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Santa Cruz native John Mel, who now lives in Newport Beach, was runner-up to Eithan Osborne in the Surfing America Prime West series stop at T Street in San Clemente on Dec. 8-9.

Mel won both his first-round heat and semifinal heat to advance to the boys 14-and-under final, where he scored a two-wave point total of 14.34. Osborne scored an even 15 for the win.

In earlier heats, Mel — son of pro big wave surfer Pete Mel — dominated. He scored 13.44 points in his first heat, where Nick Marshall was second with 9.60. And Mel scored 11.86 points in the semis, where Zach McCormick was second with 9.97.

Mel also competed in the boys 16U division, where he again won his first heat, but he was eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Nic H’dez, another Santa Cruz native, had a similar story, winning his first heat in the boys 18U division, but suffering elimination in the quarters.

In the boys 14U standings, Mel is in 13th place, and in the boys 18U standings, H’dez is in second.

The next Surfing America Prime West series stop is scheduled for Santa Cruz on Jan. 20-12 [a Sunday and Monday] at Steamer Lane.

Results in this report are from the Surfing America website.

Two surfing up-and-comers with Santa Cruz ties found success in shoulder- to head-high waves at the 16th annual NSSA West Coast Championships, which were held at the Huntington Beach Pier over the weekend.

Newport Beach’s John Mel, a native Santa Cruzan and son of big wave world champ Peter Mel, was a double winner. He dominated the open boys division, scoring 16.17 points based on his top two wave scores — which are calculated on a 10-point scale — in the final heat. Ryland Rubens of Pacific Beach finished runner-up with 11.60 points, Eithan Osborne of Ventura was third [10.17] and Tyler Gunter of Newport Beach was fourth [9.66].

Mel also ripped through the final heat in the menehuene explorer division for 14.67 points, topping runner-up Gunter [12.33] and third-place finisher Rubens [9.77]. Sean Woods of Thousand Oaks was fourth [9.17], Dylan Hord of Huntington Beach was fifth [4.66] and Nick Marshall of Encinitas was sixth [4.40].

A press release on the National Scholastic Surfing Association’s website, described 12-year-old Mel as owning Huntington Beach’s “infamous southside sandbar peaks.”

Mel also finished fourth in the explorer boys division final with 6.67 points to winner Griffin Colapinto’s 15.66. Colapinto is from San Clemente.

Nic H’dez was the sole other surfer with Santa Cruz ties in the finals. The area resident won the open juniors by scoring 12.74 points to eke out a win over Colapinto, who scored 11.94 points. Takumi Yasui of Saitama, Japan, placed third [11.33] and Hiroto Oohara of Chiba, Japan, placed fourth [10.84].

“…Hdez made a big statement in this event taking his first title in a major NSSA championship event,” the NSSA press release said.

The next event in the eight-part series is the NSSA National Interscholastic Championships, which are scheduled for June 16-18 at Salt Creek in Dana Point. Entries are due June 1.

Results included in this report are from the NSSA website.

– Christina Gullickson, on Twitter @CGullTweets

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