Kittanning Lifeguards Win Regional Competition

Nine Belmont Complex lifeguards participated in the lifeguard competition, including Connor Cole, Leslie Campbell, Kevin Valasek, Bethany Campbell, Jesse Valasek, Nathan Turco, the Mudlo brothers and Jillian Blodgett.

by Jonathan Weaver 

A trio of lifeguards from a local pool won a regional competition demonstrating their lifesaving preparedness skills.

Dylan and Logan Mudlo and Jillian Blodgett, all of Kittanning, were one of three teams representing the Belmont Complex and placed first out of 12 teams at the Butler County Lifeguard Competition at Alameda Pool in Butler, PA on Saturday, July 30th.

Lifeguard Dylan Mudlo, 22, last attended the competition three years ago, where his team finished second. He said it is a true team victory.

Brothers Dylan and Logan Mudlo and Jilliam Blodgett hold up their winning trophy from the Butler County Lifeguard Competition at Alameda Pool in Butler that was held July 30.

“It definitely was a team effort and everyone pulled their weight equally. We had to work together,” Dylan said. “Everyone did their job.”

A lifeguard for five years, Dylan is also a distance swimmer with the Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) Crimson Hawks’ men’s swimming team at the main campus in Indiana, Pa. A senior Exercise Science major, Dylan hopes to go to graduate school to major in Sports Medicine. He begins his senior classes August 29.

Lifeguards were judged on various qualifications during the morning’s events, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a brick tread and a knowledge test.

Competitive events also included an obstacle course and a tug of war.

Dylan said the trio did well on a majority of the events to win the trophy.

“We did well on everything in general, but the obstacle course was probably what we won the most by,” Dylan said.

Besides lifeguarding at the Belmont Complex, Dylan also has lifeguarded at Mack Park in Indiana.

Logan Mudlo, 19, was part of a team that placed second at the ‘Guard Games’ last summer. He has also been a lifeguard for five years.

“As soon as I could start working, I was a lifeguard at the YMCA and then the first year I could work at the Belmont, I worked there, too,” Logan said.

Logan also lifeguarded during the winter at the YMCA pool when it was open for three years.

Logan said lifeguards practiced for the competition weekly.

“We have lifeguard meetings every Monday morning, so at the end of each meetings, we would practice some Guard Game events and just train for those,” Logan said. “We were pretty prepared.”

Logan was particularly pleased with how the group did within the backboard competition.

“Up at Guard Games, they guard back boarding pretty strict, so all year we practiced it pretty hard and we only missed one point at the games, so we did really good,” Logan said.

Logan also studies at IUP, but as a Computer Science major.

Jillian Blodgett,19, is in her fourth-and-final summer as a Belmont Complex lifeguard after competing in three ‘Guard Games.’ She was on the second-place team with Logan last year, but said the team worked hard to go over-the-top.

“We won different events with Dylan being on the team this year and it was a different experience,” Blodgett said, which included winning the last three to float to victory.

Blodgett performed the CPR test last year and in July, and said she also helped her team more as an individual.

“I think I did better,” Blodgett said. “I’ve been a lifeguard for a long time and I think my experience made a difference.”

Blodgett will attend Pitt-Oakland this fall for business courses. Her last shift at the Belmont Complex will be this Saturday, August 20.

The Butler County Lifeguard Competition is held annually.

In a statement by the Belmont Complex, officials said they were proud of how the the nine lifeguards performed.

 “The Belmont Complex strives for excellence in lifeguard skills to ensure the safety of our pool patrons.  We are proud of our lifeguards and the hard work they put in!”

Others that participated were Connor Cole, Leslie Campbell, Kevin Valasek, Bethany Campbell, Jesse Valasek, and Nathan Turco.