The 107 degree heat may have kept some in the comfort of their air conditioned apartments, but dedicated sand sculptors headed out to Coney Island yesterday for the 20th Annual Sand Sculpting Contest. The Parks Department "provided" 50 mounds of sand on the beach for participants to mold into whatever they could imagine, from cats to swordfish to actual castles. And at the end of the day, and Long Island man took home the prize.

Frank Russo won the $400 first place prize for the third year in a row, blowing away the competition with his 6-foot sculpture of a castle complete with exposed bricks. He told the Daily News, "I pretty much pushed the sand to the limit of what it can handle," and plans on using the prize money to take his wife out to dinner. Coney Island local Cassie Deshong, 10, also won the kiddie contest for her artistic representation of the dish running away with the spoon.