. “We will be putting what we learned to work with the 2014 team and are coming back with a Team Gold Medal as our goal!
The complete PacSun USA Jr. Surf Team Travel Squad:
Cam Richards – Myrtle Beach, SC
Parker Coffin – Santa Barbara, CA
Colin Moran – Costa Mesa, CA
Kevin Schulz – San Clemente, CA
Jake Davis – Capistrano Beach, CA
Jake Marshall – Encinitas, CA
Colt Ward – San Clemente, CA
Griffin Colapinto – San Clemente, CA
Thelen McKinna-Worrell – Malibu, CA
Nikki Viesins – Indialantic, FL
Lulu Erkeneff – Dana Point, CA
Tia Blanco – San Clemente, CA
Frankie Harrer – Malibu, CA
Ryan Simmons – Costa Mesa, CA
Micah Byrne – Huntington Beach, CA
Kevyn Dean – Medical Director – Huntington Beach, CA
Justin Jung – Videographer – San Clemente, CA
Greg Cruse – Team Manager – Surfing America Executive Director – San Clemente, CA