It would have been understandable if Zander Dragony, Malcolm Feix and Hunter Murison hadn’t competed in the paddleboard relays while attending a junior lifeguard camp in Santa Cruz earlier this month.

A few days prior to the competition, a board hit Dragony in the face. He went to the hospital where X-rays proved negative. Despite a bruised neck and some soreness as well, he was back at the camp the next day.

“We were concerned for him when he got hurt,” Feix said.

When they saw him back at camp, and he was just a little sore, they talked about competing in the relay two days after the accident.

In the end, the trio competed in the relays, winning the race by a large margin.

The three-man relay team ran from the beach, paddled out about 250 yards, turned at a buoy, paddled to another bouy, turned and paddled back to shore.

The relay member has to carry the paddleboard across the finish line where the next person goes into the water, and repeats the effort.

With teams coming from as far north at Stinson Beach and as far south as Monterey, plus two from Santa Cruz, the Half Moon Bay trio, made of freshmen at Half Moon Bay High School, knew it would be a challenge.

Since the camp took place in Santa Cruz, everyone assumed one of the Santa Cruz teams would win.

Those assumptions were quickly erased as Feix jumped out quickly. By the time he reached shore, he held a 15-second lead.

Dragony didn’t just maintain the lead, he increased it over his portion of the relay. Murison held the huge lead when he did the anchor leg.

“I didn’t know how large the lead was,” Murison said. “At the end, I was pumped.”

There was no second-guessing about Dragony doing the race prior to the competition.

“I was ready to go,” he said.

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