U.S. Lifesaving Association Sending Youth Team to World Championships

Photo Courtesy: VBLA

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California, August 19. THE United States Lifesaving Association (USLA), the professional association of beach lifeguards and open water rescuers, announced the participation of its Youth National Team in Rescue 2014, Life Saving World Championships, held in Montpellier and La Grande Motte, France from Sept. 16-21.

The team is managed Gus Avila and coached by Casey Graham, Chris Nowviskie and Chris Egan. Together the team leadership boasts over a century of experience in professional surf lifesaving, coaching, racing and team management; assembling the finest American Youth National Team possible.

“We conducted an exhaustive nationwide search for the best surf lifesaving athletes born 1996 to 1999, beginning in the spring of this year,” said Coach Casey Graham. “These 12 outstanding young men and women lifesavers who made the team illustrate the high standards for readiness and fitness set by the USLA.  The entire staff could not be more proud of this team.”

The 12-guard roster, competing in the bi-annual International Life Saving Federation (ILS) sanctioned event, was chosen by a USLA selection committee based on a variety of criteria, including: past performances at national events, endurance and versatility in the pool and on the beach.

2014 U.S. Youth National Team Roster:

Boys’ Team Girls’ Team
Chris Wise – Destin, Fla. Emma Noble – LA County, Calif.
Hayden Hemmens – Newport Beach, Calif. Amanda Calabrese – East Hampton, N.Y.
Spencer Farrar – LA County, Calif. Tess Farrar – LA County, Calif.
Ryan Van Til – Avila Beach, Calif. Julia Schulte – Pompano Beach, Fla.
Ben Coffey – Santa Cruz City, Calif. Shannon Snell – Pompano Beach, Fla.
Ben Brewer – Santa Barbara City, Calif. Holly Maine – LA County, Calif.
Manager: Gus Avila Coaches: Casey Graham, Chris Nowviskie and Chris Egan


These athletes, with an average age of 17, have undergone extensive training to compete in surf events such as paddleboard, surf ski, and ironman, and pool events including manikin tow, obstacle swim, and simulated emergency response.

The group of 12 lifeguards will compete at the same time as the National Team, representing the U.S. in the National Teams Open Competition. Professional lifeguards – six men and six women – from around the country will travel to take on lifeguards from 40 countries in a variety of beach, surf and pool events.


The purpose and mission of the ILS and the 2014 Life Saving World Championships is to prevent drowning and serve as a pillar for aquatic safety supervision, emergency response and sport worldwide. For more information on the National Team Youth and Open Competitions, please visit: www.rescue2014.fr.

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

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar
    John Dussliere

    It’s events like this we can find and develop our next open water stars. These young athletes have no path to the open water selection process since they generally have no interest in pool qualification. They are intelligent navigators, they know and understand currents, tides, and changing conditions as well as drafting. They are tireless and love what they do in the surf and open water. There are thousands of these kids up and down the coastal waters of the USA. Many are on USA Swimming Teams, but they are not in a pool qualification track. Let’s make some adjustments to qualification for US Open Water events. If made available, I believe strongly that these young athletes WILL begin to make our teams.

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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