Peterson claims NSSA National Championship

Santa Barbara's Lakey PetersonLakey Peterson took home all the marbles on Saturday, but this was no child’s game. The 14-year-old Santa Barbara surfer bested a tough field in the Open Women’s Division, earning her a coveted NSSA National Championship.

Peterson’s two-wave score of 16.75 topped three other double digit scores in the final: a 14.75 from favorite Courtney Conlogue, a 14.25 from Malia Manuel and a 13.75 from Nage Melamed.

“I’m still kind of in shock,” Peterson told by phone on Saturday night about the title, the highest honor in domestic amateur surfing. The regular-foot will accept her trophy on Sunday at the NSSA’s season-ending banquet at the Huntington Beach Hyatt before boarding a plane for a three-week trip to Bali.

Santa Barbara Beach Soccer Summer SlamPeterson posted the first – and highest – score of heat to take the pole position in the final. Her 9.0 first ride featured an aerial maneuver that impressed the judges. Peterson added a scored ride of 5 mid-way through, but didn’t clinch the title until a late 7.75 pushed her over the top.

Conner Coffin came up painfully close to nabbing his second national championship. The 2006 Open Boys champ reached the finals this year in both Open Men’s and Open Juniors, finishing a close second to Hawaiian Ezekiel Lau in the juniors and fourth in the men’s.

Younger brother Parker Coffin, 13, put together an impressive run in the Open Men’s, advancing as far as the quarterfinals against competitors several years his elder.

Kokoro Tomatsuri surfed into the Explorer Men’s quarterfinal before falling in a wave-starved six-man heat that ended without a single combined score over 10. Pat Curren was a finalist in the explorer menehuene division.

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