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Conlogue makes waves in competitions

9/30/2008

Courtney Conlogue remembers everything slowing down at the 2006 Billabong Pro Maui as she flew down a 15-foot
Hawaiian monster.

The face of the wave closed in.
The bottom started to dredge out.
The wind and water slapped her
face. But none of that mattered --
all she wanted to do was survive.

Of course, what she wound up
doing at the professional World
Championship Tour event was
announce her presence as the
next big thing in surfing.

Conlogue, who was granted a
wildcard entry into the event as a
14-year-old, competed in three
heats and beat some of the biggest
names on the women's pro surfing
circuit. Since then, Conlogue has
only continued her ascent to the
top of the surfing world.

Now a 16-year-old junior at Sage
Hill School (Newport Coast, Calif.),
Conlogue won the 2008 National
Scholastic Surfing Association
national title and has captured a
record four NSSA Southwest
Conference championships.
Conlogue has been labeled a
phenom and called the future of
American surfing, but none of
that fazes her. She just enjoys the
moment and concentrates on getting
better every day.

"There are always things to
improve on in surfing because
you won't get one wave that's the
same," says Conlogue, who has
sponsorships from the likes of
Billabong and Nixon. "I [surf ] for
the enjoyment."

It's the reason Conlogue routinely
wakes up at 3:30 a.m. to
surf her local break at Huntington
Beach Pier. It's the reason she
surfs worldwide for the USA Surf
Team. It's also the reason she
plans to turn pro after high
school. She simply enjoys the ride.

"I want to give everyone on
the beach a show," Conlogue says.
"You have the pressure on, you
have the adrenaline, you're charging
a big wave and you want to
get a good score. I love the whole
experience."

Especially unforgettable rides
down Hawaiian monsters.

Brian A. Giuffra covers high school sports for ESPNRISE.com.