Marks, who won the event last year, retained her Vans US Open of Surfing women's Junior Title in terrific fashion. At just 14, not only is she already making a big impression, but she's the first ever to win back-to-back Junior Titles here.
"I'm speechless right now, I thought about what it'd be like to win this thing twice and it's just an amazing feeling," Marks said. "These girls are so good and I can't thank my parents and family enough for all their support. All my friends, and people shouting from the beach and the pier was so surreal. This is only the second event I've done this year so I'm hoping to get another big result at the next one and try to make it into the World Junior Championships."
Luis Diaz was much more of a surprise package on the Junior men's side. Hailing from the Canary Islands, this was Diaz's first time in Huntington Beach, but you wouldn't have known it from his performance. Taking on Japan's Yuji Mori and fellow Americans Jake Marshall and Nolan Rapoza (USA), the 17-year-old could not believe he earned the win when he made his way out of the water. Although he won't earn points from this win (this event is not in Europe, his competition region), it is a huge milestone in his career.
"I'm so stoked, I really can't even believe I won," Diaz said. "Everyone has been shredding this whole competition and I just had to find the two waves that would allow me to surf to my best ability. Each heat I was gaining confidence, and to come out on top, there's just no better feeling."