Competition Heats Up at Lifeguard Championships

Photo Courtesy: Patrick McLaughlin

VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia, August 8. THE Nautica United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) National Lifeguard Championships continued in Virginia Beach Friday, Aug. 8. The USLA crowned more age group champions in the Board Race, Ironman/Ironwoman and Surf Race events. Open champions in Beach Flags, Board Race, Ironman/Ironwoman, Rescue Race, Surf Boat and Surf Race were also crowned today.

Professional lifeguards from 64 USLA chapters around the country are competing for individual and team honors in water and beach course events that challenge their lifesaving skills. Heading into the final day of competition, the Monmouth County leads all competitors with 673.5 team points. LA County Surf Life Saving Association currently ranks second with 576.75 points and is eyeing a comeback to protect their title on the final day of competition. Smith Point leads the B Division (chapters with 100 lifeguards or less) with 176.5 points. Two Florida teams – Destin and Ft. Lauderdale – are not far behind.

Open (1st through 3rd) and Age Group champions for each of Friday’s Nautica USLA National Lifeguard Championships events follow:

BEACH FLAGS: From a prone starting position on the beach, competitors rise, turn and race to obtain a baton (beach flag) buried upright in the sand approximately 20 meters away. Since there are always fewer batons than competitors, those who fail to obtain a baton are eliminated.

Men’s Open

Brian Costello – Smith Point, N.Y.
Garrett Thibodeau – Smith Point, N.Y.
Charles Appel – Smith Point, N.Y.
Women’s Open

Brianne Jackolski – Smith Point, N.Y.
Josie Nixon – Sussex County, Del.
Lucy Kolhoff – Hampton Lifeguard Association, N.Y.

BOARD RACE: Competitors stand on or behind the start line on the beach with their boards 1.5 meters apart. At the start signal, competitors enter the water, launch their boards and paddle the course marked by buoys, return to the beach and run to cross the finish line. Competitors are not permitted to hold or otherwise interfere with other competitors’ boards or deliberately impede their progress.

Men’s Open

Shane Scoggins – California State Lifeguard Association, Calif.
Brian Murphy – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Cooper Halligan – Destin, Fla.
Women’s Open

Kelsey O’Donnell – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Eva Porter – Jax Beach, Fla.
Jenna Solberg – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Men’s 30-34

Steven O’Boyle – Monmouth County, N.J.
Women’s 30-34

Tandis Morgan – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Men’s 35-39

Phillip Lloyd – Destin, Fla.
Women’s 35-39

Caroline Pierre – Canada
Men’s 40-44

Christopher Esibill – Destin, Fla.
Women’s 40-44

Christina Sutcliffe – Canada
Men’s 45-49

Cris Dobrosielski – San Diego Surf Lifesaving Association, Calif.
Women’s 45-49

Katie McCully – Cape Cod, Mass.
Men’s 50-54

Tom Fink – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Women’s 50-54

Deirdre Fisher – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Men’s 55-59

John Forrester – Monmouth County, N.J.
Women’s 55-59

Janet Carbin – Monmouth County, N.J.
Men’s 60-64

Mark Myhre – Town of Palm Beach, Fla.
Women’s 60-64

Susan Wallis – Jax Beach, Fla.
Men’s 65-69

Doug Bishop – Canada
Men’s 70+

John Sink – Monmouth County, N.J.

IRONMAN/IRONWOMAN: Competitors cover a 1,400 meter (approx.) course that includes a swim leg, a board leg, a ski leg and a beach sprint finish.

Men’s Open

Cooper Halligan – Destin, Fla.
Brian Murphy – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Thomas O’Neill – Riis Park, N.Y.
Women’s Open

Alexandra Ferguson – Canada
Kelsey O’Donnell – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Eva Porter – Jax Beach, Fla.
Men’s 30-34

Barrett Phifer – Jax Beach, Fla.
Women’s 30-34

Tandis Morgan – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Men’s 35-39

Phillip Lloyd – Destin, Fla.
Women’s 35-39

Caroline Pierre – Canada
Men’s 40-44

Michael Vile – Long Beach Island, N.J.
Women’s 40-44

Christina Sutcliffe – Canada
Men’s 45-49

Cris Dobrosielski – San Diego Surf Lifesaving Association, Calif.
Women’s 45-49

Betsy Simpson – Canada
Men’s 50-54

Tom Fink – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Women’s 50-54

Deirdre Fisher – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Men’s 55-59

John Forrester – Monmouth County, N.J.
Men’s 60-64

Eldin Onsgard – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Women’s 60-64

Susan Wallis – Jax Beach, Fla.
Men’s 65-69

Doug Bishop – Canada
Men’s 70+

James Somers – Monmouth County, N.J.

RESCUE RACE: Four competitors from each team participate in the event: a “victim,” one rescue tube swimmer and two rescuers. The victim swims approximately 120 meters to a designated buoy, signals and waits to be rescued by the rescue tube swimmer. As they return to shore, the remaining two rescuers enter the water to assist. The event finishes when the first competitor in a team crosses the finish line while in contact with the victim.

Open Men

Bobby Smith, Christopher Russo, Nick Smith & Kyle Wilson – Long Beach & Fire Island, N.Y.
Pat Kilgallen, Thomas O’Neill, Brian O’Neill & Christian Foti – Riis Park, N.Y.
Hunter Hay, Maurice Peacock, Raymond McGorry & Steve Conrad – Wrightsville Beach, N.C.
Open Women

Hannah Elliott, Hayley Masi, Jennifer Rau & Sarah George – Monmouth County, N.J.
Caren Guyett, Anne Skimmons, Lisa George & Kristen Ditommaso – Monmouth County, N.J.
Chris Linkletter, Tandis Morgan, Coral Kemp & Kelsey O’Donnell – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.

SURF BOAT RACE: Two person surf boat teams row around the three outside buoy courses returning to shore where one member disembarks from the boat and runs up to touch the line. Once across the touchline, the member can return to their surf boat for a second lap, repeating the touch line run. At the finish of the third lap, one member must leave the boat and run up and across the finish line. Three lap races are approximately 2,000 meters with each lap approximately 665 meters.

Open Men

Boki Corsovic & Jose Bolivar – Hollywood Beach, Calif.
Matt Nunnally & Stephen Grober – Monmouth County, N.J.
Dan George & William George – Monmouth County, N.J.
Open Women

Shelley Griffith & Sherry Griffith – Boca Raton, Fla.
Jennifer Rau & Alexandra O’Connor – Monmouth County, N.J. & Hallandale Beach, Fla.
Jennifer Noonan & Jillian Kenney – Ft. Lauderdale Ocean Rescue, Fla.

SURF RACE: With a running start into the surf from the start line on the beach, competitors swim around the 400 meter course designated by buoys, around the left end buoy of the flag line to the two black and white buoys returning to shore passing the right end of the flag buoy line to finish between the finish flags on the beach.

Men’s Open

Thomas O’Neill – Riis Park, N.Y.
Rodney Fentress – Virginia Beach Lifesaving Association, Va.
Pat Kilgallen – Riis Park, N.Y.
Women’s Open

Caren Guyett – Monmouth County, N.J.
Ashley Smith – Jones Beach State Park, N.Y.
Hannah Elliott – Monmouth County, N.J.
Men’s 30-34

Corey McMeeking – Volusia Surf Lifesaving Association, Fla.
Women’s 30-34

Jenna Parker – Monmouth County, N.J.
Men’s 35-39

Chris Egan – California State Lifeguard Association, Calif.
Women’s 35-39

Caroline Pierre – Canada
Men’s 40-44

Matt Nunnally – Monmouth County, N.J.
Women’s 40-44

Michelle Davidson – Monmouth County, N.J.
Men’s 45-49

Petko Prachtakov – Hollywood Beach, Calif.
Women’s 45-49

Katie McCully – Cape Cod, Mass.
Men’s 50-54

Charlie Lydecker – Smith Point, N.Y.
Women’s 50-54

Ann Finley – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Men’s 55-59

John Forrester – Monmouth County, N.J.
Women’s 55-59

Janet Carbin – Monmouth County, N.J.
Men’s 60-64

Jack Martin – Monmouth County, N.J.
Women’s 60-64

Shannon Sullivan – LA County Surf Life Saving Association, Calif.
Men’s 65-69

Doug Bishop – Canada
Men’s 70+

John Sink – Monmouth County, N.J.

Hosted by the Virginia Beach Lifeguard Association (VBLA), the USLA National Lifeguard Championships Concludes Saturday, Aug. 9. Competition starts again at 8 a.m. ET on Virginia Beach between 27th and 30th Streets. At the close of competition, the 2014 champions will be crowned. Open finals scheduled for Saturday include: American Ironman/Ironwoman, 2K Beach Run, Board Rescue, Landline, and Run Relay, Run-Swim-Run and Surf Ski.

The above article is a press release submitted to Swimming World. To reach our audience, contact us at newsmaster@swimmingworldmagazine.com.

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Author: Jason Marsteller

Jason Marsteller is the general manager of digital properties at Swimming World. He joined Swimming World in June 2006 as the managing editor after previous stints as a media relations professional at Indiana University, the University of Tennessee, Southern Utah University and the Utah Summer Games.

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