HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Sunday, July 29, 2012) - The 2012 Nike US Open of Surfing returned to Huntington Beach Pier for the men's trials and saw Hawaiian Torrey Meister (Kona, HI), 24, belt the day's highest scores in improved two-to-three foot surf.
The Nike US Open of Surfing men's trials consisted of a 24-man field, with the top four surfers advancing into the men's ASP Prime event.
Torrey Meister built momentum throughout the day. The Big Island talent advanced through Round 1 in a close match-up and roared to life in Round 2, crushing the day's highest heat-total of 16.47 out of 20 and went on to earn the day's highest single-wave score in Round 3, 9.20 out of 10.
"I had two fives and barely made it this morning and I started out kind of nervous," Meister said. "It seems like the waves got a lot better though and I'm so stoked to have made the main event. There were a lot of really talented surfers in the trials. They all surf really well and it feels good to take one more step and make it in to the main event."
Nathan Hedge (AUS), 34, a former elite ASP WCT surfer, was another dominant trialist today. The veteran looked lively on both his forehand and backhand and solidified a victory in each of his three heats to earn his position in the men's main event.
"It's good to come to Huntington and get a warm-up," Hedge said. "Those heats were super tough and it's good to get some momentum going into the main event now."
Hedge, who took a hiatus from competition over the last few years, has been on a roll as of late and is currently launching a full-time comeback.
"I've had a couple of years off and we've just had the rankings change for the back half of the year so I'm going full throttle for the remainder of the year," Hedge said. "After this I'm heading to Europe and just going to be full on."
Also advancing through to the main event were Jean Da Silva (BRA), 22, and Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach, HI), 19.
In addition to men's trials competition, the Women's Nike US Open Pro Junior competition kicked off today and was led by Kauai talents Tatiana Weston-Webb (Kauai, HI), 16, and Leila Hurst (Kauai, HI), 18.
The Women's Nike US Open Pro Junior represents the final stop on the lady's ASP North America Pro Junior Series and plays a vital role in surfers' qualification campaigns for the ASP World Junior Tour.
Tatiana Weston-Webb clinched two heat wins and went on to post the division's top scores including a near-perfect 9.23 as well as a 16.73 out of 20 heat total in her Quarterfinals bout to easily earn a berth in the Women's Nike US Open Pro Junior Semifinals.
"The waves were kind of small in my first heat and I didn't find that many waves, but I was lucky to get a couple of sets in the Quarterfinals," Weston-Webb said. "This is a big event and I'm happy to be competing in front of a big crowd."
Leila Hurst, reigning ASP Women's World Junior Champion, opted to compete in the Women's Nike US Open Pro Junior over the ASP 6-Star event in Peru and secured her position in the Semifinals with a hard fought opening performance.
"I got lucky, I had been watching the conditions and had a totally different game plan, but you've got to just go with the flow out there," Hurst said. "I didn't even go to the women's contest in Peru so I could compete in the US Open because it's good for us girls to be in the contest. It's been really fun and it's always a good event."
Men's ASP Prime Nike US Open of Surfing competition will run tomorrow, beginning at 7:30am local time and will be webcast LIVE via www.usopenofsurfing.com
While the action in the water is guaranteed to provide plenty of entertainment, the Nike US Open of Surfing, owned and operated by IMG, a global leader in sports and entertainment, is part of a major action sports festival that includes skateboarding, music, art and more.
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NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING TRIALS ROUND OF 100 (1st and 2nd advance to main event):
Heat 1: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 10.34, Jean Da Silva (BRA) 9.87, Conner Coffin (USA) 8.90, Chris Waring (USA) 8.90
Heat 2: Keanu Asing (HAW) 15.80, Torrey Meister (HAW) 15.50, Michael Dunphy (USA) 15.04, Perth Standlick (AUS) 10.40
NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING TRIALS ROUND OF 108:
Heat 1: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 14.50, Chris Waring (USA) 13.33, Peter Devries (CAN) 12.27, Shane Beschen (USA) 9.03
Heat 2: Conner Coffin (USA) 14.23, Jean Da Silva (BRA) 12.33, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 9.90, Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 6.70
Heat 3: Torrey Meister (HAW) 16.47, Keanu Asing (HAW) 13.33, Ian Crane (USA) 12.90, Jack Robinson (AUS) 11.43
Heat 4: Michael Dunphy (USA) 12.84, Perth Standlick (AUS) 9.04, Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 7.17, Carlos Munoz (CRI) 5.04
NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING TRIALS ROUND OF 124:
Heat 1: Chris Waring (USA) 8.60, Jean Da Silva (BRA) 8.07, Eric Geiselman (USA) 8.00, Makai McNamara (HAW) 7.47
Heat 2: Nathan Hedge (AUS) 12.10, Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) 10.34, Nic Von Rupp (DEU) 9.73, Nic Hdez (USA) 8.17
Heat 3: Conner Coffin (USA) 14.67, Shane Beschen (USA) 9.43, Gabriel Villaran (PER) 9.40, Dane Zaun (USA) 7.04
Heat 4: Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 12.66, Pete Devries (CAN) 12.17, Koa Smith (HAW) 11.17, Chris Friend (AUS) 3.17
Heat 5: Jack Robinson (AUS) 10.37, Perth Standlick (AUS) 8.26, Dege O'Connell (HAW) 7.84, Cory Arrambide (USA) 7.80
Heat 6: Ian Crane (USA) 13.16, Michael Dunphy (USA) 13.16, Luke Davis (USA) 5.93, Rudy Palmboom (ZAF) 5.57
Heat 7: Flavio Nakagima (BRA) 10.17, Torrey Meister (HAW) 10.17, Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 9.86, Brad Ettinger (USA) 3.77
Heat 8: Carlos Munoz (CRI) 13.77, Keanu Asing (HAW) 11.20, Matt Pagan (USA) 7.94, Dylan Goodale (HAW) 6.67
NIKE WOMEN'S US OPEN PRO JUNIOR QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Leila Hurst (HAW) 15.33, Chandler Parr (USA) 13.67, Dax McGill (HAW) 12.53, Catherine Clark (USA) 9.20
QF 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 16.73, Quincy Davis (USA) 11.84, Natsuki Suda (JPN) 6.00, Taylor Pitz (USA) 3.04
QF 3: Kaleigh Gilchrist (USA) 10.24, Frankie Harrer (USA) 8.84, Nage Melemed (HAW) 8.57, Alexa Frantz (USA) 7.27
QF 4: Bailey Nagy (USA) 11.66, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.87, Meah Collins (USA) 8.83, Brianna Cope (HAW) 6.11
NIKE WOMEN'S US OPEN PRO JUNIOR ROUND OF 24 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Chandler Parr (AUS) 11.27, Natsuki Suda (JPN) 9.57, Alisha Gonsalvez (USA) 7.23, Ellie Jean-Coffee (AUS) 5.80
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.97, Catherine Clark (USA) 8.90, Shelby Detmers (USA) 6.93, Catherine Clark (USA) 8.90
Heat 3: Frankie Harrer (USA) 10.67, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.16, Chelsea Ruett (BRB) 5.50, Jasset Umbel (USA) 4.87
Heat 4: Brianna Cope (HAW) 14.14, Alexa Frantz (USA) 7.27, Haley Watson (USA) 6.64, Filippa Ferrara (USA) 2.00