Shortened season doesn’t slow Mira Costa High surf team

Mira Costa High's Elijah Nelson biding his time.

An unidentified Santa Monica High  surfer eyes his next move.


Coach Tracy Geller with Jamie Wilhelm and Tea Trent.


Mira Costa’s Elijah Nelson biding his time.


Mira Costa’s Lucas Horta hits readies for a soft landing.


An unidentified surfer surfer gets lined up.


Photos by Ken Pagliaro. (

by Dickie O’Reilly

The year off because of the pandemic didn’t put a hitch in the Mira Costa surf team’s dominance. Last Wednesday, during the second contest of a condensed 2021 surf season, Mira Costa took first place in all seven heats against Santa Monica.

Brendan Griffin, winner of last December’s SBSSA Kick Off Classic, was impressive once again in the peaky, but shifty, head high to overhead surf on the south side of Hermosa Pier. Teammates Kelly Murphy, Jake Rosenberg (first in longboard and shortboard), Ryan Roberts, Ava Miller and Jamie Wilhelm took the other top spots in the 91 to 39 win.

Redondo came on strong in the second half of the contest to beat Palos Verdes 80 to 67. Karsten Wanke of Palos Verdes may have had the wave of the morning, in partial darkness. But it was before the contest started. Redondo’s Dane Acosta won the first heat, setting the tone for a tight back and forth battle in the subsequent men’s heats. PV’s Conrad Sanacore narrowly took first over Redondo’s Kade Kauffman in the second heat, but ultimately, it was the Redondo women’s longboard team, led by Kierra Fedio, that turned the contest. The Redondo women took first, second and third. Redondo’s Ty La Franchi and Quentin Ho secured the win with first and second place finishes in the final heat.

In the first contest, on April 21, Mira Cost prevailed over Palos Verdes, 91 to 54; and El Segundo defeated Torrance, 79 to 54.

The SBBSA 20201 season continues Thursday, April 29, with El Segundo facing Redondo and Peninsula facing Santa Monica. Next Wednesday, May 5, Peninsula faces El Segundo and Santa Monica faces Torrance. The final contest of the season, on Wednesday, May 12,features Mira Costa against Redondo and Palos Verdes versus Peninsula. The league is sponsored by Spyder Surf and Subaru Pacific.

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