Riddle leads women’s championship going into final day of U.S. Lifesaving Association Nationals

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L.A. County lifeguard Alison Riddle won the iron woman event for the second year in a row, was part of the team that won the womens’ open rescue race and was third in the open board to take a commanding lead in the U.S. Lifesaving Assocation National Lifeguard Championships in Cape May, N.J., after the second day of competition today.

Riddle, an Hermosa Beach resident and former USC water polo player, has 32 points, 10 better than Ft. Lauderdale’s Jennifer Noonan.

(More background on Riddle, see today’s story).

On the men’s side, L.A.’s Brian Murphy, last year’s high-point champion, won the board race for his seventh time in his career and the iron man for the fourth time. He is second to Monmouth County Chapter’s Matt Nunnally, a 15-time national champion, after Friday’s 14 events, trailing him 26 points to 24.75 points. L.A.’s Jeff Monroe is seventh (11.5 points) and Chad Carvin is eighth (10.75 points).

L.A.’s Taylor Spivey is third behind Riddle (with 20.25 points) on the women’s side, with teammates Kelsey O’Donnell fifth (14 points) and Tandis Morgan 10th (10 points).

Monmouth County leads the overall competition with 358 points through 100 events, with L.A. County, winners in 2010 and a 24-time champion, second with 334.5 points.

More than 1,000 professional lifeguards from around the country are competing for individual and team honors in the water and beach course events that challenge their lifesaving skills. Nearly 80 of them are from L.A. County.

Individually, L.A. County’s Carvin was second in the Open mens’ surf race, and the L.A. team of Monroe, Benjamin Gottlieb, Brian Davidson and Micah Carlson was second in the open men’s rescue race.

In the womens’ rescue race, Riddle was joined by Spivey, Morgan and Bridget Rome on the winning team.

In the age-group competitions for the men’s surf race, L.A.’s Monroe, Jeff Lombardo and Benjamin Gottlieb finished first through third in 30-34, Carvin won the 35-39, Rob Pelkey was second in the 40-44, Eldin Onsgard was third in the 60-64 and Ed Heinrich second in the 65-69 category

L.A.’s Shannon Sullivan won the women’s 55-59 surf race, while Margaret Cook and Cheri Ellington were first and second in the 50-54 age bracket. Rome was second in the 35-39 category and Ann Finley was second in 45-49.

In the board race breakdown, L.A. had a winner with Carvin in the men’s 35-39 category, Tom Seth and Pekley were first and second in the 40-44, Mitch Kahn won the 50-54 slot, Heinrich won the 65-69 and John Matesich won the 70-plus category.

On the women’s side, Cook and Ellington were first and second in the 50-54 division, Morgan was second in 30-34 category, Rome was third in 35-39, Finley was second in 45-49 and Sullivan was second in 55-59,

The races continue today. More info: www.uslanationals.org.

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