NSSA East Coast Championship wraps up competition season for Gators

The UF Surf Team and teams from five other East Coast colleges gathered at Sebastian Inlet State Park on April 10 and 11 to compete in the National Scholastic Surfing Association's East Coast Collegiate Championships.

This contest marked the end of the season for the Gators, who were forced to surf without two of their key competitors and finished seventh overall.

The University of North Carolina Wilmington's surf team swept the competition, picking up a team score of 119 points while most other teams were lucky to break the 60s.

UF Surf Club president Cody Smith said he was not surprised by the Wilmington team's performance. According to Smith, the team is a favorite for winning the NSSA collegiate national title this year.

"Wilmington has always just been really good," he said.

Smith said that he and his team mates were a bit disappointed that they did not score better as a team, but they made sure to enjoy the event anyways.

"We didn't do too well, but it was still fun," he said. "And it was a good time getting to hang out on the beach and watch some good surfing."

And thanks to UF rider Matt Novak, the club also had an individual victory to celebrate. Novak picked up third place in the longboard division, a down-grade from his second place finish last year, but a solid ranking none the less.

Smith said that Novak got to bring home a big trophy and that the team was proud of his performance.

"Matt usually does pretty well, and we're always really excited to cheer him on," he said.