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The 2017 South Atlantic Lifesaving Association (SALA) Regional Lifeguard Competition kicked off July 12th in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. The two-day competition pitted 212 lifeguards from 14 beach patrol organizations as far north as Virginia Beach, Virginia south to Ponte Vedre Beach, Florida against each other.   Shore Beach Service sent a team of 20 lifeguards, determined by individual points in our local competition. 
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In most events, men and women compete seperately.  "Open" events, are for competitors of any age, but primarily has athletes under age 30.  Most of Shore's team competed in the open events.  The exception was Alan Reece, who competed in the 55-59 age group.   In the open events, points are awarded for any top 10 finish, with anyone in the top 5 earning a medal.  In the age groups, the top 3 places earn medals and points.  

The women’s 4 X 100 Meter Relay team provided the biggest highlight for Shore's first day of competition.  Cheyenne Polverine, Rebecca Gerner, Taylor Smith Alan rescue board 800x641former Wisconsin-LaCrosse swimmer, and Christieanna Apon, a former Liberty  runner, sped to a 2nd  place finish.  A dropped baton on the last exchange was the only thing keeping them from 1st.  This was the 7th consecutive year that Smith guided the relay team to a medal, with Gerner being part of the last 4 of those teams.    

Day two of competition started with Apon racing to the 3rd place medal in the 2K Beach Run, while Kristen Schmidt, a former Merrimack College runner took 7th.  Meanwhile, Alan Reece got a busy day started, taking 2nd place in the 2K in his age group.

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Shore's women earned several points swimming events.  Kayla Aitken of Evansville just missed a medal, taking 6th in the Surf Swim,  Maisey Kent of Delta State finished 8th in the Surf Swim, and 10th in the Run-Swim-Run.  Megan Strickland, a former Arkansas swimmer raced to 8th in the Run-Swim-Run.  For Shore's men, Alan Reece took 2nd in both the Surf Swim and the Run-Swim-Run.

Reece's day was not over there.  He continued raced 2nd in the Board Race and won the grueling International Ironman-a race consisting of a swim, a run, and a rescue board paddle.

Hilton Head had an outstanding showing in Beach Flags.  It started with Alan Reece capping off his competition by taking 2nd.  Taylor Smith and Cheyenne Polverine cruised through the wome's prelims and DSCN0863 800x783into the final 12.  Meanwhile Jake Dummermuth and David Black did the same on the men's side.  Smith made it 3 years in a rowearning medal in Beach Flags, taking 5th, while Polverine powered through the field taking the 4th place medal. Black was able to earn a point taking 10th, while Dummermuuth had an outstanding performance taking 3rd.  

As a team, Shore's lifeguards had 16 top ten finishes, including 10 medals. The 78 points earned Hilton Head 11th place.  Alan Reece led the team with 18 points.

  

Team Roster

2017 South Atlantic Lifesaving Association Competition
Shore Beach Service Team Roster
Name Points
Alan Reece (10)
Hilton Head Island. South Carolina
18
Scott Ohlson (8)
McCook, Nebraska
0
Taylor Smith (7)
Rice Lake, Wisconsin
9.5
Rebecca Gerner (4)
Bluffton, South Carolina
2.5
Kristin Schmidt (4)
Athens, New York
4
Vaughn Holmes (3)
Mason, Michigan
0
Maisey Kent (3)
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
4
Jacob Dummermuth (2)
Dover, Ohio
9
Kevin Murphy (2)
Syracuse, New York
0
Tian Siggins (2)
Atlantic, Iowa
0
Kayla Aitken (1)
San Antonio, Texas
5
Christieanna Apon (1)
Woodstuck, Georgia
11.5
David Black (1)
Champaign, Illinois
1
Tyler Crispen (1)
Rossford, Ohio
0
Isaac Devaney (1)
Harvest, Alabama
0
Liz Madison (1)
Bloomington, Illinois
0
Cheyenne Polverine (1)
Middlefield, Ohio
 10.5
Megan Strickland (1)
San Antonio, Texas
 3
Parker Whitley (1)
Stanley, North Carolina
 0
Bradley Wilson (1)
Brookfield, Wisconsin
 0
Number in parentheses denotes years on team 

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