PHOTOS: Swimmers go pier-to-pier to remember former Wrightsville Beach lifeguard, UNCW swimmer


By Kennedy Meehan


Swimmers from all around participated in the fourth annual “Stoked to Go Out” Grey Liston Memorial Swim in honor of the former Wrightsville Beach lifeguard and University of North Carolina Wilmington swimmer.

As many as 150 swimmers swam from Crystal Pier to Johnnie Mercer’s Pier today in remembrance of Grey Liston, who died in a mountaineering accident in Mount Olympus National Park on July 20, 2013.

Grey Liston has made a significant impact on the swimming community, having served four years on the Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue squad and UNCW Seahawk’s Swimming and Diving team, swimmers said. All proceeds from the race go towards helping UNCW swimming and diving student athletes by contributing to the Grey Liston Endowment Scholarship Fund.

Participants ranged from those with a personal tie to Liston, such as Wrightsville Beach lifeguards and UNCW swimmers and coaches, to those who just want to swim for a great cause.

Some members of local swim teams, such as the Cape Fear Aquatic Club, participate in the race together.

“The swim community in Wilmington is very small, so we participate in a lot of the same stuff,” said Devin Lessard, swim coach for the Cape Fear Aquatic Club. “I didn’t swim for UNCW, but the other two coaches for Cape Fear Aquatic Club did, so I thought it would be fun to come out and support their alma mater and a great cause.”

Sixteen-year-old, Brynn Jewll, has participated in the pier-to-pier race the past two years alongside her friends and teammates.

“It’s a very good cause. I didn’t know Grey, but a lot of people who I know knew him. My coach knew him and talks about him sometimes. They always email about the race and try to get as many people involved as they can,” Jewll said.

Photos by Kennedy Meehan

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