Californian edges out 3 Kaua‘i girls

OCEANSIDE, California —Lakey Peterson (Santa Barbara, Calif.), 16, has capped off a perfect season by winning the ASP 6-Star Supergirl Pro Junior in peaky two-to-four foot waves at Oceanside Pier yesterday, marking her third consecutive ASP Pro Junior win and solidifying her second consecutive ASP North America Pro Junior Title.

Peterson took to her backhand in the Final and led the heat through its entirety. The Californian capitalized on a lefthander down the beach and belted a 15.54 (out of 20) heat total in the Final to win the 2011 Supergirl Pro Junior over Kaua‘i finalists Malia Manuel (Wailua), 18, Leila Hurst, 18, and Nage Melamed (Hanalei), 17.

“There were some fun waves throughout the day,” Peterson said. “I went down south and surfed the left and it was way better than anything else that was coming in.”

Peterson’s victory at the ASP 6-Star event marks a sweep over the 2011 ASP North America Pro Junior Series where she won the Rob Machado Seaside Pro Junior and the Nike US Open of Surfing prior to today’s Supergirl Pro Junior victory to solidify her position atop the women’s regional rankings.

“Winning today is just icing on the cake,” Peterson said. “I’m really stoked to have won all three events. I’ve been really focused this year and had a totally different mindset. I’m older and starting to do bigger contests. I’ve been trying to stay really organized and just on top of my game and it seems to be working, so I’m stoked.”

The talented regular footer’s ASP North America Pro Junior series title also guarantees her slot to compete against the world’s finest under-21 surfers at the upcoming ASP World Junior Tour which begins in Bali.

“The World Junior Tour is so much fun,” Peterson said. “We have three events this year which is great because I feel like it really shows who should be World Junior Champion and I’m really excited for it. Bali, Brazil and Australia are all really fun spots and I’m looking forward to it.”

Malia Manuel started her Supergirl Pro Junior campaign off strong and was responsible for the event’s highest heat total of 16.94 (out of 20) in her Quarterfinals bout, but was unable to catch Peterson in the final and finished runner-up.

“I started off the Quarters with a good heat and had some good rhythm,” Manuel said. “I had a little hiccup in the Semifinals, the tide was changing and conditions were changing as well and going into the final, there were consistent waves, but I probably just didn’t the rhythm I would have liked to.”

Manuel’s runner up finish at the crucial ASP 6-Star event will see her represent Hawaii at the upcoming ASP World Junior Tour and the talented Hawaiian is itching to kick off the prestigious ASP World Junior Tour at Keramas in October.

“Oceanside loves to give me second places, this is my third, second-place finish in a row at this event,” Manuel said. “Congrats to Lakey, she definitely deserved this win and I’m really happy because this is our only 6-Star event and coming in second got me valuable points. I’m really excited for Worlds and I can’t wait for Bali, I love Keramas and can’t wait to go back.”

Also putting in honorable performances were Leila Hurst and Nage Melamed, who finished 3rd and 4th respectively.

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