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A year to remember

Just about everything that could go right has gone right for Laguna Beach's Taylor Pitz, be it in the classroom or in the water.

March 31, 2011|By Mike Sciacca, michael.sciacca@latimes.com
  • Laguna Beach High's Taylor Pitz, 18, recently won the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) High School State Championship for the second time.
Laguna Beach High's Taylor Pitz, 18, recently won… (KENT TREPTOW, Coastline…)

The 2010-11 school year has been nothing short of an amazing ride for Taylor Pitz.

That's how the Laguna Beach student-athlete describes the past seven months, months that have seen the 18-year-old strive for new goals and see them come to fruition.

"A lot has happened but it's been so amazing," she said.

Pitz could have entered her senior year on cruise control, having already achieved plenty. But to do so wouldn't have been her style. Instead, she challenged herself in different facets of her life, from the classroom, to college admissions, to the ocean. Along the way, she seemed to beautifully blend her studies with sports. At times she has found the challenges difficult, but in the end they were oh-so rewarding.

Her mantra was to just go for it.

In the span of a single weekend last month, Pitz learned that she had been accepted to UCLA, then two days later, she captured her second straight High School Varsity Women's title at the National Scholastic Surfing Assn. State Championships at the Huntington Beach Pier. Pitz dominated the division, scoring 12.67 to finish well ahead of second-place Kulia Doherty of San Clemente, who scored 8.37.

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To defend her state title was one of her main goals this year.

"I'm so happy to have won state again, it was something I really, really wanted to do," Pitz said. "I'm a senior and this is my last year competing, so I really was focused on repeating. "I knew the girls in the competition would be tough and I thought if I got the right waves, I could do well. I picked out and sat in a great spot, and once the heat started, I got into a rhythm. Everything just seemed to open up for me and I was in the right place to get the waves I wanted.

"That was the most fun I've had in a heat in a long time. It felt great to win so definitively. And what an amazing weekend it was. To find out on that Friday that I had been accepted to UCLA and on Sunday, win another state championship, well, it couldn't have gotten any better. It was unbelievable."

Pitz seemingly has been in a rhythm during her high school years and has done the hard work to put herself, as she put it, in a "great spot."

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