Tuesday, August 13, 2013

"2013 USLA Nationals Recap - The Final Results", by Adam Sandler

Just in from USLA Official/Media Guru/Beach Lifeguard, Adam Sandler:

"LA County Lifeguard Assn. clearly came to score a home turf win in the USLA National Lifeguard Championships this past weekend, and win big it did. LACoLA scored a whopping 1644 points compared to the California State Lifeguard Assn. which scored 764.625 points. The win gives LACoLA its 27th consecutive championship, and the 40th win in the event’s 44-year history.

Although Monmouth County, NJ landed third with 659.875 points, next year when the Nationals are in Virginia Beach, VA, it will likely bring a battalion of competitors to ensure a First Place victory. (Monmouth brought 25 racers this year, compared to LACoLA’s 56).

While perennial winners like Brian Murphy, nabbed the 2013 Men’s points leader spot at 78.625, a number of new stars emerged. LACoLA’s Coral Kemp and Jeff Lombardo, who were previously mostly blips on the competitive radar, made their presence well known this year.

Brian Murphy
Coral Kemp, at left, foreground
Jeff Lombardo
Kemp earned 99.375 points making her the 2013 top female points scorer, behind familiar names like LACoLA’s Alison Riddle and Kelsey O’Donnell, who scored 84.75 and 80.75 points, respectively. LACoLA women held the top 3 spots and 6 of the Top-10 points earners. It should be noted that the 2012 top female points grabber Taylor Spivey was out of town and did not compete.

Kelsey O'Donnell
Alison Riddle, helmet on, and ready to rumble...

Lombardo won the Men’s Open American Ironman and by doing so ended a seemingly unbreakable reign by Monmouth County’s Matt Nunnally, who came in second in the grueling event. Additionally, Lombardo won the 30-34 Age Group American Ironman in the 2011 Nationals, so perhaps the writing was on the wall for the Open victory this year. Lombardo competed in 8 events (excluding heats) and nailed two firsts and thirds, and four, second place finishes in age group events.

The conversation must have been lively at the Sunday dinner table at the Solberg’s house with Mel and Jenna trading war stories about their respective races at Nationals. Jenna racked up 34 points in 5 open events, and Mel had 10 points over his 7 open and age group (45-49) events (excluding heats). The duo can discuss ski and board paddling techniques as they both competed in their respective Open American Ironman/Ironwoman and Board events. One has to wonder: Was it chicken or the egg? Does Jenna give Dad paddling tips, or the other way around? Who uses the more expensive ski?

Mel Solberg
Jenna Solberg

Just as she did at Regionals, Chris Linkletter again showed considerable competitive mettle with her 3 firsts and 2 seconds and thirds over 8 events (excluding heats) in a mix of Open and Age Group (45-49) races, including both the Open AND Age Group Ironwoman and Age Group American Ironwoman, a feat that would send most folks to the ER!

Chris Linkletter

And lest we forget to respect our Elders, or in this case our Eldin (Onsgard, that is) who continues to show everyone what lies ahead when you stay in the game. His 37 points came by way of 9 events which included 6 Age Group (60-64) firsts, 2 seconds and 1 third, although Jerry Lozano almost caught up to him in the 2K run, and he did beat Eldin in the Surf race. And Jerry appeared to have easily bested Eldin in the run-swim-run during the swim, but on the hard pack Eldin -- with the checkered flags in sight -- found some gas in the tank and closed the gap to pass Jerry almost at the finish line.
Jerry Lozano, at the final flag...

Eldin Onsgard, reeling in Lozano on the Run-Swim-Run!  Hurry up, Jerry!...

In between taking hundreds of pictures of the competition, Joel Gitelson nabbed 6 firsts in 6 Age Group events (60-64) and 30 points, continuing his domination. Joel, Jerry and Eldin all cross the finish line with a grin, something the event needs a lot more of from the younger guys. As Bob Burnside says “it’s fun competing; especially with your friends.”

Joel Gitelson "shaka"!
Chief Bob Burnside (Ret.)
Rockstar Bob earned 10.5 points, including a first in the 70+ Ironman: a row, a paddle and a swim. Remarkable!


(Story by & Copyright Adam Sandler 2013. Used here with permission.)

2013 USLA Nationals Official, Adam Sandler

*** Many Thanks to Adam for taking the time to prepare a recap of the Nationals for us all to read and enjoy! ***

(All photos by & Copyright Will Maguire 2013.  Used here with permission.)


Until next time....

"County Recurrent" News


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