Karina Serio, 17, isn’t new to photography. Her father, Scott Serio, owns Eclipse Sportswire, a wire service that specializes in horse racing.

“It’s just like some people own restaurants and their kids grow up working in them, it’s the same with me and my dad’s photo business,” Serio said. She grew up with her sports photographer dad and the memories had a lasting impact. “He’d have my sister and I walk around high school games with his business card. Eventually, he trusted me enough to hold a camera.”

And now, the Tome School student has been named the 2023 Michael S. Powell High School Journalist of the Year by the MDDC Press Association.

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“I consider her our best reporter and photographer. She can cover games entirely by herself while other staff members are either good at photography or writing but can’t do both to the level Karina is doing it.”

Serio’s publisher at the Cecil County Sports Weekly

Her earliest memory of assisting her dad on a photo assignment was at the Cal Ripken World Series, a youth baseball tournament, and she was only 8 years old. Serio would run drinks and memory cards out to her dad, who would set up remotes behind home plate to get those stirring photos.

“I really just wanted to hang out with him; he’s my dad and he’s pretty funny,” Karina said. She says she loves sports and the energy that comes from being in the crowd.

Karina Serio, around 9 years old at the time, photographs an assignment with her Dad, Scott Serio. (Karina Serio)
Horse racing on Preakness Day at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland on May 20, 2023. Karina Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM (Karina Serio)
May 5, 2022: A horse heads back to the barn after exercising during Kentucky Derby week at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on May 5, 2022. Karina Serio/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM (Karina Serio)

A few years ago Scott was diagnosed with lung cancer. Karina was only a sophomore in high school then, but she picked up where her dad could not. Scott would text her tips and tricks while she was on assignment. This led to Karina being the first ever student reporter for Cecil County Sports Weekly.

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Karina Serio and Scott Serio look over images together on May 21, 2022, on Preakness Stakes Day at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Carlos J. Calo/Eclipse Sportswire/CSM (Carlos J. Calo/Eclipse Sportswire/Cal Sport Media)

Scott made a full recovery and now he and his daughter tackle photo assignments together. “We compete to see who gets the best photos,” she said. We call it, ‘Which Serio took the best photo?”

Karina’s future plans are uncertain, as she has a lot of interests. Her main passion is golf and she is an avid player. “When it comes to my future in photography, I don’t have any dream assignments, but I think it would be really awesome to cover the Masters [tournament] with my dad,” she said. She plans to study Russian in college.

Karina and Scott Serio are also contributors to The Baltimore Banner.

Kaitlin Newman is a photojournalist specializing in multimedia coverage. Her main areas of focus are politics, conflict, feature and breaking news. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Professional Writing from Towson University, which is where she is also the professor of photojournalism.

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