The water was calm, the setup by Eric Bramoff, chief of East Hampton Village’s lifeguards, was said by John Ryan Sr. to be ideal, and, as usual, Smith Point’s A team won the Main Beach invitational lifeguard tournament last Thursday.
The tournament drew eight men’s teams and five women’s teams — the most ever inasmuch as the women were concerned, said Ryan. And the good news for East Hampton was that its town team, captained by Katie Osiecki, “easily” topped the other female entries.
Osiecki’s roster, besides herself, comprised Amanda Calabrese, Nora Rosati, Lucy Kohloff, Paige Duca, Melanie Mackin, Haley Ryan, Shannon Ryan, Morgan German, Laura Gundersen, Kira Garry, Katrina Garry, Lucy Mullin, Jessica Gutierrez, Paloma Tavera, and Katla Thorsen.
Competitions were held in a number of lifeguard-related events, including three relays, one using paddleboards, and three individual events. Smith Point’s men had three firsts, Fire Island had three firsts, and East Hampton’s top men’s team had two. “Our women used to win all the time,” said Ryan, “but in the last two or three years Southampton’s won among the women.”
Ryan reported, as well, that Trevor Mott, an East Hampton Town lifeguard (and one of East Hampton High’s top swimmers) and Smith Point’s Ann Fici won the (400-meter) distance swim; that Billy Sweezy of the Fire Island team and Kira Garry won the (2-kilometer) distance run, and that Scotty (the Body) McGinnis, an East Hampton Village guard, and Kohloff won in beach flags, a musical chairs-type race in which contestants, who begin on their bellies facing away from the finish line 25 meters distant, must on the whistle turn quickly and race for an ever-diminishing number of sticks.
“We do beach flags because it’s like what a guard lying on a blanket would have to do if he or she all of a sudden had to dash into the water to make a rescue,” said Ryan.
Andrew Foglia, of the East Hampton Town team, was the defending beach flags champion, but finished third this time, behind McGinnis and “a Smith Point guy.”
The women’s race included three national beach flag champions. Emily Ward, an East Hampton Village guard who is an audiologist here, won in 2009, a Smith Point guard, according to Ward’s father, Mark, “won last year,” and Calabrese, who was to be the runner-up to Kohloff, won a national beach flags 9-to-11-year-old title in 2009. Ryan added that Kohloff and Calabrese had won beach flags titles in recent East Hampton junior lifeguard tournaments, as well.
The 4-by-100 sprint relay was won by Smith Point; the run-swim-run relay was won by Fire Island.
In the quarterfinal beach flags heat, Ward put a great move on her national-champion Smith Point counterpart as each dived flat-out for the stick, but Ward seemed to pull up a bit in the final feet of the semifinal heat as Kohloff and Calabrese dashed by her to the two remaining sticks, a result she accepted with equanimity.
Ryan said that in the distance run, “Only four guys finished ahead of Kira,” and “the most exciting finish was in the paddleboard relay. Peter Johann had a 3-yard lead going in the last leg going onto the beach, but he slipped and the other guy, from Fire Island, passed him. Peter caught him, though, in those last 15 yards. Maybe if you’d had a camera trained on them you could have told who won. We said it was a tie. It was a photo finish . . . without the photo.”
Smith Point finished one-two in the landline rescue, “which,” said Ryan, “used two pullers and a victim.” Smith Point won the 4-by-100 relay as well, and the run-swim-run relay was won, he said, by Fire Island.
At the end, the men’s team standings showed Smith Point in first and Fire Island in second. East Hampton Town’s A team, whose captain was Foglia, tied with Smith Point’s B team for third place, after which came the East Hampton Village A team, which Ryan said “was a good finish for the village.”
As aforesaid, Osiecki’s team won the women’s division, followed by Southampton, Smith Point, East Hampton Village, and East Hampton Town’s B team.
An East Hampton women’s team is to compete in an all-female regional tournament at Sandy Hook, N.J., on Wednesday.