By BRIAN CUNNIFF
NORTH WILDWOOD — The Wildwood Crest Beach Patrol’s competitive racing team has gotten off to a dream start this summer.
After winning both the Cape May County Lifeguard Championships and the Longport Women’s Invitational earlier in the week, the Crest dominated Friday’s Beschen-Callahan Memorial Lifeguard Championships to remain unbeaten through three races.
Wildwood Crest won five of the six events at the Beschen-Callahan race in posting 28 points to run away with the team championship. Host North Wildwood was a distant second with 12 points and Wildwood was third with 10 points.
Upper Township, Sea Isle City, Avalon and Stone Harbor also competed.
Brett Pederson was the star of the competition for the Crest. He won the box paddleboard race; joined Pat Bakey, Jon Burkett and Nate Belisario for first place in the surf dash relay; and finished second in the can run.
Burkett also won the box swim and Bakey teamed with Jake Klecko for victory in the doubles row.
The Crest’s Darrick Kobiwerowski won the singles row.
North Wildwood’s Luke Snyder kept the Crest from tossing lifeguard racing’s version of a perfect game by edging Pederson for first place in the can run.
The 51st annual event honors Jim Beschen and Mike Callahan, a pair of former North Wildwood lifeguards who were killed while on active armed services duty during the Vietnam War in the 1960s. As usual, members of the Beschen and Callahan families were on hand for the race.
The competition was completed in 57 minutes.