Bryann Milhorn qualifies for Lifeguard Regionals |

Bryann Milhorn qualifies for Lifeguard Regionals

Bryann Milhorn is a mountain girl from Rifle by birth, but she’s no slouch in the ocean either.

Bryann, 11, has spent nearly a month participating in the Seal Beach Junior Lifeguard program and earned a spot in today’s Western Regional Junior Lifeguard competition at Dockweiler Beach near Los Angeles.

“It’s the first time she’s left home … and to do something so big and then to do so well at it,” said Milhorn’s mother Randalea after finding out Bryann qualified for the regional competition.

Not that Bryann doesn’t have a bit of the beach in her blood. Her father, Ron Milhorn, grew up in California, while Randalea went to high school in Redondo Beach, Calif. Both parents attended the University of Southern California.

Ron, only half joking, equates the program to training for the U.S. Navy Seals. Junior lifeguards do everything from swims around the pier to 25-foot jumps off the pier to a variety of safety techniques. When not working in the water or training on the beach, marine biology and oceanography is taught.

“On average, they swim about a mile a day in rough water,” Randalea said. “That’s their biggest focus, but they also get the kids in grueling shape.”

The work paid off for Bryann. She had a solid qualifying time, then was selected from the qualifiers for the regional competition. Her main event will be the run-swim-run, which consists of a 200-yard dash on the beach, a 100-yard swim in the open water and another 200-yard dash.

Top finishers in the regional competition can qualify for the national event later this summer.

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