McAllen Memorial alumni and identical twins Evan and Trevor Williams will be among nearly 1,000 lifeguards and junior lifeguards from across the country competing beginning today in the United States Lifesaving (USLA) National Lifeguard Championships at South Padre Island.
The two are also on the Texas Longhorns cross country and track and field teams as distance runners.
The Williams twins grew up spending summers and weekends at South Padre Island fishing and surfing, which led to a start as junior lifeguards. They now serve as lifeguards with South Padre Island Ocean Rescue.
“Being a lifeguard means protecting the ocean here at South Padre Island, and growing up being so close to it, the dream is always to help people. And to help people on our local coastline, it’s just a dream come true,” Trevor said.
At the USLA National Championships, lifeguards ranging from ages 16-80, and junior lifeguards from ages 9-15 will compete in water and beach course events that challenge their life-saving skills in a myriad of events from surf swims to beach runs and paddleboards to surf boats. A few of the highlights include the Landline Rescue Relay, Ironman and Ironwoman events, and the beach flags event which will be contested Friday night at Clayton’s Beach Bar.
“We’ve always been very involved in the ocean, and being able to kind of have a track meet for lifeguarding and ocean rescue, it’s just a dream. We’re obviously very excited about the running events, but I can say I’m just as excited to compete with and against my twin brother,” Evan said. “I think we’ve grown up pushing each other, and getting to do that is going to be very exciting and fun. Also representing the city of South Padre Island will be a dream for us because it’s the first time SPI has hosted such a large-scale event, and we’ll be representing Texas as a whole on the national level.”
“The USLA is thrilled to bring the best of the best in lifesaving to South Padre Island for the first time in the competition’s history. After the disappointment of missing out on a national competition last year, these lifeguards are excited to show off the incredibly hard training that they have been putting in on a daily basis, not just for the competition but to be better equipped to perform their daily job of protecting their fellow beach-goers,” Ed Zebrowski III, Lifesaving Sport Chair for the USLA, said in a news release.
Admission is free for the annual competition, with a majority of the action taking place behind Isla Grand Beach Resort on South Padre Island. The USLA and the Padre Beach Rescue Association (PBRA) are coordinating the competition.
The event will be livestreamed on www.usla.org.