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The 20156 South Atlantic Lifesaving Association (SALA) Regional Lifeguard Competition kicked off July 15th in Folly Beach, South Carolina. The two-day competition pitted over 200 lifeguards from 11 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 16 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”.  Shore lifeguards 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.  Medals are earned for any top-five finish, while points are earned for any top-10 finish.


13769569 10155044505073135 6954731722883048287 n 508x540The 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 Talia Booher provided a thrilling highlight on the first day, racing to a 1st place finishl.  This was the sixth consecutive year that Smith anchored the relay team to a medal, and Gerner & Schmidt's third year earning medals.   Gerner took the baton slightly behind at the start of the 3rd leg, but had 20 meter lead meter lead when she handed off to Smith, who cruised to victory.  Meanwhile the men's relay team of Scott Ohlson, Jacob Dummermuth, Kevin Fries and Andrew Fitzpatrick got through the prelims and took 7th in the finals.

Day two of competition started with Kristin Schmidt racing to snag the 5th place medal in the 2K Beach Run, the third year in a row she has medaled in the event. Jacob Dummermuth took 7th, earning more points for the HHI team.                


Shore's women starred in several swimming events.  Chloe Bennett earned a medal taking 5th in the Surf Swim  She13726727 10155044507908135 2978743668829456775 n added an 8th place finish in the Run-Swim-Run. Maisey Kent, Bennett's college teammate (@DeltaStateSWD) finished 1 spot ahead of Bennett taking 7th in the Run-Swim-Run while finishing 8th in the Surf Swim. 


The Women's Surf Rescue Race team of Bennett, Kent, Gerner and Smith took 7th, 1 spot ahead of a second Shore team made up of Cassidy Langley, Hannah Quast, Booher and Schmidt.  In the race, the “victim”, (Bennett, Langley), swam out 150 meters to a flag. When the flag is reached, the “rescuer”, (Kent, Quast) swam out to the victim, and and the rescuer pulled the victim back toward the beach. When they neared shore, the two carriers, (Smith & Gerner, Booher & Schmidt), carried their victim across the finish line. 


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As always, all of the lifeguard competitors and numerous spectators gathered to watch the event.  Hilton Head had an outstanding showing, as our Smith, Gerner and Booher made their way out of the prelims and into the final 12.  Gerner finished 12th, while Booher grabbed 2 points with a 9th place finish. From there Smith put on a fantastic performance, with Smith taking 3rd, for the second year in a row.


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Overall, our Hilton Head Island lifeguard team had  12 top ten finishes including 5 medals for top five finishes. The 62 points earned Hilton Head 6th in the A division.  Taylor Smith led the team in points for the third straight year with 13 points.













Team Roster

Roster 2016

2016 South Atlantic Lifesaving Association Competition
Shore Beach Service Team Roster
Name Points
Scott Ohlson (7)
McCook. Nebraska
Taylor Smith (6)
Rice Lake, Wisconsin
Rebecca Gerner (3)
Bluffton, South Carolina
Kristin Schmidt (3)
Athens, New York
Kevin Fries (2)
Kirkwood, Missouri
Vaughn Holmes (2)
Mason, Michigan
Maisey Kent (2)
Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Chloe Benneett (1)
Jasper, Alabama
Talia Booher (1)
Neenah, Wisconsin
Jacob Dummermuth (1)
Dover, Ohio
Andrew Fitzpatrick (1)
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Max Koch (1)
Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Cassidy Langley (1)
Belmont, Nova Scotia, Canada
Kevin Murphy (1)
Syracuse, New York
Hannah Quast (1)
Hinsdale, Illinois
Tian Siggins (1)
Atlantic, Iowa
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