Laguna Beach surfer Kayla Coscino placed fourth on finals day at the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach last weekend.
Hawaiian Zoe McDougall claimed the junior girls championship title, with Summer Macedo, also of Hawaii, taking second. San Clemente surfer Samantha Sibley placed third.
Sixteen-year-old Coscino will be a senior at Laguna Beach High School this fall and is also one of four girls under 18 on the 2018 USA Surf team.
“Competing in that final is something I will definitely remember forever,” Coscino told the Indy. “The U.S. Open is the biggest surf contest in the world, and there were so many people on the beach cheering and watching—it’s really cool to be in the center of that.”
Coscino’s favorite moment of the contest was the award ceremony.
“It was amazing to be up on that stage with such talented surfers and to just be appreciated by the other surfers and spectators,” she said.
Coscino hopes to make one more pro junior final this season, either at Newport or Barbados. Next season, she’s aiming to qualify for the World Junior Championships. At the end of the season, the top two-ranked girls are selected to attend the prestigious contest.
“And of course, I really just want to have fun with it and enjoy the special moments like last weekend,” Coscino added. “To achieve these goals, I really believe I just have to relax and not worry about them too much. I just have to work on my surfing as much as I can and let the rest work itself out.”