Team Santa Monica swimmers triumphed at the Junior Lifeguard state and national championships this summer.
Swimmers Meriel Mitsakos, 14, of Playa del Rey, Isabel Casso and Tristan Marsh, who represented Los Angeles County, captured gold medals at the United States Lifesaving Association National Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on August 6th.
Prior to the national competition, Mitsakos and Swim Torrance member Sara Booth, 15, of Westchester competed on the county Junior Lifeguard All-Star team at the California Surf Lifesaving Association state championship in Seal Beach late last month. Mitsakos won the distance swim and run-swim-run events for the girls B age group, while Booth placed fifth in the distance swim for the girls A age group.
Marsh took second in the distance swim, third in the run-swim-run and was part of the winning swim relay team at the state competition. Casso was sixth in the distance swim and run-swim-run, while her relay team placed second.
Ana Silka placed third in the AA group distance paddle, Collette Gulick placed fourth in the AA distance swim and Jordan Wilimovsky took sixth in the A distance swim.
At the national event, Casso, 16, won first place in the girls AA age group run-swim-run and third in the distance swim and iron guard. Marsh, 13, placed first in the boys B age group run-swim-run, iron guard, distance paddle and rescue race, as well as second in the distance swim. Mitsakos won the girls B age group distance swim and rescue race, and finished third in the iron guard and run-swim-run.
Also competing against hundreds of junior lifeguards from across the nation were Team Santa Monica swimmer Nick DeVito, 13, of Playa del Rey, who placed fifth in the boys B distance swim and run-swim-run; Serafina King, 10, who finished seventh in the girls C age group run-swim-run; Tiana Marsh, 12; Tess King, 12; and Matthew DeVito, 10.
Adding to the team’s achievements, Jonathan Lait, 16, competed in both the 100-meter and 200-meter breaststroke at the USA Swimming Junior Nationals in Federal Way, Washington.
Team Santa Monica practices at the Santa Monica Swim Center and the Culver City Plunge.