12-year-old surfer riding to world championship

Caitlin Simmers, 12, of Oceanside, California, surfing in the Aloha Cup at the World Surfing Games in September. She has been named to USA Surfing's 12-member World Junior Surfing Champion team.

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Just weeks after helping Team USA win a bronze medal at the World Surfing Games in Japan, 12-year-old Oceanside surfer Caitlin Simmers may soon add some gold to her trophy collection.

Earlier this month, USA Surfing announced she was one of 12 young American athletes chosen for Team USA, which will defend its 2017 gold medal at the ISA World Junior Surfing Championship on Oct. 28-Nov. 4 in Huntington Beach, California.

Coach Joey Buran said Simmers, who goes by the nickname “Caity,” may be the youngest athlete to ever compete for Team USA at the World Junior championship.

Caity said she’s in it to win it.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “My goal is for us to win as a team, but I’d love to make the finals and be in the top 10.”

The World Junior is the world’s largest junior surfing competition. Last year, 306 surfers from 41 countries competed in the tournament. Over the next few weeks, these 12 team members, plus two alternates, will train and compete to determine the final roster.

On Oct. 8-9, 16 U.S. competitors took part in two days of surf-offs and competition in Huntington Beach so USA Surfing officials could have a final look at the athletes before announcing their picks Oct. 10. Read full article.