Lifeguards from the North Jersey area converged on Lake Mohawk last Monday night for the Annual Sussex County Lifeguard Competition. Teams from Lake Mohawk, Culver Lake, White Meadow Lake and Green Pond competed to test their speed, lifesaving and rescue skills.
White Meadow Lake was the host for this year’s competition but because of their lake incurringthe dreaded blue/green algae, the competition was postponed a week. When their lake wasstill under the algae watch and warning, the competition was quickly changed to Lake Mohawk.
Twenty eight Lifeguards competed in five different events, the 400 yard Open Water Swim,Run/Swim/Paddle/Kayak Relay, Rescue Tube Relay, Ring Buoy Relay and a Submerged VictimTeam Scenario. Each event had the Lifeguards demonstrate their prowess and skills andespecially their teamwork.
The large crowd of supporters and spectators cheered on the guards, especially during the closefinishes in some of the events.
Culver Lake Lifeguards took the overall competition finally wresting it from defending champs, Lake Mohawk who took second overall. Green Pond took third by only one point behind Lake Mohawk. White Meadow Lake took fourth. Green Pond took an early lead with Tara Wiarda coming in first and Indyia Weinmann taking third in the 400 Open Water Swim. Maddie Crowell from Culver Lake came in second with Lake Mohawk’s two girls coming up in 4 th and 5 th . John Postma, Culver Lake, took first in the Men’s division with Green Pond’s Jack Elsevier in a close 2 nd .
The Run/Swim/Paddle/Kayak event was again exciting this year with all teams leading in at least one leg of the relay. Heidi Van den Heuval, Culver Lake, was the single female in the first runleg. It looked like each team lead at one part of the race. Finally, Catherine Gaines from Lake Mohawk pulled it out at the finish again this year in the kayak to take the event.
Culver Lake, Lake Mohawk and Green Pond were close on the Rescue Tube Relay with Culver taking first, Lake Mohawk second and Green Pond third.
The score changed again with Green Pond taking first in the Ring Buoy Relay, LMCC second and Culver third.
The final event of the night was the Submerged Victim Scenario. This event really tested the guards’ teamwork. While one guard entered the water and recovered a submerged manikin and then towed it to shore, the awaiting team was ready with backboard, bag valve masks and AED to perform 10 minutes of high performance team CPR. All teams were very close in their performance. Culver Lake placed first with 19 out of 20 points, LMCC second with 18, Green Pond with 16 and White Meadow Lake with 15.
Cait Waxler, Chris Young and Rich Carlson from the American Red Cross were the judges for this year’s competition.