Nobody wanted to bring home the National Title more than the University of North Florida Surf Team. After a standout season, and winning the East Coast Championships, the team definitely was in the running for bragging rights.
The UNF Surf Team proved to be the powerhouse expected. Together, they took second at the National Championship. Although the team didn’t claim the first place finish they were hoping for, Jacksonville is proud to call the UNF Surf Team our own!
“The journey to nationals was a long one full of ups and downs, but to finish the year as second in the nation, I couldn’t be more proud,” explained coach Adam Bartoshesky. “This is our best result ever, and leaves us with a clear goal for next year – first.”
Nationals took place at Salt Creek Beach in Southern California. With conditions being mediocre, UNF showed that Florida surfers can surf any conditions thrown at them.
“We have all worked hard individually and as a team to get where we are,” described team captain Max Mertens. “We know how to improve and we’re more fired up than ever to bring the National Championship home for UNF, and the whole east coast.”
A huge and well-deserved congrats goes to Patrick Nichols for claiming first in the longboard division. Nichols has had his eye on the gold since his freshmen year. After just coming short last year, he has been determined to bring home the win. Nichols’ graceful and effortless style makes him the person in the lineup you often can’t take your eyes off.
“Once I heard I had the heat combo-d, I knew it happened and immediately let out a huge ‘yewwww’ in the line up,” explained Nichols. “I wore a huge grin all the way home. Beyond stoked to wipe that off the bucket list.”
Other standout performances go to the girls of the team, Emily Ruppert and Kayla Durden. Both girls always bring it, and often even have the boys nervous. Ruppert won third, with Kayla right behind her, claiming a fourth place finish.
Freshman, Corey Howell, came in sixth in the men’s short board division. With many years ahead of him, we can expect Howell to bring home a national title during his college career.
“With a young team comprised of three freshmen, a new crop of talent coming in next year, and the fact we are returning the majority of our team next season, I am confident that next year will be the one for the books,” Bartoshesky said.
Yeww! Until Next Season …