Top sports stories of 2012 in Santa Barbara

Lakey Peterson U.S. Open 2012

Lakey Peterson at US Open (ASP Photo)

Bryan Fernandez

CIF State champion Bryan Fernandez

1. Bryan Fernandez of Dos Pueblos completes the greatest cross country season of all time by a local prep runner, going undefeated (11 races) and winning the CIF-SS and CIF State Championships.

2. Lakey Peterson wins the main event of the U.S. Open of Surfing at age 17. It turns out to be a fantastic event for Santa Barbara surfers as Conner Coffin wins the Men’s Junior Pro.

3. Evan Morrison, swimming through grueling conditions in the darkness of night, completes the 19-mile Santa Cruz Island to Oxnard?s Hollywood Beach ocean crossing in a record 9 hours, 47 minutes, 49 seconds.?The previous record was 10:27.

4.?Bishop Diego?s football season. The Cardinals won a school-record 12 straight, beating Nordhoff in a physical battle to capture the Tri-Valley League championship and advance to the CIF Northwest Division semifinals.

5. Cate?s Ema Boateng is named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in boys soccer after leading the Rams to a second straight CIF title. Boateng signed a letter of intent with UCSB and walked the red carpet at the ESPY Awards.

6. The heartbreaking passing of former Dos Pueblos volleyball star Sam Wopat, a junior at Stanford. The Stanford team wore her initials on its uniforms this season.

7. UCSB soccer player Peter McGlynn shoves the referee following the Gauchos? overtime loss to UC Davis, is handcuffed and escorted off the field by campus police at Harder Stadium.

8. Jerry Harwin passes away at 100 years of age. Harwin did as much for the Santa Barbara sports community as anyone, co-founding the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table and soldiering the establishment of Las Positas Park (now Elings Park).

9. Orlando Johnson becomes UCSB?s all-time leading scorer in basketball and gets picked in the second round of the NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. He?s then traded to the Indiana Pacers. OJ is the first Gaucho to be drafted since Brian Shaw in 1988.

10. Santa Barbara High alum Kami Craig wins a gold medal with the U.S. women?s water polo team at the London Olympic Games. It was the first American Gold in the sport of water polo and Craig became just the second former SBHS athlete to win Olympic Gold, volleyball player Karch Kiraly being the other.

11. ?Sophomore?Stamatia Scarvelis?of Dos Pueblos follows her older brother and wins the? CIF State shot put title. She won the title on her final throw, a mark of 47-3.25.? Nick Scarvelis, now at UCLA, won the boys title the previous year.

12. Westmont?s Tugce Canitez is named NAIA Women?s Basketball National Player of the Year and plays in the Olympic Games for Turkey.

13. Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser, one of the most decorated beach volleyball teams in history who won an Olympic Gold Medal together in 2008, officially split up following the return of the AVP event to Santa Barbara in September.

14.??Santa Barbara High?s football team, which lost its quarterback two days before the game, rises up and beats Dos Pueblos to earn a share of the Channel League title.

15. Santa Barbara Foresters win 16 of their last 17 games and capture their second straight NBC World Series Championship — the first NBC back-to-back champion since 1994.