Jake Marshall dominated the Quarterfinals of the Sprite Soup Bowl Pro Junior today.
SOUP BOWL, Barbados (Saturday, November 16, 2013) – The inaugural Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 1-Star Sprite Soup Bowl Pro Junior presented by the Barbados Tourism Authority returned to competition for the second consecutive day with event standouts taking on building two-to-four foot waves while deciding Men’s and Women’s Semifinalists.
The Sprite Soup Bowl Pro Junior represents the first stop on the 2013-2014 ASP North America Pro Junior Series, offering crucial seed points towards Men’s and Women’s qualification campaigns for the ASP World Junior Championships.
Jake Marshall (Encinitas, CA), 15, was the standout throughout Men’s Quarterfinals action, amassing the highest scores of competition of a near-perfect 9.57 single wave score on his way to an 18.07 heat total.
“This is a new spot for me, but on that 9.57, it only looked like it was going to have one section,” Marshall said. “I was too late on the first section and only did a floater, but then it doubled-up under me. I was so lucky and it lined up perfectly. It was an insane wave. There aren’t too many of them, but they’re perfect.”
Marshall is emerging as a standout of the next generation on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series and is motivated to take advantage of the excellent surf on offer at Soup Bowl.
“The waves are really good today and it seems like conditions are getting better with every heat,” Marshall said. “I’m really excited because these are the best waves we get to surf in a contest and I think tomorrow might be even better.”
John Mel (Santa Cruz, CA), 14, put in a strong performance in conditions reminiscent of his Santa Cruz home and continued his tear at the Sprite Soup Bowl Pro Junior today with a Quarterfinals heat victory. The advancement to the Semifinals marks a career-best result in the ASP North America Pro Junior Series for the young Californian.
“Conditions are more Steamer Lane than Pleasure Point because it has this side wedge that comes through it,” Mel said. “My board is feeling really good and I’m feeling confident and been somehow pushing through. I’m going to try and make that last heat and we’ll see.”
Tia Blanco (San Clemente, CA), 16, proved to be the most consistent Women’s surfer in the Quarterfinals, attacking the Soup Bowl rights on her backhand to post the round’s high heat total of 13.16 while securing a Semifinals berth.
“I was really nervous and that was my first heat at Soup Bowl,” Blanco said. “I seemed to shake the jitters off and have a good heat, so I’m happy. I’ve been starting to focus more on the Pro Juniors and QS events, so hopefully I can do well here.”
Steffi Kerson (Thousand Oaks, CA), 15, won the third Quarterfinal of women’s competition, posting the round’s high score of 8.67 out of 10. Unlike the majority of her competitors, Kerson traveled to Barbados over a week ago to become familiar with the Soup Bowl lineup and her efforts are paying off.
“My high score was this medium outside wave that came in and I could tell it was going to run all the way through,” Kerson said. “I did two big backside turns and that won me the heat. This is my first Pro Junior and I’m transitioning out of amateurs now. The waves have been pumping and I got here eight days before the event. I love it here.”
Sprite Soup Bowl Pro Junior pres. by Barbados Tourism Authority champions will be crowned tomorrow.
UPCOMING SPRITE SOUP BOWL PRO JUNIOR MEN’S SEMIFINALS MATCH UPS:
SF 1: Jake Marshall (USA), Thelen McKinna-Warrell (USA), Parker Coffin (USA), John Mel (USA) SF 2: Noah Schweizer (USA) Nic Hdez (USA), Kei Kobayashi (USA), Jonah Carter (USA)
UPCOMING SPRITE SOUP BOWL PRO JUNIOR WOMEN’S SEMIFINALS MATCH UPS:
SF 1: Chelsea Tuach (BRB), Cassidy McClain (USA), Maddi Peterson (USA), Izzy Gomez (USA) SF 2: Steffi Kerson (USA), Chelsea Roett (BRB), Tia Blanco (USA) Leilani McGonagle (CRI)