OCEANSIDE, California– The opening day of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-4 Supergirl Pro Junior was treated to some of the most incendiary performances of the season as the region’s top junior girls battled it out in rippable two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves in Oceanside.
Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana, CA), 16, winner of last month’s ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 6-Star Hurley U.S. Open of Surfing and current No. 1 on the ASP North America Women’s ratings, continued her sensational form, netting the event’s highest single-wave score and heat total en route to a Final’s berth tomorrow.
“I’m just out there having fun and I think the waves are picking up,” Conlogue said. “This afternoon, I got a really good left – it was probably the biggest wave I’d seen all day – and I was able to hit it pretty well two times. I feel like I’m in a good spot at the moment. I feel fit and my boards are working really well.”
Conlogue has logged one victory after another this season and the young Californian is continuing to make a big impression on the international scene at the Supergirl Pro Junior.
“I’ve had really good support from my family and I think that’s been the most important thing,” Conlogue said. “My school has really been backing me and I am finishing my senior year this year. Everything is flowing and I feel really focused. I just think the next generation is coming on really strong. This past generation has shown us what can be accomplished and we’re trying to take it to the next level.”
Malia Manuel (Kauai, HI), 16, 2008 U.S. Open of Surfing Champion, posted an impressive Quarterfinal victory this morning before advancing in second behind Conlogue in this afternoon’s Semifinal. Although, posting solid scores in both heats, Manuel knows she’ll have to step it up in tomorrow’s Supergirl Pro Junior Final.
“I was a bit out of rhythm this afternoon so hopefully I can surf a bit better in tomorrow’s Final,” Manuel said. “It’s such an awesome event and the prize money is really good. Hopefully the waves hold up and I’m looking forward to being in the Final with whoever.”
Nikita Robb (Durban, ZAF), 20, the only international surfer competing in this season’s Supergirl Pro Junior, was in fierce form on her forehand today. The young goofy-footer’s dominance on the running lefthanders easily advanced her through to tomorrow’s Final.
“The girls in the Final are insane surfers,” Robb said. “I’m stoked to be there as it’s a good event to come and surf. It’s great to see SG back women’s surfing and throw down some really substantial prize money.”
Sage Erickson (Ojai, CA), 18, current No. 2 on the ASP North America Pro Junior ratings, was another major standout throughout today’s action, winning both her Quarterfinal and Semifinal heats.
“I’m really excited to be in the Final,” Erickson said. “Courtney (Conlogue) is surfing amazing. The new generation is coming on really fast and everyone really pushed one another. We’re all really close.”
Quarterfinals – 16 surfers remain (1st and 2nd advance)
QF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.00, Rachel Harris (USA) 7.90, Bo Stanley (USA) 7.65, Erika Cook (USA) 6.75
QF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 17.25, Taylor Pitz (USA) 10.25, Sara Taylor (USA) 10.10, Kaleigh Gilchrist (USA,) 7.10
QF 3: Sage Erickson (USA) 13.00, Nikita Robb (ZAF) 10.55, Natalie Anzivino (USA) 6.65, Lani Doherty (USA) 6.00
QF 4: Jasset Umbel (USA) 9.65, Jenna Balester (USA) 9.00, Meah Collins (USA) 8.25, Demi Boelsterli (USA) 5.00