By Gian Louis Thompson and Dan Greene | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Flagler College surf team looked to continue its success on Oct.17 at its second contest.
“We have a solid ‘A’ team and a solid ‘B’ team,” said team manager Adam Muller. “We usually don’t lose contests. We are going to win.”
The Flagler Surf Team won its first meet of the season on Sept. 13th at Bethune Beach. Flagler’s total score of 79 points bested UNF, UCF, FIT, DBCC and UF. UNF came in second with 71 points.
Returning surfers Eric Taylor, Ben McLeod, Adam Muller, Mike Lawson and Marissa Guthrie took full advantage of the consistent waist to chest high surf with McLeod, Muller and Lawson winning each their first two heats.
Despite an early exit in the NSSA’s Eastern Championships in April and losing several key surfers to graduation, the team was able to complete their roster with a group of talented freshman.
“Last year was sort of a bust,” Muller said. “I think we got too excited to go to Nationals because it was the first year we had the money to go.”
As far as the team’s new look, McLeod is excited about the freshman additions.
“I think the freshmen are really talented this year, have contest experience and good attitudes about surfing. They will be the future of surfing at Flagler,” McLeod said.
In need of two short boarders and one long boarder, the team held tryouts on Sept. 12 to determine who would fill the vacancies. Newcomers Price Wheeler, Brent Meinhold and Bryan McEachern were chosen by the current team members and performed exceptionally well in their first collegiate contest.
Wheeler and Meinhold both advanced to the quarterfinals while McEachern’s stylish nose riding led him to a crucial first place finish in the long board final.
Proving to be the standout of the contest for Flagler, veteran team rider Adam Muller pulled into barrel after barrel throughout the event.
During his second and third heats Muller was awarded individual wave scores of a 9 and a 10, each coming via barrels on Bethune’s south peak.
Muller and McLeod both won their semifinal heats and were seeded straight into the finals where they placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
Contrary to years past, Flagler was able to assemble a strong B team as well. Freshman surfers Steven Kaltenbach, Tom Casse and Alex Gregorie made it through consecutive heats and long boarder Cooper Nelson placed fourth in the long board final.