Riddle defends U.S. Lifeguard title; L.A. County team wins 25th championship in a row

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Hermosa Beach’s Alison Riddle defended her title as the women’s champion of the U.S. Lifesaving Association’s National Lifeguard Championships in Cape May, N.J., edging L.A. County teammate Taylor Spivey of Manhattan Beacy by .75 points.

Riddle, who had a 10-point lead after Friday’s first day’s competition, finished the 28-event competition on Saturday with 59 points, just ahead of Spivey’s 58.25.

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The L.A. County lifeguard team also overcame the first-day lead by Monmouth County, N.J., to win its 25th consecutive title with 679 points covering 161 events, winning by nearly 50 points. It was L.A.’s 37th national title since the competition began in 1970. The California State Lifeguard Association team finished fifth (85.5), behind Monmouth County, Sussex County, Del., and South Jersey in the “A” chapter category.

L.A.’s Brian Murphy of Redondo Beach, the 2010 men’s champion, finished second this year with 45.24 points, three behind Dylan Newbiggin of Destin, Fla. L.A.’s Tyler Morgan (El Segundo) was eighth (19.5), Jeff Monroe was ninth (18.5) and Chad Carvin was 10th (18.25). Last week in Hermosa Beach, Carvin, a silver medalist swimmer in the 2000 Olympics, led Venice to a first-place finish in the Bud Stevenson Intracrew Relay race, the feature event of the L.A. County Lifeguard Championships.

Spivey’s surge in the women’s division came after she won the open run-swim-run race and the American Iron Woman competition, and then teamed with Riddle in the winning board rescue event as well as the Taplin Relay.

Riddle, who won Friday’s Iron Woman competition, was second in the American Iron Woman event, which involves swimming, rescue board and a run over at 1,400 meter course.

L.A.’s Tandis Morgan of El Segundo finished seventh in the womens’ open division (23.75 points) and Kelsey O’Donnell of Rancho Palos Verdes was eighth (22.75).

Morgan and O’Donnell teamed with Kailey Makuta and Shauna Letvin to finish third in the Taplin Relay; Riddle and Spivey were with Tracey Crothers and Zahra Shahalayi on the Tapin winning team.

In individual men’s races, L.A.’s Murphy was second in the Surfski race, with Morgan third; Murphy and Carvin were second in the board rescue race, and Murphy teamed with Carvin, Morgan and David Cartlidge to finish second in the Taplin Relay.

L.A. County men’s age group winners include in the 2K beach run: John Matesich in the 70-plus and Eldin Onsgard in 60-64; in the American Iron Man: Onsgard in 60-64 (with Joel Gitelson third), Mitch Kahn in 50-54, Rob Pekley in 40-44 and Jeff Lombardo in 30-34.

In the age groups for the American Iron Woman, L.A.’s Chari Ellington won the 50-54 (with Margaret Cook second), and Bridget Rome was the 35-39 winner.

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