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PREP SCENE:Conlogue wipes out competition

SURFING: Sage Hill School freshman, who also competes in cross country and track, has made a name for herself on waves.

May 09, 2007|By David Carrillo Peñaloza

Courtney Conlogue is showing off her latest artwork when a mother and her child pass by the Huntington Beach Pier.

"Hi!" screams the toddler.

"That's a surf girl," mom tells her daughter, who jubilantly nods her head.

Conlogue waves her hands at the girl, grabbing her attention even more.

The girl in the stroller loves what she sees — cool skeleton drawings on Conlogue's hands.

Make no bones about it, Conlogue is fearless.

The 14-year-old wears it. Those markings on her hands are reminders of the poundings she might have to endure when pulling into massive barrels.

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It's do or die for the Sage Hill School freshman with those 20-foot waves crashing.

But the same way the child's face glowed when she met that surfer girl two weeks ago, Conlogue's attitude is all positive when she's surfing.

"You have to take advantage of the moments you have because you only have one chance to live your life," she said. "I just try to go all out."

There's no other way for Conlogue. That mentality, developed at 4 in Mexico, where she surfed for the first time, has pushed her into the natural spotlight — under the sun.

The waves are just the stage, the higher, the longer, the better.

Conlogue excels on top of the water, making her one of the top U.S. teenage surfers. Always longing for perfect 10 conditions. She might get a chance to compete in some picturesque ones in Portugal, host to the Quiksilver International Surfing Association World Junior Championships.

Before she took off to represent the U.S. team at the 30-team event at Costa de Caparica beach, which is near Lisbon, Conlogue talked about those powerful waves she rode last year during her first World Championship Tournament at the Billabong Pro Maui that made the local Hawaiians cheer her on.

Talk about respect for this slightly freckled girl, often sunburned dirty blonde.

Or the times she won the Billabong Junior Pro in Puerto Rico in March and placed fifth at the World Junior Championships in Brazil.

Fond memories, a long list to choose from, the latest a win in Huntington Beach at the World Qualifying Series Vans Pier Classic.

One more thing not to leave out before leaving her Santa Ana home for the 10-day event ending on Sunday.

"Kick butt!" said Conlogue, rated No. 1 by the National Scholastic Surfing Association in Southwest Open Women.

"I've been on this team for a few years. We've gotten silver, bronze, and copper. Now, I'm really needing the gold."

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