Pitz Lands Third Championship
Special to the Independent
Laguna Beach High School surfer Taylor Pitz landed her third league championship in shortboarding in as many years at the South Coast League individual finals, held Dec. 7 and 8 at Upper Trestles. Pitz also took third place in the longboard competition.
The team’s other girls also did well, with freshman Leah Pakpour doing double duty and making both the shortboard and longboard finals, finishing fifth and sixth respectively; and Emily Layton, standing in for a sick Brenda Joseph in longboard, just missed the final.
In the boys’ longboard competition on Dec. 7, Dane Doran, stepping in for a sick Travis Sampson, made it to the finals. He also gave it his all in bodyboard, filling in at the last minute for a late-arriving Adam Redding-Kaufman.
If the surf was pretty small the first day of the competition, it was tiny on the second for the boys’ shortboard competition. Redding-Kaufman, who arrived on time the second day, surfed very well, taking a second and then just coming up short in the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, Rex Strombotne had some very nice heats, snagging some of the largest of the day’s tiny waves to make it all the way to the semi-finals, and just missing the final. Kris Williams bounced back after the first day’s longboard shocker, to surf well in the shortboard, just coming up short in the quarter-finals.
Team spirit was high on both days of the competition, with everyone on the team really encouraging each other. Despite being too sick to perform, Travis Sampson came down to the event to lend his moral support to the team, as did Blair Conklin, both having decided to put the team first and sit out.
As the season ends, the team will miss outgoing seniors, including Taylor Pitz, Kris Williams, Travis Sampson, Rex Strombotne, Cody Alter, Andrew Palmer, Andy Congleton and Grant Thomas.
Dave Vanderveen writes the Indy column Local Currents.