OBX lifeguards make strong showing in National Championships

By on August 12, 2019

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A team of more than 25 ocean rescue personnel representing the Outer Banks Lifesaving Services (OBLS) placed fourth overall in the United States Lifesaving Association 2019 National Lifeguard Championships held Aug. 8-10 in Virginia Beach.

Made up of lifeguards from the ocean rescue agencies of Corolla, Southern Shores, Duck, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and the National Park Service, the local team was in a field of more than 40 teams from across the country that competed in the three-day event.  A number of Outer Banks lifeguards placed in the top six in individual and relay events.  This is the third year OBLS has competed in the championship, and the team has consistently placed in the top six overall.

This year, OBLS came in behind third-place winner, Sussex County, Del. Taking first in the competition was Los Angeles County, Calif., with Monmouth County, N.J. coming in second. The three-day event includes water and beach course events that put competitors’ lifesaving skills to the test. Races include surf swims, beach runs, paddleboard races, landline rescue and Taplin relays and Ironman and Ironwoman races.

OBLS President Mirek Dabrowski lauded the group’s success over the weekend, adding that the team scored more points this year than it had previously. “We are getting better every year,” Dabrowski said. “We’d like to get more competitors and more lifeguards to compete.”

A number of local lifeguards were among the top finishers over the weekend.

Zoe Parker brought home a third in the Open Women’s Board Race and Joseph Davidson placed third in the Open Men’s 2K Beach Run. Also scoring in the open events was the Outer Banks women’s relay of Bri Young, Zoe Parker, Bailie Monahan and Kathleen Belliveau, which placed third in the Taplin Relay. The men’s team of Josh Linton, Tyler Burch, Phil Lloyd and Bailey Williams also earned a third in the Taplin Relay event.

In the 40-44 women’s age category, Sylvia Wolff placed first in the 2K Beach Run and Beach Flags. Wolff also brought home six second-place prizes in the Surf Race, Surf Ski Race, Board Race, Women’s Ironguard, Ironwoman and the Run-Swim-Run race.

Roisin Cahill placed second in the Open Women’s Surf Ski event. In her 35-39 age group events, Stephanie Motz placed first in the 2K Beach Run and Surf Race, second in Beach Flags and the Board Race event, as well as third in Ironguard and Run-Swim-Run.

In the Men’s 60-64 age group events, John Kenny placed first in the two-man Surf Boat Race, Beach Flags and 2K Beach Run, second in the Run-Swim-Run, Board Race and Ironguard, and third in the Surf Race and American Ironguard events. In the 50-54 age group, Ken Savage placed third in the Surf Boat Race and 2K Beach Run. Matt Hewes placed first in the 45-49 Men’s 2K Beach Run.

In the men’s 40-44 age group, Phil Lloyd placed first in Surf Ski Race and Men’s Ironman, second in the Surf Boat Race and Board Race and third in the Surf Ski Race and Men’s Ironman. In that same age group, Shaun Buen came home with a first in the Beach Flags competition and third in the Men’s Ironguard. Chad Motz brought home a second in the 2K Beach Run and Ironman in the same age group.

In the 30-34 Men’s age group category, Sean Sonnenberg placed first in the Board Race, second in the Surf Race and Run-Swim-Run and third in the Ironguard and 2K Beach Run.

OBLS began competing as a team three years ago and is a non-profit organization whose mission is to unite local lifeguarding professionals and the public in the goal of ocean safety. The organization provides training opportunities for local lifeguards as well as community outreach programs and public education.

 

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