The City of West U recently had several of its summer lifeguards compete in a SuperGuard competition in College Station.
The city sent eight lifeguards, a junior guard and two substitutes to the competition. The competition is an individual and team based completion that is comprised of 5 to 7 events that test the guards’ skills and their knowledge of guarding, spinal injury management, handling active and passive patients and working through an accident simulation.
West U lifeguards have been participating in competitions for the past five years and have participated in the competition in College Station for the past three years.
Recreation Manager Brittany Bakes said the competition is a great experience for the city’s lifeguards and it helps further their training. The completion also helps the guards learn from their mistakes.
“It’s a really good opportunity for the kids,” she said.
Bakes said the lifeguards take the scenarios from the competition and have all of the West U lifeguards practice them at their in-service training.
West U was the only Houston area city to participate in the competition. Other cities that participated include the Woodlands, Galveston, Plano, Conroe, New Braunfels and Kerrville, amongst others.
Bakes said some organizations hire lifeguards just for the competition, which can be hard to compete with.
The West U lifeguards had tryouts to see who went to the competition. Bakes said the city couldn’t send all of their lifeguards because the competition is held during regular pool hours.
West U had two guards place in the top 10 of the individual competition. Lifeguard Casey Wolff came in 10th place and head lifeguard Sarah DuConge came in second place.
DuConge has been a lifeguard for the city for the past four years. She is a West U resident and is a sophomore at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where she is studying chemical engineering.
DuConge has participated in four competitions and her second place victory is the best place she’s had in a competition. It is also the highest place a West U lifeguard has received at a competition.