Swimmers looking to stay in shape while still spending their summers beachside sometimes opt for the job as a lifeguard. With the challenging set of physical skills a beach lifeguard must be able to perform well — from running, swimming in open water, towing others, rowing in rough water, and more — this can be an ideal option for a competitive swimmer looking to change things up.
University of Florida and Saint Andrews swimmer Quinn Cassidy has decided to spend time with family this summer in Ocean City, New Jersey and pursue the Ocean City Beach Patrol. The two-day try out included a half mile run (3:45 qualifying time must be met), 1,000 meter swim (which Quinn won), a 25- yard dash swim, a 100 yard boat rowing portion (which Quinn found the most difficult), as well as an interview. In the end, Quinn beat out 50 other hopefuls for one of the spots on the famed Ocean City Beach Patrol.
Quinn then joined his cousin not only patrolling the beaches but also competing in the South Jersey Lifeguard Pool Swimming Championships, won the 200-meter individual medley and the 100 backstroke and was part of two winning relays. Quinn was named the meet’s Most Valuable Swimmer as he led Ocean City to its sixth straight outright team title.
It looks like Quinn is on-track to match his father, Sid Cassidy, who is an Ocean City Beach Patrol Hall of Fame inductee who won the South Jersey Lifeguard Championship swim in 1977 and 1978.
Meanwhile in Florida, Episcopal Amberjax swimmer Autumn Utech became a member of the City of Jacksonville Beach Ocean Rescue Division and the American Red Cross Volunteer Life Saving Corps. The 16-year-old Senior Champ qualifier made history when she became the first female to ever win the Mininak Ocean Marathon Swim in the 82 year history of the race.Competitors went from from Ponte Vedra Beach north to the old Atlantic Beach pier and battled severe currents. She completed the 3.5 mile race in 1:18:55, which was almost three minutes faster than the second place swimmer!
Making a big impression, Autumn was also asked to join the Jax Beach Lifeguard Competition Team.
Saint Augustine Cyclone Nicholas Loomis splits time between Lifeguarding at Solomon Calhoun Center pool run by the First Coast YMCA and working the County Beaches for St John’s County Ocean Rescue along with training 18 hours a week with the Cyclones. He will be competing USLA Nationals in Daytona Beach August 5-8. Now that’s a busy summer!
So, swimmers, next time you need some beach time, consider combining it into a job and a workout, too! Hats off to Quinn, Autumn, and Nicholas for their outstanding summers!