3,000 runners will share the trails on marathon Saturday

December 2, 2022

Lewes to Rehoboth - I am credited with being a co-founder of the Lewes Marathon along with John Curtin in fall 1977. That race only came about because a planned coastal marathon starting in Fenwick and ending in Lewes failed to fly because the chambers couldn't get along and the Delaware State Police didn’t want to play. John promised he could find 26 miles without leaving Lewes – before all the hipster trail saturation. My job was to convince Mayor Al Stango that it was a good idea. Stango listened if he liked you. Even if your idea was a dumb one, he would help make it happen. John mapped the course on the back of a paper plate. I could walk that course today in the dead of darkness – OK, on an e-bike – but it had to change two years later when the canal bridge came out and was replaced by the one leading into Dewey Beach. That bridge was floated down the canal on a barge. The 10 years of the Lewes Marathon never broke beyond 300 runners. This weekend’s Rehoboth full and half marathons will have 3,000 total runners. If you want to talk about the economic impact, call a chamber meeting, but I’ll be busy taking photos. 

DSBA - I am a participating and voting member of the Delaware Broadcasters and Sportswriters Association, now in its 74th year of existence. Each year, there are statewide award winners chosen. Here’s a backward glance at some having local interest. Athletes of Year: Chris Short, Phillies, 1962,1965 and 1966; Georgetown Senior Little League team, 1981; Gene Lake, Delaware State College, 1984; Mike Hall, power lifting, 1986; Delino DeShields, Montreal Expos, 1990; Mike Neill, Olympic baseball team, 2000; Luke Petitgout, New York Giants, 2002; Rocky Myers, Wesley football, 2004; Carrie Lingo, Olympic field hockey team, 2007; Tyresa Smith, University of Delaware basketball, 2007; Christina Hillman, Iowa State shot put, 2014; Madison Brengle, tennis pro, 2015; and Katelyn Falgowski, Olympic hockey player, 2016. The Tubby Raymond Coach of the Year Award was instituted in 2000. Locally connected coaches who have won include Robin Adair, Tower Hill field hockey, 2007; P.J. Kesmodel, Cape lacrosse, 2012; Lynn Richardson, Polytech field hockey and lacrosse, 2013; Kate Austin, Cape field hockey, 2015; and Jodi Hollamon, Delmar field hockey, 2017.  P.J. Kesmodel’s state championship girls’ lacrosse team was voted Team of the Year in 2009. The Herm Reitzes Award for Service has been won by downstate stalwarts including Jim Blades in 2005, Marion Lisehora in 2007, Ben Sirman in 2009, Tony DeFazio in 2014 and Howard Laws in 2016. 

Crooked numbers - It doesn’t seem possible, but Cape indoor track has 103 boys and 65 girls out for the sport. The schedule is in flux, but there is the Ursinus Invitational meet Saturday, Dec. 3, and four meets scheduled at the Worcester County Recreation Center just south of Snow Hill, Md. Ellis Gaulden (boys) and Jen Cawthern (girls) are head coaches. There are 10 coaches total including volunteer assistants. There are close to 400 students involved in winter sports activities. 

Snippets - Jaden Davis (Cape), a sophomore running back for Salisbury University, made honorable mention for the NJAC. Jaden finished the season with 551 rushing yards, 81 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Cory Messick (Milford) is a sophomore wrestling 133 for Roanoke College. Fran Sirianni was a four-year starter at defensive back for the Golden Eagles from 1965-68, helping lead Clarion University to PSAC West titles in 1966 and 1967, as well as a perfect 10-0 season and the PSAC crown in 1966 and a runner-up PSAC finish and an 8-2 record in 1967. Playing under legendary Clarion University Hall of Fame head coach Al Jacks, Sirianni compiled 15 career interceptions – which was and at the time of his induction the all-time Clarion record. Fran coached track at Southwestern Central High School in Jamestown, N.Y., for 45 years. I found my way to the Clarion Hall of Fame page while pursuing John Testa of Saint Mark’s. Fran has three sons – Mike, Jay and Nick. Yes, Nick is the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. John Testa, a two-time Delaware state champion at Saint Mark’s, was inducted into the Clarion University Hall of Fame in 2015. Testa posted the third-most career wins at Clarion while carving a career record of 134-29-0. His 134 wins are behind only Wade Schalles and Mike Cole. Cape has 20 boys and 27 girls on the swim team rosters. Last season, the boys were 13-1 and Henlopen Conference meet champions. The Cape girls were 11-3 and third in the Henlopen swim meet behind Sussex Academy and Sussex Tech. After the Turkey Trot 5K, I said hello to Robert and Donnel Bailey, who were with their son Sasha Hudson and their recently procured from a southern state Shar Pei puppy King. “We had to get Sasha a new puppy; someone stole the last one,” Donnel said. Stealing Shar Peis is a low-down crime. I read a profile on the breed and it reminded me of myself. Low energy and loyal. Go on now, git! 


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