OCEAN CITY - Sometimes it's not immediately clear which beach patrol wins the team title at a lifeguard event.
But there was no such problem at the ninth annual Ocean City Beach Patrol Women's Invitational on Wednesday at the 34th Street beach.
Ocean City piled up points with victories in four of the first five races, including two by Erin Curry. A second-place finish in the surf dash kept Ocean City from a perfect night, but no other patrol came close in overall points.
Ocean City's Rachel Boudart and Emma Elmer started the evening with a victory in the sprint-doubles row. Curry followed with an easy win in the box-swim. O.C.'s Holly Berenotto and Shawnee Foglio captured the row-swim, and Curry returned to take the box-paddleboard race.
"It was awesome how our team did today," said Curry, who will be a sophomore swimmer at Liberty University in Virginia. "We expected everything to be close, but we kept winning and scoring points."
Ocean City scored 28 points for its second straight team championship in its home event. Atlantic City was second with 13 points and Sea Isle City had 11 points for third.
O.C. also won its invitational in 2004, 2006 and 2009.
"Our team stepped up and I'm proud of them," said Tom Mullineaux, the Ocean City Beach Patrol chief. "The ladies on all the patrols competed well."
Curry's two wins were in races that had a box course in the ocean. She had little trouble in the swim, winning by more than 16 seconds in 8 minutes, 9.25 seconds.
Curry then had 15 minutes to rest up during the row-swim, a luxury she didn't have when she won the swim and paddleboard back to back on July 10 in the Longport Women's Lifeguard Invitational.
Despite falling off her board a couple times, she pulled away in the final 125 meters after the final ocean marker to win by more than 18 seconds in 7:42.
"The swim was my main focus, just like at Longport, and I had a really clean race," Curry said. "In the paddleboard, I just wanted to go out and have fun. In-between races I walked around a little and went into the ocean a bit. I caught a wave coming in on the paddleboard but fell off the board. It wasn't a clean race, but there won't be any more paddleboard races this year, so I can work on it for next year."
Boudart and Elmer were at the northern end of the beach, and Atlantic City's Macey Miller and Mallory Sykes were battling them in the surf at the southern end. Ocean City won by more than a boatlength in 4:45.
"We tried to stay a ahead of them," said Boudart, a University of Delaware rower. "We were worried when we broached on a wave (near the end), but we pulled it out. I'm sorry it wasn't a little rougher. I was hard to get a wave."
The row-swim featured Berenotto, an East Carolina University swimmer who was also a crew standout while at Egg Harbor Township High School. She and Foglio rowed to the flag 500 feet from shore, and Berenotto, the stern, jumped out and swam to shore for a 17-second victory.
"This event was new last year when we won, and I think it went better this year," Berenotto said. "I was really tired from rowing when I started the swim, so I used my legs a lot. You don't use your legs in rowing, just your arms and your back."
Ocean City's perfect night was halted by the Wildwood Crest surf-dash team of Ann Marie Kelly, Christina Caroulis, Leeny Tarnowski and Rose Brenner. Caroulis got a 8-yard lead in the second leg and the Crest team held on to win.
Contact Guy Gargan:
Team scoring (Scoring was 6-4-3-2-1 for the first five places.) 1. Ocean City 28; 2. Atlantic City 13; 3. Sea Isle City 11; 4. Wildwood Crest 10; 5. Cape May 4; 6. Ventnor 4 (Cape May had a higher finish in the doubles row for tiebreaker); 7. North Wildwood 3; 8. Avalon 3; 9. Longport 2; 10. Stone Harbor 2.
Sprint doubles row
1. Ocean City (Rachel Boudart-Emma Elmer) 4:45; 2. Atlantic City (Macey Miller-Mallory Sykes) 4:48; 3. Cape May (Patrice Back-Mary Grace Maggiano) 4:52; 4. Sea Isle City (Alisia Bell-Becky Lederer) 4:53; 5. Ventnor (Meghan Holland-Paige Howarth) 4:58.
1. Erin Curry, Ocean City 8:09.25; 2. Madison Meyer, Sea Isle City 8:25.61; 3. Erin Regan, North Wildwood 8:35.02; 4. Becky Hannings, Avalon 8:40.15; 5. Kerry Choplin, Cape May 8:41.67.
1. Ocean City (Shawnee Foglio-Holly Berenotto) 6:47; 2. Atlantic City (Macey Miller-Ayana Cox) 7:04; 3. Meghan Holland-Shannon Howarth) 7:05; 4. Longport (Paige Funk-Katie Adams) 7:08; 5. Avalon (Clarissa Clark-Becky Hannings) 7:38.
1. Erin Curry, Ocean City 7:42; 2. Rose Brenner, Wildwood Crest 8:00.58; 3. Ayana Cox, Atlantic City 8:12.03; 4. Madison Meyer, Sea Isle City 8:19.92; 5. Kelly Bainbridge, Stone Harbor 8:40.78.
Surf dash (No times available)
1. Wildwood Crest (Ann Marie Kelly, Christina Caroulis, Leeny Tarnowski, Rose Brenner); 2. Ocean City; 3. Sea Isle City; 4. Atlantic City; 5. Stone Harbor.