“My job was to just motivate them.”
And motivated they were. All 21 one of them — from freshmen to seniors. They all surfed fantastically against more than a dozen teams from up and down Southern California’s coast in what is called the Interscholastic Surfing Federation.
Kaleigh Gilchrist, a senior, was particularly phenomenal. She received a 10 by the judges in one of her performances.
“The team spirit and atmosphere on the beach was great and everyone was super stoked for each other,” said Gilchrist, adding that the winning girls’ team in the short board competition consisted of Shelby Detmers, Ali Hayes and herself.
“We surfed three heats and every heat I went first and Shelby went second,” she said. “We all surfed really well during the whole competition and took home the girls short board state champion.”
Next up, Gilchrist said, were the boys.
“We cheered them on to their own state title,” she said.
“The final was really close,” she added, “but they ended up coming through in the last heat and also won. It was awesome.”
For those who have never witnessed a surfing competition, Morlan said the judges look for maneuvers performed on the waves as well as how long surfers can ride the waves and whether they are difficult.
Creativity as well as being smooth are big factors among the judges, he said.