CAROLINA BEACH, NC – Lifeguards from Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) beach parks spent two days in Carolina Beach, NC showcasing their skills while competing in the South Atlantic Lifeguard Association (SALA) Championships held on July 15 and 16. The team, composed of 18 ocean rescue lifeguards, took home third overall in the “A” division, which is comprised of lifeguard teams from the larger beach areas in the South Atlantic region.
Several Charleston County team members won first place in individual awards as well. Hannah Craig was champion of the Surf Swim and Run/Swim Run, Mary Stewart Wilson won the 2 KM Beach Run, and Hannah Craig and Lauren Weeks together won the Rescue Board Rescue Race.
Age group champions included Stephen Fernandez for the Surf Swim and Run/Swim/Run, Chris Knebel for the Surf Ski and Ironman, and Clark Noble for the Surf Swim and Run/Swim Run. Fernandez, Knebel and Noble all also finished in the top 5 in their age group in other events.
Several guards placed within the top 10 of various individual events, earning the entire CCPRC team points for each winner that placed. Those winners for womens’ events included Hannah Craig, Mary Beth DesJardins, Lauren Weeks, Mary Stewart Wilson and Peyton Wilson. Men top 10 finishers included Ryan Bing, Bo Blythe, Chase Heffron, Stephen Heyward, Max Hutton, Kurtyss Kasten, Luke Meier, Clark Noble, Alex Parler, Anthony Tipton and Robbie Wilson.
Next, the CCPRC lifeguard team will travel to Daytona Beach in August to compete in the USLA National Lifeguard Championship against lifeguard teams from all across the country. Then, next summer, CCPRC will be host for the 2016 SALA Championships on Folly Beach.
SALA works to reduce the incidence of death and injury in the aquatic environment through public education, national lifeguard standards, training programs, and promotion of lifeguard readiness. The SALA is the South Atlantic region component of the United States Lifesaving Association (USLA). The region includes North Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia (Virginia Beach only). For more information on the SALA Competition and for a full list of winners, visit www.salausla.org.