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Pitz captures national championship

For all the superlatives Taylor Pitz has garnered through her years of competing in National Scholastic Surfing Assn. contests, one title had eluded the soulful surfer was a high school national championship.

That all changed June 19 when she nabbed that honor by winning the High School Varsity Women’s Division title at the three-day NSSA National Interscholastic College, High School and Middle School Championships at Salt Creek in Dana Point.

“I am so excited to have finally won a national title,” said Pitz, who will compete at the NSSA National Open and Explorer Championships beginning Sunday at the Huntington Beach Pier. “It means so much to me, and it was a great way to end my high school career. It also gives me a big boost of confidence for beginning the collegiate series next year.

“Winning nationals was the cherry on top to a fun four years at Laguna Beach High School.”


Laguna Beach’s Kris Williams (5.90) turned in a sixth-place finish in the High School Varsity Longboard Division that was won by Tony Bartovich of Huntington Beach (10.57).

The Breakers (55 points) finished sixth in the final High School Varsity standings. Top-ranked San Clemente (111 points) won its 11th title.

Thurston Middle School (42 points) had a sixth-place finish in the Middle School Division standings. The “A” team from Shorecliffs of San Clemente won the division title with 136 points.



Youth Basketball

Team Liberty, a Senior division girls’ basketball team composed of players in grades sixth through ninth, won the Senior Girls’ league championship at the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach. Team Liberty is: Kasey Henderson, Natalia Law, Mariana McConnell, Aly Roitman, Claire Gershenson, Madison Sinclair and Rachel Kenney.

McConnell, Sinclair, Roitman, Gershenson, Sinclair and Kenny all achieved league All-Star recognition. Sinclair, a sixth-grade student at Thurston Middle School, also was named the Senior Girls’ league top defensive player.

The team is led by Coach Keith Henderson and assistant coach Kobe Henderson.


Junior Tennis

Sydney Van Alphen of Laguna Beach won the Laguna Niguel Open Girls’ 14’s title June 17. The 12-year-old captured the honor by defeating Anna Radeva of Costa Mesa, 6-4, 6-1, in the final.

Van Alphen is competing this week at the Southern California Championships tournament (Girls 14’s Open, Level 1). She defeated Abby Valera of Chula Vista, 6-1, 6-1, in her first-round match Saturday and then defeated Rachel Kim of Orange, 6-4, 6-4, to earn a spot in the Round of 32.