DC Metro Showcase arrives in MoCo for recruitment showcase

logoAs the summer heats up, hundreds of athletes made their way to the South Germantown Recreational Park this past weekend for various outdoor sports. While the scenery provided a great setting to play outside, it did not stop college coaches in the region and the top basketball recruits from traveling to the state-of-the-art, multi-sport indoor Discovery Sports Center, for the DC Metro Summer Showcase.

The Discovery Sports Center (DSC) proved to be an excellent venue for this particular basketball invitational, as no player or coach had to travel from facility to facility for games throughout the weekend. Spectators entered through the double doors of DSC and were immediately greeted with wide-sweeping view of games being played on all 8 basketball courts. It was almost hard to imagine how different the facility will look come winter with two synthetic turf fields set-up on the 46,000 square foot arena floor for indoor field sports- I will have to come back to see that transition for myself!

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2013 Dew Tour- Ocean City

Imagine thousands and thousands of your closest friends all together on a beautiful afternoon in Ocean City, MD cheering on local Baltimore favorite Bucky Lasek as he skated his way to victory during the Dew Tour’s Skateboard Vert finals competition. That was exactly how my Saturday was! Seeing the competition up close and personal was more impressive and amazing than anything ever on television. I was able to see all of the athlete’s true skills first hand and every flip, twist and wipe out was more dramatic than the next. A few other events that were held throughout the weekend were the BMX Street Session, Skateboard Legends Bowl Final, the Skateboard Street Session, BMX Flatland Final, BMX Park Final and the Skateboard Bowl Final. Continue reading

Region’s best junior divers showcased in MoCo

Over the weekend, I had an opportunity to witness my first dive meet at the Kennedy Shriver Aquatics Center (KSAC) for the USA Diving Summer Junior Region 3 Championships.

usadivingAlthough my drive to the KSAC was short, divers from the region’s top dive clubs made journeys to North Bethesda, MD from states as far as North Carolina, Massachusetts, Florida, and Colorado.

Throughout the weekend, parents, siblings and friends filled the parking lots to come out to watch and support their loved ones. With 127 divers from age group 11 & Under to age group 16 to 18 compete in diving events from 1 meter, 3 meter and platform towers.

During each event, participants performed a standing dive for each round and rotated through for five rounds. Promptly after every dive, the five-person judge panel used scorecards to score the dive out of 10 points. The PA announcer would read the results into the microphone for the audience, as the diver hopped back on deck with the following diver set to perform the next dive only seconds later.

While watching the events, the lower age groups were understandingly more limited to performing dynamic dives, the 16-18 age group exhibited an impressive set of dives from the 10 meter diving platform, including forward armstands, reverse somersaults, and inward somersaults.

After 2266 dives later, The MDC came out on top of the competition and scored an astounding 407 points overall among the boys and girls divisions. The swimmers advance on to the Junior Zone Championships for a chance to compete in August at the USA Diving Junior National Championships in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Diving is a part of the culture in the Washington Metropolitan area, unlike other areas of the country, according to third-year MDC Program Director Doug Beavers.

Last summer, the 2012 U.S. Olympic Dive Team selected Montgomery County Recreation to prepare for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. With its reputation of its aquatics program and optimal diving amenities available to the athletes, it was the ideal training site.

Along with the KSAC, the county offers a robust selection of diving facilities for its elite diving club, including the Germantown Indoor Swim Center, Martin Luther King Jr. Swim Center, and Olney Swim Center.

Recently, the MDC Dryland Training Center was established in Wall Park, adjacent to the KSAC, as part of the U.S. Olympic Dive Team’s training camp.

The training center is only one of a few dozen indoor dryland facilities in the country, with amenities including two 1-meter dry diving boards with 12’ x 12’ x 32” landing pit, two 6’ x 12’ trampolines with competition beds, 25’ x 25’ spring floor for multi-purpose activities, and an overhead spotting harness over trampoline and dryboard.

“From a local diving point of view, this is the next level of training,” Beavers stated in a Gazette article last August. “It is the way that the world trains and it brings a whole other dimension of training to our [nationally recognized] program.”

2013 USA BMX East Coast Nationals- Severn-Danza Park

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This past weekend almost 800 BMX riders participated in the 2013 USA BMX East Coast Nationals hosted by Chesapeake BMX (Anne Arundel County). On hand to welcome the crowd of racers and spectators was our very own Terry Hasseltine, representatives from USA BMX, Rick Anthony (Director of Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks) and Kate Roth (Sports Manager for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County CVB). The event drew riders from numerous states including California, Texas, Tennessee and even a few from Canada.

Quick tip for BMX newbies like me: Races are organized in classes by age and skill levels. Each class races in a moto which is composed of a series of heat races. There are normally three (3) rounds to a moto. Each round consists of one lap around the track from start to finish. The overall winner of the moto is either determined by the aggregate finish in all three rounds or by winning a main event.

On Friday there were 68 registered motos, 185 on Saturday, and 165 on Sunday. This was the third time Chesapeake BMX has held a national event in 5 years, and it was also the largest race at Chesapeake BMX to date!

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While on a tour of the track I was given a look at the new spectator viewing area that was added around the track. Included in this viewing area were new bleachers- Chesapeake BMX was lucky to be chosen from a drawing to receive bleachers from the United States Naval Academy’s Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.

I was able to see a few races including a group of 5 and under racers called ‘striders’. Racers can be as young as two years old and can continue in the sport late into adulthood. The youngest of racers who make up the 5 and under race group use bikes that don’t have pedals so they scoot along the track with their feet (imagine how many pairs of shoes they must go through in a single racing season!)

photohjkBMX proved to be a very family oriented sport, with many families having multiple members competing in different races throughout the weekend including parents. All throughout the park, large tents could be seen with families settled under them waiting for their race times to start. You also had to be careful navigating your way through the park, as there were riders in every direction you turned, either on their way to a race or heading for a little down time in between races. One thing proved to be certain; this community of racers are more than passionate and dedicated about what they do!

To find out more about Chesapeake BMX and upcoming races visit www.chesapeakebmx.com/.