Payne, Alms to lead Isle surfers at nationals
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Dayton Morinaga
Hawai'i's top scholastic surfers are now warmed up for the rest of the nation.
The final day of the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) Hawaiian Regional Championships was held yesterday in 1- to 2-foot waves at Hale'iwa Ali'i Beach.
The top performers will represent Hawai'i at the NSSA National Championships in June at San Clemente, Calif.
"There's so much talent here," said David Riddle, who coaches several of the Hawai'i surfers. "And the kids have proven that they can go to nationals and compete with anybody."
Maui surfers Dusty Payne and Paige Alms were among the standouts yesterday.
Payne won the open men division, which is considered the top division for males.
"The waves were kind of weak," said Payne, who is 17 and a junior at Thompson Academy. "But we might get junk waves at the nationals, so it gets us ready."
Alms won the open women division, which is the top division for females.
"In my opinion, the competition here is harder than at nationals," said Alms, who is 18 and a senior at King Kekaulike.
Hawai'i surfers combined to win 11 divisions at last year's national championships.
"You can't compare here to anywhere else in the world," Kaua'i's Alex Smith said. "Every heat is hard, but that's what helps us. When we go to the nationals, we're all making the finals."
Smith surfed in four finals yesterday, winning the explorer men division.
Other standouts included Ezekiel Lau (won two divisions), Cedric Caires, (won two divisions) and Carissa Moore, (won one division and placed second in two others).
The contest was on hold for one month because of contaminated water near the Ala Wai Canal. It was originally scheduled to run at Kewalo Basin, but was moved to Hale'iwa for safety purposes.
Men: 1, Dusty Payne. 2, Nathan Rex. 3, Levi Gonzales. 4, Alex Smith. 5, Alex King. Women: 1, Paige Alms. 2, Carissa Moore. 3, Malia Manuel. 4, Coco Ho. 5, Leila Hurst. 6, Nage Melamed. Boys: 1, Ezekiel Lau. 2, David Brand. 3, Keanu Asing. 4, Koa Smith. 5, Matty Costa. Juniors: 1, Levi Gonzales. 2, Dylan Melamed. 3, Billy Kemper. 4, Kiron Jabour. 5, Aaron Swanson. 6, Alex Smith. Mini-grom: 1, Kai Oli Kahokuloa 2, Koa Smith. 3, Makai McNamara. 4, Lahikiola Minamishin. 5, Benji Brand. 6, Imaikalani DeVault. Longboard: 1, Cedric Caires. 2, Kaimana Beauford. 3, Megan Apo. 4, Cyrus Crosken. Airshow: 1, Nathan Rex. 2, Dylan Goodale. 3, Albee Layer. Mini-airshow: 1, Benji Brand. 2, Lahikiola Minamishin. 3, K. Galtes.
Juniors: 1, Kekoa Cazimero. 2, Alex Smith. 3, Dusty Payne. Boys: 1, John John Florence. 2, Kiron Jabour. 3, Ezekiel Lau. 4, Makana Eleogram. 5, David Brand. 6, Kaimana Jaquias. Men: 1, Alex Smith. 2, Dusty Payne. Girls: 1, Malia Manuel. 2, Carissa Moore. 3, Coco Ho. 4, Leila Hurst. 5, Kallee Krebs. 6, Erika Steiner. Women: 1, Carissa Moore. 2, Leila Hurst. 3, Lani Hunter. 4, Alana Blanchard. 5, Coco Ho. 6, Erika Steiner. Menehune: 1, Ezekiel Lau. 2, Keanu Asing. 3, Koa Smith. 4, Kaikea Elias. 5, Matty Costa. 6, Luke Hitchcock. Longboard: 1, Cedric Caires. 2, Kaimana Beauford. 3, Cyrus Croskery. 4, Megan Apo. Seniors: 1, Christian Budroe. 2, Brian Suratt. 3, Dale Sabate. 4, Raymond Shito. Super Seniors: 1, Raymond Shito. 2, Brian Suratt. Masters: 1, Christian Budroe.
Reach Dayton Morinaga at email@example.com.