NewsSoup Bowl Pro JuniorBethany Zelasko

By the Numbers: Junior Women to Keep an Eye on in Barbados

A view of the beautiful coastline of Bathsheba, Barbados from the pristine reefbreak of Soup Bowl. The beautiful shoreline of Bathsheba, Barbados will play host to the WSL Junior Tour once again at the dreamy righthand pointbreak of Soup Bowl. WSL / Nathaniel Harrington

The stage is set for an exciting finish to the North America Women's Junior Tour season as it heads to the shores of Bathsheba, Barbados. But, with current No. 1 Alyssa Spencer already locked into a spot toward the World Junior Championships, just one remains for the field of competitors behind her.

How it Works: Only the Top 2 women from each region (Australiasia, Africa, Europe, Hawaii, Japan, North America, and South America) qualify directly for the World Junior Championships, taking place in Kiama, New South Wales, Australia. In addition to these 14 juniors, four wildcards are selected to join them for an opportunity to compete in the top Women's Qualifying Series events for 2017 through the WJC.

Alyssa Spencer (USA) is already making a name for herself at age 13, making her way into Round 5 of the Women's QS6000. Alyssa Spencer's debut year as a WSL competitor has been one for the books -- heading into the final event of the year as No. 1 WSL / Marenelmar

Only Leilani McGonagle can top Spencer for the title and has a solid lock on the No. 2 spot all things considered. But, should things go array for the Costa Rican, a handful of young talent can overtake her position and punch their ticket for New South Wales.

Leilani McGonagle (CRI) and Alyssa Spencer (USA) at the Essential Costa Rica Open Pro QS3,000 McGonagle (L) and Spencer (R) could find themselves together in another competitor's area across the world in New South Wales, Aus. representing North America. WSL / Johan Pacheco

Mathematically, up to No. 17 on the rankings has an opportunity to overtake McGonagle if she doesn't better an Equal 9th and keeps her current 1,470 points. Only a direct few have the best opportunity to upset the rankings, but as this year has proven, anything can happen.

Maddie Peterson

Maddie Peterson (USA) before her Semifinal heat. Peterson will need to at least match her third-place finish from last year's Sprite Soup Bowl Pro Junior to have a chance at World Junior Championships. WSL / Jackson Van Kirk

Rank: No. 3 Points: 1,340
Requirements: 3rd Place or better

Peterson's best result came at the beginning of the year with a fourth-place finish at the Ron Jon Vans Pro Junior, but hasn't cracked a Final since and will need to do so for a shot at the World Junior Championships. Her hopes now lie on McGonagle earning no better than an equal 5th, in which case she would need a runner-up. But, there is good news for the New Jersey-native. Even if McGonagle reaches the final, Peterson could still reach the WJC -- though she would require a win.

Bethany Zelasko

Bethany Zelasko (USA) earning fourth place in her Round 2 heat at the Essential Costa Rica Open Pro QS3,000 Zelasko's first event of her Pro Junior career was in Barbados last year and finds herself with an opportunity to capitalize on that experience. WSL / Johan Pacheco

Rank: No. 6 Points: 1,105
Requirements: 3rd Place or better

Just behind Peterson in points when dropping her low of an Equal 25th, Zelasko's fourth-place finish at the Vans US Open of Surfing was her saving grace at a chance into the Top 2. However, her qualification hopes are dependent upon McGonagle's results. If the Costa Rican makes the Final, Zelasko would need to win the event to overtake the No. 2 spot.

Kirra Pinkerton

Kirra Pinkerton (USA) came in as a Top Seed at the Los Cabos Open of Surf but fell victim to the string of upsets throughout the day in Round 2. While Pinkerton's chances are slim, her dangerous forehand will be one to look out for in disrupting the Top 2. WSL / Marenelmar

Rank: No. 8 Points: 1,025
Requirements: 2nd Place or better

Rounding off the best possibility of overtaking the No. 2 spot is San Clemente's Kirra Pinkerton. Though she hasn't cracked a Final on the Junior Tour, the young contender is never one to be left out of conversation. As is Zelasko's situation, the same applies to Pinkerton. If McGonagle makes the Final, the newly-turned 14-year-old must win the event and hope that she doesn't earn runner-up.

The up-and-coming talent of North America - (L to R) - Tiare Thompson, Kirra Pinkerton, Hannah Blevins, Alyssa Spencer, and Rachel Presti enjoying their time in Los Cabos. The next generation is knocking at the door and showing endless potential, even alongside the QS elite. (L to R) Tiare Thompson, Kirra Pinkerton, Hannah Blevins, Alyssa Spencer, and Rachel Presti -- just a few of North America's up-and-coming talent. WSL / Marenelmar

Beyond Pinkerton, if McGonagle earns an Equal 7th or better she will eliminate the remaining contenders -- save for Samantha Sibley and Rachel Presti who would need to win if McGonagle earns an Equal 7th.

The Soup Bowl Pro Junior will begin Nov. 10 - 13. Look for live scoring and daily updates throughout the event.

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