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YOUTH SURFERS SHOW SKILLS

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By Errol Alegre, Jr.

The second annual Mañahak Surf Contest went underway Sunday at the Onward Beach Resort Water Park and featured over 55 young surfers showcasing their skills and talents.

Contestants as young as three years old and as old as 12 years old competed in their respective age divisions. Each ride from the young enthusiasts was reviewed by a panel of judges and scored on scale from one to ten, ten being the highest. Judges scored each contestant based on how fast they pop up on their boards, what kind of maneuvers they perform, length of ride, and showmanship. Since surfing on a shorter board is more difficult than surfing on a longer one, the length of the board that each contestant used was taken into consideration when being judged.

After one preliminary heat for each age division, the top scorers in each division advanced to the finals where they vied for the first, second, and third place medals.

Here are the final results:

FOUR YEARS OLD AND UNDER

Girls (from left)

2nd place: Erika Cassidy 30pts

1st place: Gwenaizah Barcinas (returning champ) 30pts

Boys (from left)

3rd place: Ekko Schilis 19pts

2nd place: Luca Razano 31pts

1st place: Colin Baker 37pts

5-6 YEARS OLD

Girls (from left)

3rd place: Myra Lacuata 33pts

2nd place: Dina Soriano 36pts

1st place: Philicita Rivera 43pts

Boys (from left)

3rd place: Yoyo Reyes 24pts

2nd place: Cutter Jones 30pts

1st place: Dylan Baker 30pts

7-8 YEARS OLD

Girls (from left)

3rd place: Koyuki Santos 26pts

2nd place: Annie Jones 27pts

1st place: Tara Nagel 31pts

Boys (from left)

3rd place: Daxton Gourley 24pts

2nd place: Every Alexander 25pts

1st place: Noa Mendiola 30pts

9-10 YEARS OLD

Girls (from left)

3rd place: Monica Giger 22pts

3rd place: Megan Baron 27pts

2nd place: Minami Cramer 28pts

1st place: Austia Mendiola 28pts

Boys (from left)

3rd place: Keith Nauta 13pts

2nd place: Joonsong Park 17pts

1st place: Myles Rager 19pts

11-12 YEARS OLD

Girls (from left)

3rd place: Maia Rager 19pts

2nd place: Angela Labardor 24pts

1st place: Ashley Policastro 25pts

Boys (from left)

3rd place: Logan Crandall 25pts

2nd place: Jake Niemasz 26pts

1st place: Jake Policastro 32pts

All competitors were supervised under the guidance of their instructor, Joe Villatora, who was also the lead-coordinator for the event. Villatora holds an after school program Monday through Friday from 3 pm to 5 pm where the kids not only learn how to rip moves on a surf board, but also learn the safety precautions in the sport of surfing, most especially on the reefs of Guam.

“Surfing here [on Guam] is really heavy. I always teach [the kids] to have respect, know your limits and when and where to go,” stated an eccentric Villatora. “Before we release [the kids] out into the ocean, we want to make sure they pass their swimming skills, floating skills, and other things they can use to survive out there.”

Villatora plays an instrumental role in the surfing community, most especially with the growth and development of youth surfing. The Mañahak Surf Contest is merely a stepping stone for the children. Since last year’s initial event, Villatora has sent 15 kids to Hawaii to compete in junior competitions. With more corporate sponsors stepping in, like O’neill and Skull Candy, Villatora looks to produce an even better junior surfing program.

This year’s competition produced a better turnout than last year’s event as it brought about more competitors, more local and off-island sponsors, and smoother event coordination. After the surfers competed and the medals were distributed, Villatora had just one word to describe how he felt of the performance from the competitors, “Awesome!”

PHOTO GALLERY BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

http://www.akguam.com/ou/tamuning-scion/

9-year old Austia Mendiola. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

11-year old Jake Niemasz. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

10-year old Monica Giger. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

11-year old Logan Crandall. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

10-year old Megan Baron. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

9-year old Keith Nauta. (photo by Errol Alegre, Jr.)

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