Torrey Pines Junior Lifeguards medal at National Junior Lifeguard Championships


By Bo Smitham

The National Junior Lifeguard Championships were held on Aug. 7 in Manhattan Beach. This 43-year old event attracted more than 450 Junior Lifeguards from across the country competing for individual and team honors.

These Junior Lifeguards descended on the beach from Kauai to Los Angeles to New York and Florida. Torrey Pines and Carlsbad Junior Lifeguards brought a team of more than 50 competitors. They competed for individual and team honors in the following eight events: Beach Run, Surf Race (Distance Swim), Rescue Board Race, Beach Flags, Rescue Race, Swim Relay, Run-Swim-Run and Iron Guard.

Three Torrey Pines Junior Lifeguards won individual national titles:

•Karina Hankee earned her second-place silver medal in the “Run-Swim-Run” competition. This is an individual event in which Junior Guards run a set distance on the beach, swim out and around two buoys and back, finishing with a second beach run.

She placed 3rd in the ‘Surf Race’ (Distance Swim). Karina had to swim out and around two designated buoys and finish through the funnel on the beach. Karina won a third-place bronze medal in this event. She competed in the A Girls Division —14 and 15 years of age.

•Hanna Erbe-Smith earned a third-place bronze medal in the “Rescue Board Race.” During this event Hanna had to paddle a board out and around designated buoys, negotiate incoming surf and finish with her board through a funnel on the beach. She competed in the A Girls Division.

•Charlie Cole won a bronze medal by finishing 3rd in the “Rescue Board Race.” He competed in the C Boys Division — 9 – 11 years of age.

For full results from the National Junior Lifeguard Championships, visit

The Junior Lifeguard competition prefaced the three-day United States Lifesavin