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Lifeguarding team from Cumming Aquatic Center takes second at state meet
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Adam Vaughan, A Team captain - photo by Micah Green

CUMMING -- A group of lifeguards in Cumming know their jobs are not just to sit and idly watch over a public pool. They have to be ready at all times, and they recently proved they are up for the task.

The Cumming Aquatic Center’s A Team took home second-place honors in the recent Georgia Recreation and Park Association’s State Lifeguard Competition at Lake Oconee by performing tasks in several water-based and rescue events.

During the competition, lifeguards participated in a swim relay, rescue board relay, rescue relay, CPR scenario, team triathlon and capture the flag.

“Their high levels of performance during these competitions go to show how well-trained and prepared they are in their daily jobs — which are so very important — and I couldn’t be more proud of them all,” said Carla Wilson, director of the center.

Two teams from the center were among a total of 16 from across the state that took part in the competition, according to Wilson.

“This competition is an excellent opportunity for our lifeguards to show off their training, skill and high fitness level while getting valuable practice in high-stress scenarios similar to those they might experience during an actual emergency,” she said.

The A Team tied with a group from Cobb County for second place, while the B Team finished seventh.

Gwinnett County’s A Team took the top spot in the competition for the fourth year in a row.

Last year, the Aquatic Center took just one team.

“We didn’t really know what we were doing [last year], so this year we got to practice,” said Adam Vaughan, A Team captain.

They finished fourth on the first go-around. Not bad for not practicing.

As captain this year, Vaughan helped decide who should compete in each event based on their strengths.

“I’m a very competitive person, so I tried to get that out of the team,” he said.

The competition helped build unity between the lifeguards, who worked at the center 30 to 40 hours per week throughout the summer, he said.

The rest of the A Team included: Sissy Bowers, Riley Geoghan, Hanna Allen, Emily Carroll and Tony Scheyer.

B Team members were: Justin Olive, Emily Pope, Josh Torre, Katherine Brostrom, Audrey Clanton and Annsley Marks. For every member on the team, this marked the first year he or she had participated in a lifeguard competition.