Lake Mohawk lifegaurds win competition

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  • Lake Mohawk Pool completing the team CPR scenario.

  • LMCC's Lexi Faria takes 1st place after finishing the 500 yd. Open Water Swim.

  • Lake Mohawk Pool catching up to LMCC in the Paddle Board Relay

  • LMCC's Head Lifeguard Chad DiBlasio accepts the Team Trophy from Ryan May, head guard at Lake Mohawk Pool, last year's winners.

  • Taking off in the Rescue Tube Relay

SPARTA — The 4th Annual Sussex County Lifeguard Competition was postponed due to the rain and moved to Tuesday, Aug. 8, at the Lake Mohawk’s Upper Lake Beach.

Lifeguard teams from Lake Mohawk Country Club, Lake Mohawk Pool, White Meadow Lake and Green Pond competed in this year’s events.

“The competition is designed in the spirit to build teamwork, enthusiasm, motivation and skills required of Lifeguards to make their job both rewarding and fun,’ said Rich Carlson, Waterfront Director for LMCC and coordinator of this year’s competition. “All of the events are designed to measure individuals and teams in lifesaving skills required of Lifeguards.”

Each team is permitted to have up to seven members on the team roster with four competing in each event. Teams have to be coed.

The first event was the 500 yard open water swim for both males and females. Jake Maute from White Meadow Lake came in first for the men with LMCC’s rookie Lifeguard Lexi Faria right on his heels to take first in the female division. Jared Schwesinger and Chris Rudel came in second and third respectively for the Lake Mohawk Pool and rookie Jared Witt took fourth for LMCC in the men’s event.

On the women’s side, Emily Tighe and Emily Bottano from the Pool took second and third with Kellyann Gargaware from White Meadow coming in fourth.

White Meadow Lake, in their third appearance in the competition, took first place in the Rescue Tube Relay. Green Pond, new to the competition this year, took second with LMCC taking third.

The race of the day had to be in the Paddle Board Relay. LMCC’s team was comfortably ahead of the other teams, but the Lake Mohawk Pool came paddling up on the last leg and was almost neck and neck to the finish. The LMCC team fought them off for the win. White Meadow Lake took third.

However, the Pool came back real strong in the Run/Swim/Run/Swim event and blew away the other teams by taking first. Green Pond beat out LMCC by less than a second.

Every two years, an event is substituted for a new one. This year’s new event was the Submerged Victim/Team CPR Scenario. Judges randomly pick a number out of a hat and that team member becomes the primary rescuer. The rescuer has to enter the water and retrieve a manikin underwater about 10-15 feet deep. Once retrieved, the rescuer tows the “victim” to shore where his/her team is ready to help extricate, set up and perform CPR with equipment such as pocketmasks, bag valve masks and AEDs for two minutes.

Each team starts off with 20 points and judges deduct for certain deficiencies or missing steps. LMCC took first with Green Pond and White Meadow Lake taking second and third respectively.

After all the scores were tabulated by judges Derek Pivko and Sebastian Cook, Lifeguard Instructors for the American Red Cross, medals were awarded to individual and team winners in the top three places. The travelling Team Trophy was presented to LMCC by Ryan May, Head Guard of the Lake Mohawk Pool. The Pool were champs in 2015 and 2016.

“What a great event and program for our guards,” said Greg Leo, owner and operator of the Lake Mohawk Pool. “It certainly gives them some recognition that they deserve.”

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