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YEAR IN REVIEW: Local athletes and teams capture a host of state and regional titles, from track and field to baseball and even a new record shark. But one of the biggest sporting events ever witnessed in this area was the Dew Tour, which drew some 93,000 spectators to Ocean City.

Petersen wins state indoor high jump title

Though Greg Petersen struggled early in the state high jump event in Landover, Md., the Stephen Decatur senior pulled it together in the end to earn the 3A title.

“The beginning was rough. I just got done with the 55-meter hurdles and it wasn’t my best race,” Petersen said of the Feb. 21 contest, held at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex. “I was tired, but I just had to brush it off.”

The high jump started with the bar set at 5 feet 6 inches. Petersen missed on his first attempt, but succeeded on the second. On his first two attempts at 5 feet 8 inches, the bar fell over. He cleared it on his third attempt.

Things started to turn around for Petersen on the next height, 5 feet 10 inches, and he made each jump thereafter. Petersen soared over the bar set at 6 feet 4 inches, the height at which he won the 3A East Regional meet on Feb. 7.

He admitted he was nervous after that, as the bar was moved higher to 6 feet 6 inches; his best of the season was 6 feet 5 inches.

There were three boys remaining in the competition. Petersen nearly cleared the bar on his first attempt at 6 feet 6 inches and was even closer on the second try.

He had one chance left. His two other competitors missed on their third attempts, so it was Petersen’s to win.

Each athlete is given five minutes to complete his jump and Petersen said he took just about all his time.

“It was a perfect approach, a perfect arch — everything felt on. [The bar] wobbled a bit, but it didn’t fall off,” he said. “It all happened so fast. It was like a dream almost. It’s one thing to get a PR (personal record), but to win states; I jumped off the mat and ran all over the place.”

Petersen captured his first state title. He had participated in outdoor track, but it was his first time competing indoors, which made winning the gold medal even sweeter. He also holds the school record and is the Bayside champion in the event.


Dew Tour draws est. 93,000 to Ocean City

In July 2011, the Pantech Open set a Dew Tour attendance record by drawing approximately 73,000 fans during its four-day run in Ocean City — its first beachfront venue. That record was broken this year as approximately 93,000 spectators came out to the beach in downtown Ocean City for the Dew Tour Pantech Beach Championships, held Aug. 16-19.

“We are very pleased with how everything went this year in Ocean City, and consider it to be a big success. From the record crowds to the vibe on the beach and Boardwalk we couldn’t be more pleased with the support from the community,” said Chris Prybylo, vice president of events for Alli Sports, the company that produces the Dew Tour.

In April, Alli Sports, a division of the NBC Sports Group, announced a four-year renewal of its partnership with Mountain Dew, along with the 2012 Dew Tour schedule — Ocean City was stop No. 1.

The Ocean City Council in January set aside Aug. 16-19, for the East Coast leg of the 2012 Dew Tour, as requested by the tour’s planners.

On Aug. 6, workers began building a vertical ramp, Mega 2.0 ramp, skateboard bowl and a BMX park, on the beach, just north of the pier in downtown Ocean City. The crews completed the blocks-wide “Dew Tour Experience” just in time for Day 1 of the four-day Pantech Beach Championships on Aug. 16.

The tour, now in its eighth year, was reshaped to showcase action sports in three large-scale, premium and “grand-slam” style events. The 2012 Dew Tour locations were Ocean City, San Francisco, Oct. 18-21 (Toyota City Championships); and Breckenridge, Colo., (Mountain Championships), Dec. 13-16.

Events that took place in Ocean City included the GoDaddy Surf Expression Session, Skate Vert and Skate Bowl contests, which were showcased last year. A Skate Mega 2.0 competition and Skate Bowl Legends event, were new to the line-up.

BMX Park and Vert contests were featured again this year in the resort along with the new BMX Mega 2.0 and Dew Tour’s first-ever Flatland demonstration, where four athletes were chosen to show off their skills.

Also, nine musical acts were featured throughout three days, Aug. 16-18.

The festival village, dubbed the “Dew Tour Experience” this year, was expanded to include more sponsor booths, autograph signings and activities to reflect a true experience of the action sports lifestyle and culture.

Admission was free for all competitions and concerts. A limited number of premium passes were available, which guaranteed fans a seat for that day’s competitions as well as exclusive Dew Tour merchandise.

According to the Demoflush statistics, which uses wastewater flows to estimate the city’s population, approximately 296,268 people were in town that weekend, an increase from 292,647 who visited the same weekend in 2011.

The Tour got under way later this year because of the Olympics, which were broadcast on NBC. Earlier dates — June 20-23 — are being considered for the Dew Tour’s return to Ocean City in 2013.


Decatur boys’ swim team wins back-to-back titles

Rick Cawthern, then co-coach of the Stephen Decatur swim teams, said that on paper, the boys’ squad looked as if it could repeat as regional champions prior to the Feb. 18 competition. The Seahawks proved they were No. 1, easily dominating their 3A/2A/1A East Regional competition at the Anne Arundel Swim Center in Annapolis. The Seahawks scored 329 points — 62 points more than their closest competitor, the Kent Island Buccaneers. Decatur earned first-place honors in nine of the 11 events.

“This is only our fourth year competing at regionals and to win back-to-back championships is outstanding,” Cawthern said.

The girls’ team finished in second place (291 points) behind Cambridge (310) during the regional meet.


Berlin’s 10-11-year-old Little Leaguers win title

Berlin’s 10-11-year-old Little League All-Star team captured its second consecutive state championship crown on July 21 in Hurlock, Md.

The All-Stars easily took down District 8 competition again this year. The boys shut out East Wicomico 31-0, then trounced West Salisbury 18-4 and topped Fruitland 16-3 July 9 to win their second district title. Berlin outscored its district opponents 65-7 this year.

Representing District 8, the Berlin squad advanced to the weeklong double elimination state tournament, which began on July 14 in Hurlock, Md. The Berlin boys edged out Bethesda (District 7) 8-3, then took down Easton (District 6) 15-3. Berlin shut out West End (District 1) 6-0 in the semifinal round, July 17.

The undefeated Berlin squad battled Brunswick (District 2) for the championship title, July 20.

Berlin led 2-0 after the first inning and increased its lead to 7-2 in the third. The team tacked on one run in the fifth and held on to win 8-2.

“It was probably one of the best games we played all year,” said Manager Cameron McDonough.

McDonough said it was a much different feeling winning the state title in 2012, compared to last year.

“Last year, the kids maybe kind of surprised themselves, but this year they 100-percent expected to be state champions again if they played well,” he said. “It was clear from the start of the tournament we were the best ones there.”

Although a few games were close in the early innings this season, the Berlin squad was never really challenged. The team outscored its opponents 102-15.

Ten of the 11 players from the 2011 team, now all age 11, returned to compete this year. Unfortunately, the state level is the farthest the team may advance as there is no regional tournament in the 10-11-year-old division.

Next year, as 12-year-olds, the Berlin players will have a chance to advance to the Little League World Series.


Stephen Decatur Golf season filled with firsts

Four of the five Stephen Decatur golfers competing in the 4A/3A state championship scored low enough on Oct. 22, Day 1 of the tournament, to advance to the Oct. 24 final round at the University of Maryland-College Park.

Senior Joe Iacona, juniors Andrew Urban and Matt Ruggiere and sophomore Delaney Iacona competed as a team. J. Iacona and Ruggiere both shot 77s on Oct. 22, Urban carded a 78 and D. Iacona an 89, for a team score of 321. The foursome’s total put them in seventh place out of the 21 teams entered and qualified the group for the final round.

It was first time in school history since moving from the 2A classification to 3A in 2007, that the entire team qualified for the finals.

Decatur was 15 strokes behind the leader, Wootton High School, heading into the final round.

During Day 2 of the tournament, J. Iacona shot a 75, Ruggiere carded a 78, Urban tallied a 77 and D. Iacona recorded an 83. Decatur tied for fifth place overall in 3A/4A.

Coach Jim Krall said the Decatur golfers’ performance at the state tournament was amazing and the perfect end to a fairy tale season that was filled with firsts.

“It was the first time in 15 years that the golf team went undefeated as we were [Worcester] County champions, Ryder Cup champions, Bayside South champions, Bayside Conference champions, District VIII champions and qualified for the 3A/4A state finals as a team,” he said. “The future of Decatur golf continues to look bright and very competitive…”

It was also the first time the top four golfers in the Bayside South are all from Decatur. Both Iaconas, Urban and Ruggiere were named to the All-Conference First Team.

J. Iacona was the No. 1 golfer on the Eastern Shore for the second consecutive year.


Angler catches state record scalloped hammer

Scott Cusick of Jackson, N.J. set a new Maryland record, reeling in a 266.8-pound scalloped hammerhead shark on Aug. 9, during the 39th annual White Marlin Open tournament. He won the shark division and received $5,150.

Cusick caught the shark aboard the Milling Around, a 50-foot Viking sport fishing boat. The crew was fishing near a pod of pilot whales around the Washington Canyon, about 60 miles southeast of Ocean City. Cusick said the fish put up a tough 45-minute fight.

“We were sure it was a bigeye tuna. We had been marking tuna on the sonar and boats nearby were hooked up, fighting bigeyes,” Cusick stated in a press release. “It wasn’t until we saw the color and length of the fish, that we knew it was a shark.”

The fish was weighed at Harbour Island Marina on 14th Street. The previous record was a 254-pound fish caught by Jamie Gill in 2009.


Lady Mallards capture school’s first hockey title

The Worcester Prep field hockey team has come close, but the Lady Mallards have never captured the Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference championship title. That was until this year when the squad edged out the Sts. Peter & Paul Sabres 3-2, Oct. 26, in the ESIAC tournament finals to finally win the trophy.

“This is history for Worcester Prep…,” said Prep Coach Jenny Frostrom after the game in Berlin.

Sts. Peter & Paul evened the score at 2-all with 2:46 left to play. As the seconds disappeared off the clock, junior Sarah Arrington carried the ball down the right sideline and passed to junior Meg Lingo, who fired a shot past the Sabres goalie. The Mallards held on for the final 30 seconds to secure the victory.

Following the contest, the championship trophy was presented to the Mallards.

Senior goalie Claire Brown, Arrington, sophomore Jordie Loomis, Lingo and junior Ali Greer were presented with First Team honors. Juniors Hannah Esham and Maddy Stearns took home Second Team awards. Junior Libby Truitt and sophomore Natalie Twilley received Honorable Mention accolades. Frostrom was named ESIAC Coach of the Year. Worcester also received the Sportsmanship Award.

The Mallards finished the year 12-2.

“The beginning of season I saw a lot of potential in these girls. This group, their heart is 10 times bigger than any I’ve coached,” Frostrom said. “They wanted this from Day One and they weren’t afraid to work for it…”


Lisa Capitelli, Ocean City Today
Lisa Capitelli, Ocean City Today
Managing Editor Lisa Capitelli, a New York native, entered Salisbury University (then Salisbury State) in the fall of 1998 and graduated in the spring of 2002 with a Bachelors of Arts degree. She majored in communication arts, and minored in art, with concentration on photography. Lisa began her career at Ocean City Today as a staff writer in February 2003. She was promoted to Assistant Editor in August 2011 and Managing Editor in May, 2013. Editorial responsibilities include covering sports — from local high school games, to fishing tournaments and recreation and park programs, the business community and weekly happenings, events and activities.

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