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The 2015 South Atlantic Lifesaving Association (SALA) Regional Competition kicked off July 15th in Carolina Beach, North Carolina. The two-day competition pitted 190 lifeguards from 9 beach patrol organizations as far north as Virginia Beach, Virginia south to Jacksonville Beach, Florida against each other.   Shore Beach Service sent a team of 18 lifeguards, determined by individual points in Shore’s competition.

 

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The team competition is broken down into two divisions, with Division “A” consisting of lifeguarding agencies that employ 50 or more guards and Division “B” formed of agencies staffed with less than 50 lifeguards. Hilton Head Island competes in Division “A”. For only the third time in several years, Shore guards competed only in the open events, not in any age groups. Open events are for competitors of any age, but primarily has guards under age 30.  Medal are earned for any top-5 finish, while points are earned for any top-10 finish.

 

Shore's women, led by Taylor Smith, Kristrin Schmidt and Hope Andrews, carried the Hilton Head team scoring 56 of the team's 70 points.

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The Surf Rescue Race team of University of Evansville (@UEAthletics) swimmer Charlotte Lechner, University of Cincinati  (@GoBearcats) Hope Andrews, Carenna Neely &  Taylor Mastin earned Hilton Head's first medals of the  regionals, racing to a 3rd place finish. In the race, the “victim”, Andrews, swam out 150 meters to a flag. When the flag is reached, the “rescuer”, Lechner swam out to the victim, and both swam in together. When they neared shore, the two carriers, Neely and Mastin, carried Andrews across the finish line.

The women’s 4 X 100 Meter Relay team of Taylor Smith a former University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse (@UWLAthletics) swimmer, Kristin Schmidt a Merrimack College (@MC_Athletics) runner, , Rebecca Gerner and Carenna dashed to a 2nd place finish earning Hilton Head's 2nd medal.  This was the 5th consecutive year that Smith anchored the relay team to a medal., and Gerner & schidt's 2nd year earning a medal.  Meanwhile the me's realay team of former University of Indianapolis swimmer (@UIndyAthletics) Bryan Lubasky, Mitchell Stewart, Kevin Fries & Justin German sped to a 3rd place finish in the Men's 4X100 Relay, Team HHI's 3rd medal on the first day of competition.

 

Womens surf rescue 2014 2Day two of competition started with Kristin Schmidt racing to snag the 3rd place medal in the 2K Run on a sloppy course. Taylor Mastin took 7th in the event. While the Hilton Head team did not earn any medals in the individual swim events, points were won. Hope Andrews finished 6th in the Surf Swim and 7th in the Run Swim Run, Delta State swimmer (@DeltaStateSWD) Maisey Kent taking 9th in the Surf Swim, and Taylor Smith finishing 10th in the Run Swim Run. 

 Smith, a r, scored the most points for Team Hilton Head. Smith grabbed a 3rd place medal 4th in the hypercompetitive beach flags. Rebecca Gerner was impressive in beach flags, but was taken out on a false start and took 10th. Taylor narrowly missed medaling in the Run-Swim-Run finishing 6th.University of Tampa (@UTSpartans) swimmer Scherer earned a  3rd place medal in the Run-Swim-Run, while also swimming to 7th in the Surf Swim. Like in Shore's local competition,

Womens Swim Rescue 2014 1

 

 

 

Overall, our Hilton Head Island team had  13 top ten finishes including 5 medals for top 5 finishes. The 70 points our lifeguards earned placed Hilton Head 5th in Division A.

 

For complete results and finishes please visit the South Atlantic Lifesaving Association website www.salausla.org.