The Joe Keenan Memorial trophy made its furthest journey north on Sunday as it came home with the Manasquan High School surf team for winning their first ever State Championship!!! Held in Long Beach Island for the first time, the NSSA Northeast Championships were an all day grind, but after 10 hours of surfing Squan finally came out on top! The NSSA Northeast Scholastic Championships hosted 26 teams from NY and NJ -
Fielding 4 complete teams of 9 ( 6 short boarders, 2 women and 1 long boarder) and 3 partial teams Manasquan had a total of 44 surfers compete on Sunday. Squan took the lead early by advancing almost all of its surfers through the first round and they never let up despite the cold and windy conditions. Heavy surf and a shore break made things even tougher. Sophomore Mikey Hyde snapped his board mid-heat during the second round and there were plenty of close calls as the day wore on.
Round three proved to be the turning point for the Squan team. 4 of the 6 A Team shortboarders sailed through to round four along with B Team Members Dylon O'Donnell and Shane Finn. Senior Kevin Maldjian just missed advancing but scored valuable points for the team.
On the women's side, Al Warren, Hope Johnson, Lil Callaghan, Abby Redy, and Stella Clark all advanced through the rounds with Senior Jessie Duerr, Sara Hegna and Fionna Mahoney all making it to the finals! Duerr finished 2nd, Hegna 3rd and Mahoney 6th.
In Men's longboard, both Cooper Fortney and Shane Finn advanced to the finals with Fortney winning the overall title and Finn finishing fourth.
The team title was put out of reach when Pat Pompilio, John Campo, Bailey Redy and Cooper Fortney all advanced to the repercharge. Pompilio was riding a Firewire board that had just been given to him by the Share the Stoke foundation for his dedication and leadership to the team. He shared the stoke all the way to a 7th place finish and a team championship! Redy finished 8th with Campo finishing 9th.
Fortney capped his high school career with a trip to the finals in both longboard and shortboard. He posted a combined score of 13.5 and would take 2nd in shortboard. With the knowledge that the team title was secure, Fortney was honored with his first "chair to the beach" by his jubilant teammates!
All in all, the day at Harvey Cedars was a memorable one for the for everyone involved with a record number of both surfers and teams participating. Sportsmanship and camaraderie among the teams were on display all day. There were pink pumpkins on honor of breast cancer awareness and, despite the frigid temperatures,a lucky butterfly found her way to the Manasquan tent and stayed for the duration.
With 168 total points, Manasquan won the title going away. Last year's winner St. Augustine Prep finished 2nd with 18 time champion Ocean City coming in 3rd. Manasquan will be represented in the National High School Championships by Fortney, Pompilio, Campo, Redy, Hyde, Hegna, Duerr and Juan Sebastian Martinez in June at Salt Creek, California.
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