Rookie wins surfing title
Australia's Stephanie Gilmore surprised everyone last year with two runner-up finishes during the women's Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in her first winter surfing the big waves in Hawaii.
Not done with surprises and big opening performances, the 19-year-old from Coolangatta yesterday became the first surfer -- male or female -- to win the world title as a World Championship Tour rookie when the two other contenders in this year's race were eliminated in the third round of the Billabong Pro Maui at Honolua Bay.
"It's truly an honor to make my way into the history books," said Gilmore, who defeated Hawaii's Rochelle Ballard -- who is now retired after competing on tour since 1991 -- in her third-rounder for a spot in the Billabong quarterfinals.
"To do it here in Maui, in waves that are barreling, and with all the family and friends here to share it with is truly amazing. I'm absolutely over the moon, and I'm just at a loss for words."
Gilmore had entered the Billabong as the world's top-ranked female, with Peru's Sofia Mulanovich and Brazil's Silvana Lima in the second and third spots, and still in contention for the world championship. But Mulanovich -- the 2004 world champ -- and Lima both lost their third-round heats yesterday, along with their chances at this year's world title.
Carvalho makes All-America team
Portland State senior center Brennen Carvalho (Kamehameha '04) was named to the Associated Press Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA) All-America first team Wednesday.
Carvalho, a 6-foot-1, 315-pound senior from Kapaa, Kauai, was a consensus All-American as a left guard in 2006, before making the move to center this season.
Selected to the Walter Camp All-America team earlier, Carvalho has been invited to the Jan. 12 Hula Bowl at Aloha Stadium. He was a three-time, first-team All-Big Sky lineman and started 39 consecutive games in his career.