Lakey Peterson wins Junior Women's Championship at Nike U.S. Open
Lakey Peterson is only 16 years old, but she looked like a seasoned professional as she hugged and high-fived people between media spots and autograph sessions, smiling the whole time. It’s an experience she might have to get used to if she keeps having days like Saturday.
Peterson won the Nike U.S. Open Junior Women’s Championship in Huntington Beach just hours after she qualified to compete in Sunday’s women’s final. Her final score of 16.07 pushed her well above the rest of the pack for the title.
“I’ve been really focused this whole event,” Peterson said. "I’m just so excited right now –- I don’t know what to say. I was looking at that trophy before the heat, and I wanted it so bad.”
The Santa Barbara native finished nearly four points ahead of 2008 winner Malia Manuel, using a board grab on her final wave to vault into first place. Laura Enever finished third, and Coco Ho, who is also in tomorrow's women’s final, finished a distant fourth.
-- Matt Stevens in Huntington Beach
Photo: Lakey Peterson cuts back into a wave during competition Saturday at the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times