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Capitola’s Shaun Burrell and the UC San Diego surf team won the National Scholastic Surfing Association’s Southwest College event No. 2 the weekend of Nov. 17-18 for what was the team’s first victory in six years, according to the NSSA Facebook page.

UCSD scored 129 points to San Diego State’s 127 points, and UCSD’s Mikey Ciaramella won all of his heats, taking the men’s division win, according to the NSSA Facebook page.

Full results have not yet been released.

Santa Cruz resident AJ Menna won the mini grom division of the National Scholastic Surfing Association‘s Northwest Conference opener in 2-4 foot waves at Morro Rock in Morro Bay on Oct. 14, according to results posted on the NSSA website late last week.

Menna was followed by Ventura’s Jabe Swierkocki in second place and Santa Cruz’s Santiago Hart in third place. Menna was the sole winner from Santa Cruz County, but several other Santa Cruz surfers did medal.

Nic H’dez placed second and Wyatt Barrabee placed third in the open men’s division, Sam Coffey placed second in the open boys division, and Autumn Hays, Allison Menna, and Devon Powers went 2-3-4 in the open girls division.

The next Northwest Conference event is scheduled for Dec. 15 at  Pleasure Point.

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

Santa Cruz native John Mel won the boys open division of the National Scholastic Surfing Association’s Southwest Conference at the season finale, clinching the title, at the Huntington Beach Pier on Saturday and Sunday.

Named one of the top performers of the competition, Mel — who now lives in Newport Beach — scored 12.50 points in the final to beat runner-up Cole Houshmand of San Clemente [8.77], third-place finisher Eithan Osborne of Ventura [8.50] and fourth-place finisher Ryland Rubens of Pacific Beach [8.30].

Earlier, Mel’s stellar surfing put his own stamp on the event, which had shoulder to overhead peaks:

John Mel put on a super heat in his Open Boys quarterfinal posting the highest combined total of the event (18.93) with two wave scores of 9.93 and a 9.00. Mel also claimed his fifth Open Boys victory of the season and handily secured the conference title.

– NSSA press release

Results in this report are from the NSSA website.

The Northwest Conference championships, which have more NorCal surfers with Santa Cruz County connections, are scheduled for May 17-20 at the Southside Pier in Huntington Beach. Today is the last day to apply for entry.

– Christina Gullickson, on Twitter @CGullTweets

Santa Cruz’s Tyler Gottsegen placed third in Part 1 of the NSSA’s Gold Coast Explorer conference doubleheader last weekend in Ventura, according to results posted today on the association’s website.

Gottsegen finished just behind winner Dryden Brown of Santa Barbara and runner-up Tim Healy of Summerland in the explorer men’s division at the C Street Pipe break in waist- to chest-high waves on Saturday. Sunday, Gottsegen followed that up with a fourth-place finish in the same division. Sunday’s explorer men’s winner was Healy, with Thousand Oaks’ Kyle Woods and Brown coming in third and fourth, respectively.

The next National Scholastic Surfing Association Gold Coast Explorer event (and conference finale) is scheduled for March 17 at the Pismo Beach Pier.

– Christina Gullickson, CGullTweets on Twitter

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