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Fire Island lifeguards score in tourney

Demonstrating the physical prowess necessary to save swimmers in peril, more than 50 lifeguards Tuesday competed in the first Jones Beach Lifeguard Corps Invitational at Jones Beach.

The scorching 90-degree-plus temperature was no match for lifeguards from Fire Island, Tobay Beach, Long Beach, Robert Moses beach and Jones Beach, who ran and swam in various events during the day.

Events included a 4-by-100-yard soft-sand relay race and the prized land line rescue -- involving one swimmer, one "victim" and two lifeguards who had to pull in the "victim" and the swimmer on yards of rope, later carrying the "victim" on their backs across the finish line.

While songs like "Eye of the Tiger" played from a loudspeaker as lifeguard Cary Epstein, 32, of Hewlett, hosted the event, the physical tests were marked by cheers on the sidelines and panting by lifeguards emerging from the surf.

Fire Island Ocean Rescue won the tight team race with 169 points, and Central Mall Jones Beach lifeguards were a close second with 168 points and Jones Beach placed third with 150 points.


The final results:

Team winners

2-mile beach run, Jones Beach

Run-swim-run, Fire Island Ocean Rescue

Distance paddle, Robert Moses Field 3 lifeguards

Landline rescue, Jones Beach Central Mall lifeguards

Distance swim, Fire Island Ocean Rescue

4x100 soft sand relay, Long Beach Patrol

Swim-paddle-run relay, Jones Beach

Rescue race, Fire Island Ocean Rescue

Beach flags, Long Beach Patrol


Overall tournament placings:

1st -- Fire Island Ocean Rescue, 169 points

2nd -- Central Mall Jones Beach lifeguards, 168 points

3rd -- Jones Beach, 150 points

4th -- Long Beach Patrol, 129 points

5th -- Robert Moses Field 3, 108 points

6th -- Tobay Beach lifeguards, 80 points

7th -- Robert Moses Field 2, 49 points

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