Surfers competing in the ASP PRIME US Open of Surfing are out to establish themselves as the globe's finest talent on the ASP World Ranking while ASP Pro Junior competitors are looking to find their way atop their regional ratings to qualify for the ASP World Junior Tour.
Luke Davis (Capistrano Beach, CA), 17, put in an impressive performance today to advance into the US Open of Surfing main event after taking out his Round of 32 ASP Pro Junior heat. The young Californian defeated former ASP Dream Tour surfer Ben Bourgeois (Wrightsville Beach, NC), 31, and progressive standout Clay Marzo (Maui, HI), 21, in the trials to advance through to the Round of 128 of the men's main event.
"I feel really good," Davis said. "It was a long day and that last heat was really hard. I'm just stoked that those waves came through at the end and I won my Pro Junior heat as well, so it's been a pretty good day."
Davis, who is a constant standout on the ASP Pro Junior rankings, is hungry to capitalize on the priceless ratings points on offer at this year's ASP PRIME event to help his ASP World Ranking.
"I did one major event last year, but didn't do well so hopefully I can do well out here," Davis said. "Getting into this event is definitely good for me. I want to start doing more events to help my World Ranking, especially next year."
Ola Eleogram (Hana, HI), 24, was another standout in today's US Open Trials. The talented regular-footer honed into the peaky lefthanders breaking into South Huntington Beach Pier to take out three consecutive heat victories to advance into the main event.
"I felt really good out there and I just stuck to the lefts all day," Eleogram said. "I'm stoked to be in the main event. I had a bad start to the year and only did a couple of events. I fell short of making it into the main event, but I'm stoked that I got into the trials and had the chance to make it through."
Mike Losness (San Clemente, CA), 29, who finished 3rd at the US Open in 2006, stylishly pushed into the main event with massive fins-out maneuvers and hopes he can continue to tear through the rounds.
"This is the one event that I've wanted to win since I was a kid," Losness said. "I finished in the Semifinals back in 2006 and I don't know if that was the best I'll ever do in this event, maybe this year is a second chance. I don't know."
Kolohe Andino (San Clemente, CA), 16, started strong in his Round of 32 ASP Grade-2 US Open Junior Pro heat by smashing one of the highest single wave scores of the day with a variety of carves and tail drifting turns to the tune of an 8.33 out of 10 to take out his stacked opening round heat over current ASP North America Pro Junior Series ratings leader Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, FL), 16, who advanced behind Andino in second.
"I saw that I had Evan (Geiselman) in my heat and I was kind of worried because he's been ripping and he's been beating me lately too," Andino said. "People say that we're rivals, but we're actually best friends too. I just wanted to get a really quick start because I was really nervous. I got one and started getting it going so that was nice."
Andino, who is currently sitting in the No. 3 position on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, is in a comfortable position to qualify for the ASP World Junior Tour with his combined effort on the ASP Men's World Ranking and feels his solid standing has relieved a great deal of pressure entering the US Open Junior Pro.
"I'm pretty comfortable with where I'm sitting in the ratings, so I'm feeling pretty confident," Andino said. "I'm not worried about making World's like some of the other kids because this is the last event. Being comfortable and being calm is a huge thing, so I feel good. Also, I have two new boards that work amazing so I'm stoked."
Granger Larsen (Lahaina, HI), 20, marched to an impressive come-from-behind win by finding his way into a crucial wave in the dying seconds of his heat on the way to clinching the highest heat total of the men's ASP Pro Junior competition, 14.76 out of 20, to advance through to the Quarterfinals.
"In the beginning of the heat I had nothing the whole time," Larsen said. "I was freaked out, but no one had big scores so I knew I was still in it. I had that one towards the pier and got a 7.5 and paddled back out and got another 7 in the last 20 seconds and ended up winning the heat. It was a good heat, I was psyched."
The Maui native topped international threat Alejo Muniz (Santa Catarina, BRA), 20, who advanced in second, in form local Quinn McCrystal (Huntington Beach, CA), 20, and current ASP North America Pro Junior No. 2 Keanu Asing (Ewa Beach, HI), 17, and knows the that navigating through the talented global draw in this year's US Open Junior Pro will continue to be a serious project.
"Alejo (Muniz) was ripping," Larsen said. "The Brazilians here (Huntington) are gnarly. I've surfed against Alejo a million times and we're always beating each other. I'm stoked to get him back again. He beat me at World Juniors (ASP World Junior Championships) in the Quarterfinals, so I'm stoked to beat him again."
Finalists were decided today as well for the women's ASP Grade-2 US Open Junior Pro with reigning ASP World Junior Champion Laura Enever (AUS), 18, current ASP Women's World Tour campaigner Coco Ho (North Shore, HI), 19, defending event champion Malia Manuel (Kauai, HI), 16, and Californian Sage Erickson (Ventura, CA), 19, all earning the right to battle for this year's title.
Tomorrow's action will see the ASP 6-Star Women's US Open of Surfing take to the water at 7:30am local time.
The US Open of Surfing runs from July 31 through August 8, 2010 and will begin LIVE webcast on Tuesday, August 3 via http://usopenofsurfing.com.
For complimentary high-res photos and video downloads log on to http://usopenofsurfing.com/downloads.
US Open of Surfing Trials Round of 132 Results:
Heat 1: Ola Eleogram (HAW) 9.63, Luke Davis (USA) 7.43, Richard Christie (NZL) 4.60, Jason Shibata (HAW) 3.10
Heat 2: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 15.84, Mike Losness (USA) 10.93, Ricky Whitlock (USA) 10.47, Kyle Knox (USA) 4.50
US Open of Surfing Trials Round of 140 Results:
Heat 1: Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 12.50, Richard Christie (NZL) 11.66, Sterling Spencer (USA) 6.00, Matt Pagan (USA) 5.73
Heat 2: Luke Davis (USA) 12.36, Jason Shibata (HAW) 8.90, Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 7.20, Clay Marzo (HAW) 1.56
Heat 3: Kyle Knox (USA) 16.33, Mike Losness (USA) 14.10, Hank Gaskell (HAW) 10.07, Anthony Petruso (USA) 10.04
Heat 4: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 11.40, Ricky Whitlock (USA) 10.66, Jano Belo (BRA) 9.56, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 6.90
US Open of Surfing Trials Round of 156:
Heat 1: Sterling Spencer (USA) 11.17, Clay Marzo (HAW) 9.43, Gustavo Fernandez (BRA) 7.43, Jay Davies (AUS) 7.24
Heat 2: Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 13.87, Luke Davis (USA) 11.73, Ben Bourgeois (USA) 11.66, Ryah Arthur (USA) 9.17
Heat 3: Jason Shbata (HAW) 10.50, Matt Pagan (USA) 8.86, Kevin Sullivan (HAW) 8.27, Chad Compton (USA) 6.80
Heat 4: Makuakai Rothman (HAW) 11.10, Richard Christie (NZL) 9.64, Jesse Heilman (USA) 8.47, Angelo Lozano (MEX) 7.60
Heat 5: Kyle Knox (USA) 12.16, Jano Balo (BRA) 11.06, Jason Harris (USA) 10.66, Gavin Gillette (HAW) 4.27
Heat 6: Mike Losness (USA) 12.83, Dylan Southworth (MEX) 10.74, Casey Brown (HAW) 9.56, Bruno Rodrigues (BRA) 5.94
Heat 7: Ricky Whitlock (USA) 11.26, Anthony Petruso (USA) 10.20, Teppei Tajima (JPN) 9.27, Andrew Doheny (USA) 8.84
Heat 8: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 12.00, Hank Gaskell (HAW) 11.67, Brent Reilly (USA) 6.77, Darrell Goodrum (USA) 6.73
US Open Junior Pro Round of 32 Results:
Heat 1: Nat Young (USA) 12.37, Cooper Chapman (AUS) 10.67, Tanner Hendrickson (HAW) 10.43, Alex Smith (HAW) 8.20
Heat 2: Kolohe Andino (USA) 13.83, Evan Geiselman (USA) 9.93, Kealamakia Naihe (HAW) 5.87, Taylor Clark (USA) 2.50
Heat 3: Kiron Jabour (HAW) 11.50, John John Florence (HAW) 7.84, Brent Reilly (USA) 7.60, Klye McGeary (USA) 5.13
Heat 4: Andrew Doheny (USA) 12.33, Ian Crane (USA) 9.40, Colton Larson (USA) 9.07, Dege O'Connell (HAW) 8.83
Heat 5: Granger Larsen (HAW) 14.76, Alejo Muniz (BRA) 14.33, Quinn McCrystal (USA) 13.76, Keanu Asing (HAW) 4.00
Heat 6: Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.34, Fisher Heverly (USA) 11.13, Michael Dunphy (USA) 7.93, Conner Coffin (USA) 7.10
Heat 7: Jacob Halstead (USA) 11.76, Evan Thompson (USA) 10.50, Albee Layer (HAW) 8.87, Kaimana Jaquias (HAW) 5.00
Heat 8: Luke Davis (USA) 14.34, Chase Wilson (USA) 13.40, Victor Done (USA) 8.43, Taylor Brothers (USA) 5.90
US Open Junior Pro Women's Semifinals Results:
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.00, Sage Erickson (USA) 10.43, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 10.43, Sarah Baum (ZAF) 3.44
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 15.10, Laura Enever (AUS) 14.70, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.73, Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.10
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