Team wins national lifesaving competition
PHOTO: Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr. (center) presents a proclamation recognizing the Monmouth County lifeguard team who were crowned national champions at the Nautica USLA Lifeguard Championships at a reception in their honor on Aug. 20 at Charley’s in Long Branch, NJ. Pictured left to right: Denise Blair, Monmouth County U.S. Lifesaving Association (MC USLA) Treasurer, Gene Hession, MC USLA President, Mike Tomaino, Team Coach and MC USLA Communications Officer, Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr., Jim Simonelli, MC USLA Secretary, Team Coach Jack Green and Mike Barrows, MC USLA Vice President.
LONG BRANCH, NJ – The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders recognized the Monmouth County Lifeguards who were crowned national champions at the Nautica USLA Lifeguard Championships in Virginia Beach, defeating the Los Angeles County Surf Life Saving Association who had captured the overall team title for the 27 previous years.
Freeholder Deputy Director Gary J. Rich, Sr. presented a proclamation to the MonmouthCounty team at a reception in their honor on Aug. 20 at Charley’s in Long Branch.
“This is a tremendous accomplishment and you should all be very proud,” said Rich. “The Board commends you and looks forward to watching you hold this championship title for years to come.”
For more than 30 years, the MonmouthCounty team has been competing in the three-day annual event which measures skills such as swimming, running, paddle-boarding, landline, beach relay and simulated rescue response.
The winning MonmouthCounty team prevailed over professional lifeguards from 64 USLA chapters around the country and included 67 men and 23 women, several of whom have been competing for more than 25 years.
“To see this dream come true, with all the hard work, preparation and competition that MonmouthCounty lifeguards have done, it’s an incredible feeling and satisfying conclusion to the season,” said MonmouthCounty team captain Mike Tomaino. “But we already need to start looking toward next year, because LA County won’t be satisfied with second place for long.”
The Monmouth County USLA National Team was lead to victory in the Open and Overall National Championship in Virginia Beach by Competition Coach Jim Simonelli and Team Coaches Jack Green, Mike Tomaino and Annie Fittin.