Introducing the 2022-23 USA Surfing Junior National Teams

USA Surfing is excited to announce the 2022-23 USA Surfing national teams representing the top under 18 surfers in the mainland U.S.


“Being named to the USA Junior National team is one of the nation’s highest achievements. These surfers earn their way onto the team through USA Surfing’s East and West Coast Prime Series and USA Championship at Lowers,” USA Surfing head Coach Ryan Simmons said.

Photo: USA Surfing


Simmons and assistant coach Asher Nolan will do a mid-season assessment of current team members as well as top performers in the USA Surfing Prime Series, who could be “called up” to join the teams.


USA Surfing is focused on building teams with continuous opportunities to progress.


The teams are divided into the competitive age group categories of the Prime Series: Under 18, Under 16, and Under 14-year-old surfers.


Instead of the previous “developmental team,” which had separate practices, the U14 team will practice with the full team.


Each level creates a progressive path to perform at elite levels and potentially qualify for the ISA World Junior Championship team, the World Surf League’s Qualifying Series, Championship Tour and Olympic Games.


Several WSL CT surfers honed their competitive skills on USA Surfing junior national teams including America’s first Olympic qualifier Kolohe Andino, Olympic surfer Caroline Marks (who qualified for the Championship Tour while still competing in the Prime Series), Lakey Peterson, Courtney Conlogue, two-time 2022 WSL event winner Griffin Colapinto, two-time US Open winner Sage Erickson, 2018 US Open champions Courtney Conlogue and Kanoa Igarashi, and ripper Conner Coffin.


“Historically junior team rosters are an exciting glimpse into the future of elite and pro-level surfing. This year’s list is no different,” said COO Andrea Swayne. “Our mission to keep the USA talent pipeline full has never wavered. Providing world-class development opportunities for these talented young athletes via the Prime Series and Junior teams is a great honor.”

Coach Simmons said his goal is to strengthen the path for team members to raise their surfing, mental preparation and leadership to the next levels. His plans for the year include trainings focusing on heat strategy and progressive, critical maneuvers, scrimmages against teams from other countries, and preparing for the next ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.


“The team we have comprised this year is awesome. It’s going to be a great season! Looking forward to getting after it,” Simmons said.

BOYS U18

Lucas Owston, Oceanside, Calif.

Jak Ziets, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Cannon Carr, San Clemente, Calif.

Kai Kushner, Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Carl Burger, Flagler Beach, Fla.

Hayden Rodgers, San Clemente, Calif.

Kepa Mendia, West Palm Beach, Fla.

Braeden Kopec, Ponce Inlet, Fla.

Luke Guinaldo, Huntington Beach, Calif.

*one open spot for mid-season assessment


GIRLS U18

Zoe Benedetto, Palm City, Fla.

Talia Swindal, Malibu, Calif.

Bella Kenworthy, San Clemente, Calif.

Sara Freyre, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Maddie Lavender, Sorreto, Fla.

Mia Gallagher, Ocean City N.J.

Zoe Chait, Half Moon Bay, Calif.

Syd Ott, Encinitas, Calif.

Juju Romaniuk, Huntington Beach, Calif.

*one open spot for mid-season assessment


BOYS U16

Will Deane, Nags Head, N.C.

Chase Niemann, San Clemente, Calif.

Rex Hennings, San Clemente, Calif.

Adam Bartlett, Santa Cruz, Calif.

Dylan Sloan, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Quaid Fahrion, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Petey Romaniuk, Huntington Beach, Calif.

Teddy Wittemann, Melbourne Beach, Fla.

​*one spot open for mid-season assessment


GIRLS U16

Vela Mattive, Santa Barbara, Calif.

Avery McDonald, San Clemente, Calif.

Mia McLeish, San Clemente, Calif.

Kylie Pulcini, Melbourne Beach, Fla.

Daya McCart, Melbourne Beach, Fla.

Lanea Mons, Jacksonville, Fla.

Ava Lavender, Sorrento, Fla.

Brynn Gallagher, Ocean City, N.J.

*one spot open for mid-season assessment


GIRLS U14

Sofia Gamboa, Coral Springs, Calif.

Alana Lopez, Ponce Inlet, Fla.

Maddie Stanton, Encinitas, Calif.

Kaydn Persidok, Encinitas, Calif.

Marlo Leigh Harris, Laguna, Calif.

Kaia Howard, San Clemente, Calif.

Reid Van Wagoner, Carlsbad, Calif.

Eden Walla, San Clemente, Calif.

Bailey Turner, Huntington Beach, Calif.

*three spots open for mid-season assessment


BOYS U14

Max St. Denis, Santa Cruz, Calif.

Kai Finn, San Clemente, Calif.

Dane Libby, Encinitas, Calif.

Jesse Rapp, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Loyal Cash Kenworthy, San Clemente, Calif.

Gavin Bren, Ocean City, Md.

Ian Honda, Fort Lauderdale

Beckham McCart, Melbourne Beach, Fla.

Vance Weyandt, Tequesta, Fla.

Gus Hultgren, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

Kole Mazzarella, Vero Beach, Fla.

*one spot open for mid-season assessment


Stay tuned to American Surf Magazine for more updates.