Local adaptive surfers fly out for US Championship

Adaptive Surf ProjectOne by one, the cars arrived at the Charleston International Airport, surfboards on top or stuffed into the back of vans. Four surfers, their caregivers, family, and support team, 18 total, backing up the line at the jetBlue counter as surfboards were pushed over the weight scales to counter employees.

Brock Johnson, the current ESA East Coast Champion, Veronica Tario, the current ASF East Coast Champion, Conway native Ernie Johnson, and Socastee High School rising junior Terrel Rawson left today for Oceanside, California to compete in the Surfing America, US Surfing Championships, adaptive assist division.

Travel for the crew was donated by jetBlue, with the local nonprofit, Adaptive Surf Project filling in the gaps in funding, including housing and on-the-ground transportation in San Diego.

1This is the third year in a row for Brock Johnson. He previously competed in the World Championships as part of Team USA in 2015, and last year finished 3rd in the US Championships held in Oceanside. Johnson competes, as all four athletes do, in the assist division, meaning he has an able bodied surfer out past the breakers with him, pushing him into the waves. A quadriplegic since a boating accident in 2011, Johnson most recently won the adaptive division of both the Cherry Grove Surfing Championship and the Salt Games Pro/Am.

Veronica Tario joined Johnson on his trip out west last year to compete, finishing 5th in the US Surfing Championship. Tario went on to win the Atlantic Surfing Federation East Coast Championship this past summer. She is also a quadriplegic after a similar accident, diving into shallow water in Murrells Inlet.

2.5This will be the first year competing on the national level for Conway’ native Ernie Johnson. Johnson began surfing during a Wheel to Surf event three years ago, riding tandem. He continuously progressed and now surfs in the adaptive assist division. Johnson finished 4th during the ASF East Coast Championships. A quadriplegic as well, he was injured on the football field during a preseason game while playing for Conway High School in 1997. Arriving at the airport in the early morning hours, Johnson was ready, “We’ve worked really hard to get to this point. I’m excited to have the opportunity to compete on the national stage.”

Socastee High School surfer Terrel Rawson will also be making his first leap to national competition. He recently won the tandem division of the Cherry Grove Surfing Championships and is also the reigning Atlantic Surfing Federation East Coast Champion, in the tandem division.

Adaptive Surf Project co-founder Brandon Bellegarde is excited to give the athletes the opportunity to shine, “Without the support of the community, these surfers may not get to experience travel like this,” he said. Rawson has only been on an airplane once before and this will be his first cross country trip. “The competition is just a small part of this. We’ll be in California for a week taking these surfers to different beaches, and other activities.”

ASF Director Luke Sharp estimates the total value of the trip at around $18,000. “With the money the volunteers will spend, our organization and the donations from jetBlue, it’s overwhelming to think about the love that has been shown to these athletes. We’re very grateful.”

Grand Strand Sports Report is traveling with the group this week as they travel, surf, and compete, with the national championship set for Wednesday, June 14th at the North Jetty in Oceanside, California.

4

Photos by Tyler Watkins and Luke Sharp

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debut

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debutEighteen members of the Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club [more]

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournament

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournamentA two hour and five minute-lightning delay nor two Appalachian [more]

Clemson hammers Coastal with early offensive barrage

Clemson hammers Coastal with early offensive barrageSimilar to the two teams' first meeting back on March [more]

Seahawks claim state title in tribute to late coach

Seahawks claim state title in tribute to late coach John Ed Cahill queued up an old voicemail from his [more]

MB golf team flying high, riding ties to state tourney

MB golf team flying high, riding ties to state tourneyThe Myrtle Beach High boys golf team is tying its [more]

Lynch-inspired Seahawks advance to 4A state final

Lynch-inspired Seahawks advance to 4A state finalLL Coach. The somewhat cryptic rallying cry (Long Live Coach) was [more]

Soccer: MB, Socastee fall in lower state semifinals

Soccer: MB, Socastee fall in lower state semifinalsMyrtle Beach’s season came down to about three minutes. In that [more]

South Aiken stops Lady Seahawks state title run

South Aiken stops Lady Seahawks state title runThe closest thing to a blemish South Aiken had on [more]

Green Wave sinks Sharks in Lower State opener

Green Wave sinks Sharks in Lower State openerIn any other game, St. James coach Robbie Centracchio may [more]

Soccer: Braves, Seahawks reach Lower State semis

Soccer: Braves, Seahawks reach Lower State semisThe Socastee High boys soccer team crushed Cane Bay 5-0 [more]

Seahawks go from funeral to Lower State title match

Seahawks go from funeral to Lower State title matchEven after his death earlier this week, longtime Myrtle Beach [more]

Illing steps down as Socastee football coach

Illing steps down as Socastee football coachDoug Illing struggled with the emotions. He even fought himself trying [more]

Sharks top Swamp Foxes, reach lower state tourney

Sharks top Swamp Foxes, reach lower state tourneyIt took a little longer than St. James fans may [more]

CF girls fall in first round for season-ending defeat

CF girls fall in first round for season-ending defeatHeading into the playoffs, Carolina Forest’s girls soccer team hoped [more]

Seahawks draw inspiration from fallen coach Lynch

Seahawks draw inspiration from fallen coach Lynch John Edward Cahill III occasionally glanced at a spot at [more]

MB girls stun Hilton Head to reach Lower State semis

MB girls stun Hilton Head to reach Lower State semisFor all of the dominant results, all the blowouts and [more]

Seahawks lose legendary tennis coach, mentor Lynch

Seahawks lose legendary tennis coach, mentor LynchCookie Goings was barely a teenager, an eighth grader running [more]

Local club hosts another solid Coast Spring Classic

Local club hosts another solid Coast Spring ClassicMore than 400 teams from six states completed in the [more]

Renfrow claims NFL dream as Raiders' fifth-round pick

Renfrow claims NFL dream as Raiders' fifth-round pickFormer Socastee High and Clemson standout Hunter Renfrow was selected [more]

Lady Panthers charge into playoffs as region champs

Lady Panthers charge into playoffs as region champsWhen Katie Kulick drove the ball past the West Florence [more]

Chants rally in 10th inning to knock off Georgia State

Chants rally in 10th inning to knock off Georgia StateThe relentless Chanticleers scored a run in each of the [more]

MB Track and Field Club welcomes kids for 2019

MB Track and Field Club welcomes kids for 2019The Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club will host open [more]

Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate opener

Sharks shake away playoff jitters to dominate openerTwo errors, two wild pitches and two runs. And that was [more]

Baseball playoff success requires road toughness

Baseball playoff success requires road toughnessJoey Worley has been around just long enough to start [more]

Chants split wild twinbill, visit Tar Heels on Tuesday

Chants split wild twinbill, visit Tar Heels on TuesdayCoastal Carolina baseball split Saturday’s Sun Belt Conference doubleheader with [more]

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debut

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debutEighteen members of the Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club [more]

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournament

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournamentA two hour and five minute-lightning delay nor two Appalachian [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach