By Scott Diederich, Special to the Independent
Laguna was only bested by Los Angeles County’s lifeguards, drawing from 600 on the job, and California lifeguards, which also has a large force.
Laguna Beach women did especially well, drawing the attention of Jay Butki, team manager for the Wieland Shield Competition, a 40-year old annual competition between the top lifeguards from California and Victoria, Australia.
If the women do well at next year’s regional championships, they would likely land spots on the 2012 team, something no women have done before, though Laguna Beach has had four men on the team in years past.
The 15 person team, which consisted of 12 men and three women competing at their own expense and on short notice, racked up an impressive list of results. The competition in Seal Beach took place in conditions that varied from glassy to 15-knot west winds, with a two to four foot south swell. Laguna guards, which have not fielded a significant team at the event since it was held in Huntington Beach in 2006, notched seven first place finishes, three seconds, and 14 top 10 finishes in total.
Laguna’s rescue board relay teams in both the men’s division (Chase Stavron-Porter Hogan-Wyatt Colloty) and women’s division (Ally McCormick, Julia Crowley and Gina Nourmohamadian) finished second behind the formidable LA County Lifeguard teams.
Tommy Cantrell, seventh, 2K beach run.
Wyatt Colloty, eighth, 2K beach run.
Gina Nourmohamadian, winner, women’s 2K beach run, seventh, beach flags.
Ally McCormick won the women’s run-swim-run, third, swim.
Julia Crowley, fourth, run-swim-run, sixth, swim.
Porter Hogan, seventh, open rescue board race.
Casey Parlette, first, rescue board race (age group), first international ironman (age group), second, 2K beach run (age group), third surfski (age group)
Scott Diederich, first, swim (age group), first, rescue board race (age group), first, international ironman (age group).
Taplin team competition (rescue board-surfski-swim-run)
Third place: Porter Hogan-Scott Diederich-Ryan Fair-Tommy Cantrell
Eighth place: Chase Stavron-Mel Solberg (LA County Lifeguards)-Gerrit Hill-Trevor Frimond
Ninth place: Casey Dunn-Casey Parlette-Spencer Dodson-Wyatt Colloty
Scott Diederich is a Laguna guard.