The Surfing America Prime Series East returned to Atlantic City this weekend, featuring some of the best young, amateur surfers on the East Coast.

Wildwood Crest native Maddie Peterson may have benefited from knowledge of the local waves as the 15-year-old won the Girls Under-18 division and finished third in the Girls Under-16 division.

"It was definitely good waves for the contest," Peterson said. "The waves were fun, and all of the girls were really surfing good."

Peterson improved from last year's event, when she finished second in the Under-18 and Under-16 divisions.

With a forecast of flat conditions for Sunday, all 33 heats of the event were held Saturday in waist- to shoulder-high swell that improved for the finals, said Surfing America executive director Greg Cruse.

This was the third year that Surfing America has held an event in Atlantic City, this time on the south side of Central Pier near Resorts Casino Hotel.

Cruse said Surfing America loves Atlantic City.

"The kids love the beach and the quality surf on hand this time of year, and the parents love the great hotels, restaurants and casinos," he said.

The Atlantic City event is one of three to be held on the East Coast to help surfers qualify for the Surfing America USA Championships in June in Lower Trestles, Calif. The top three surfers in the series advance to California and a potential spot on the Surfing America PacSun USA Surf team.

Peterson has been on the team since 2012, and she said it had helped her develop as a surfer. Peterson credits the team's coach, Ryan Simmons, with improving her technique and style.

Next for Peterson is the Rip Curl GromSearch National Championships at Upper Trestles, Calif., on Saturday. She qualified for that event by winning a competition in North Carolina over the summer. She also has plans to surf in an Association of Surfing Professionals Pro Junior event in Barbardos in November.

"I'm just trying to travel as much as possible and find good waves and conditions," she said. "One of my goals is to make the (world tour) and hopefully travel and compete with some of the world's best surfers. And, hopefully, one day win a world title."


Boys Under-18

First: Luke Gordon, Pawleys Island, S.C.

Second: Brandon Mitchell, Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

Third: Stevie Pittman, Newport, N.C.

Fourth: Addison Miles, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Girls Under-18

First: Maddie Peterson, Wildwood Crest, N.J.

Second: Emory McClary, Pawleys Island, S.C.

Third: Sydney Harring, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

Fourth: Sophie Falzone, Atlantic Beach, Fla.

Boys Under-16

First: Stevie Pittman, Newport, N.C.

Second: Micha Cantor, Murrells Inlet, S.C.

Third: Luke Gordon, Pawleys Island, S.C.

Fourth: Chauncey Robinson, Melbourne Beach, Fla.

Girls Under-16

First: Emory McClary, Pawleys Island, S.C.

Second: Avery Aydelotte, Jensen Beach, Fla.

Third: Maddie Peterson, Wildwood Crest, N.J.

Fourth: Rachel Presti, Melbourne Beach, Fla.

Boys Under-14

First: Stevie Pittman, Newport, N.C.

Second: Mickey Vanaman, Sicklerville, N.J.

Third: Micha Cantor, Murrells Inlet, S.C.

Fourth: Laird Myers, Virginia Beach, Va.

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