Saturday, September 30, 2006

A quick note!

I'm off to the cross-country meet at CORP, but just wanted to let you know that I covered the intermediate boys water polo team scrimmage yesterday, also the first half of the varsity II boys water polo game vs. Pac-5, then the girls varsity VB game vs. St. Andrew's Priory. I will upload the photos for these events over late Saturday and throughout Sunday.

Bye for now.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Catching up!

It's been busier than usual. Hard to get to the blog!

On Tuesday, I saw a great tennis match. Our JV Girls team played a combined Sacred Hearts/Priory team. Both teams were undefeated and this team beat Punahou, which automatically makes them the favorite for the crown in my book. As the match got going, I could see we had a chance. And, it worked out that way! The Iolani girls pulled out a 3-1 victory. One match had to be called due to darkness.

On Wednesday, I covered the Iolani JV Black volleyball game against Maryknoll. This one was over very quickly, 25-5 and 25-15. Today I'm running with the girls XC team.

On Friday I'm going to try to get some water polo shots. The light won't be that good, and I like to use long lenses for water polo, but I'll see if I can get a few. I also am trying to work out a way to attend the Girls varsity volleyball game.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Iolani Cross Country Invitational At Kualoa

This is a topic I could probably write a book on - if I had the time...But, mainly because of the Invitational I am so busy, I don't. The invitational website had 2654 hits on Sunday, the day after the meet. My photo galleries had 26,697 hits, just on Sunday, and about 90% of those were the cross-country galleries. Wow! Those are all-time records for any of my websites.

So, I'm busy answering questions, taking orders, and trying to keep up with my daily photo responsibilities. I do want to make mention, though, of a few local performances on Saturday.

The Intermediate girls race was much anticipated by this XC fan. Lea Lundblad, from Seabury on Maui, won last year's race by a hair over Iolani's Katie Pellitteri. Katie is injured currently and probably would have run in the varsity race anyway, so that rematch wasn't going to happen. But, Jenna Wong, Iolani's number 2 runner stepped in and stayed right with Lea through the whole race. Lea won in a super time of 13:20 with Jenna at 13:24. Kimberly Pugliese, a top OIA runner, came in 3rd at 13:40.

Other girls performances of note include the girls 2 mile open winner Amanda Tamanaha (13:35), and a 2nd place for Julie Besenbruch (19:34) and a 6th place for Haley Abing (20:01) in the varsity race. You may not realize how hard it is to finish in the top 10 in the varsity. We're talking about going against a lot of great mainland teams here, with a long history of running at the 3 mile distance. Hawaii has just switched the girls to the 3 mile distance.

In the boys intermediate race, Wyland Luke (1st at 12:03), Isaiah Sata (2nd at 12:04) and Borys Pleskasz (4th at 12:11) excelled.

Local boys also finished 1st and 2nd in the JV race with Micah Gomes at 18:22 and Christian Putegnat at 18:31.

In the boys varsity race we had 2 boys in the top 10. Kon Weber was 7th at 17:21 and Manu Adolpho (Molokai) was 8th at 17:31.

I'll try to upload more pictures later but the uploads are going very slowly at the moment. Be back later.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Iolani Intermediate Football vs Damien

I'm sorry I couldn't get to my blog before now, and actually, this has to be short. I've got a good excuse as I'm swamped with work from the Iolani XC Invitational at Kualoa run this past Saturday. I will get to that when I can, but I wanted to at least mention the great football game I witnessed on Friday afternoon at Iolani field.

Damien, like Iolani, has no JV team. This means that both intermediate teams have a lot of 9th graders. This game was supposed to be tough, and it was.

Iolani built up a big lead until about the middle of the 3rd quarter. Then the momentum started to switch to Damien in a big way. At the end we were holding on. It was 29-26 and Damien had the ball on about the 10 yard line with about 30 seconds to go. The Iolani defense came up with a couple of good plays and that's how it ended.

Iolani saw big games from Jarrett Arakawa at quarterback (he also was in on defense at the end), Sheldon Lee, and Sean Nada. My game ball goes to Andrew Skalman who did everything, catches, runs, a fumble recovery and some big tackles. There were probably more stars but I'm so tired I can't remember anymore.

I'll write about the XC Invitational when I get a chance. Right now I'm off to a girls intermediate soccer game!

Bye, for now.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tentative Schedule for Sept. 25 - 30, 2006

  1. Monday - Girls Int. Black Soccer v Kam Blue
  2. Tuesday - Girls JV Tennis v St. Andrew's
  3. Wednesday - Boys Int Black Volleyball v Maryknoll
  4. Thursday - Day off!
  5. Friday - Var II Water Polo for a short while, depends on my kids' practice schedule)
  6. Saturday - Boys and Girls Cross-Country at CORP

Iolani Girls JV Soccer - Black vs Red

I always look forward to the Iolani v Iolani games. I've seen quite a few in soccer, volleyball, and basketball - they all had a few things in common.
  1. Good clean play.
  2. Intensity.
  3. Obvious friendships before and after the competition.
After watching both these teams in previous games, I felt that the black team had the stronger lineup. Both teams had played the Punahou Gold team with different results. The Black team had actually outplayed the Puns by quite a bit, but failed in the scoring department and lost a heartbreaker 1-0. The Red team was overmatched by the Puns and lost 4-0. So, what would happen when these two met?

It started out well enough for the Reds, as they immediately took control and pressed the action. But, after the Blacks bent, but didn't break, it was pretty much a day for the Black team.

The final score of 5-0 tells the story. Goals were scored by Nicole Endo, Erin Park, another by Nicole Endo, Elissa Minamishin and Emily Ishikawa. Erin's goal was directly off a corner kick when she curved it in, untouched. I've only seen a few goals like that and I've seen quite a few soccer games! Super shot, Erin!

Photographically, I had to deal with the Ala Wai shadows as in the previous day. They seemed to come earlier and be darker than yesterday. I was probably just dreading their arrival. Still, there are a bunch of nice photos. If you'd like to see them, please click here.

Today, I am planning on covering the Intermediate football game vs. Damien. Then it's off to the pasta feed for the cross-country teams in preparation for the big races tomorrow. The Iolani XC Invitational at Kualoa is a huge event, attracting many mainland teams, ILH teams and OIA teams. First race is at 12:30pm!

Thursday, September 21, 2006


What is cropping? It is taking part of a photo away so that what is left is expanded. If a photo is well focused and large enough, this technique can improve a photo greatly. Look at the first photo.

The girls are so far away that it is hard to see what's really going on. Now look at the second photo. This is the same photo after cropping. Now you have a photo that really tells a story.

The Smugmug galleries I use to sell my photos allow you to crop your photos yourself. If you'd like to find out more about cropping, please read the article on cropping on my website.

Girls Intermediate Red Soccer vs Pac-5 Orange

This was a fun game to watch. Two evenly matched teams struggling to gain an advantage, both defenses refusing to budge, nice soccer weather - what a great time for a sports nut!

The Ala Wai field is an "ok" field for photography. I hedge because games in the afternoon produce a large shadow in the middle of the field with both goal areas in full sunshine. This makes for huge variations in lighting but it is still a field that can produce many nice photos and I got my share yesterday.

The final score was 1-0 with Iolani gaining the win. Amanda McCaskill scored the goal on a nice play about midway through the second half. She came in on the right side, made a few nice moves and found herself free in front of the goal with a split second to shoot. That's all she needed as she blasted it in. With both defenses playing so well a 1-0 lead was big and it held up.

Krystal Pascua had a very strong game. She played strong defense and made many good offensive runs. She hit the post/crossbar a few times and had many headers that kept Iolani in control. I was very impressed with her all-around game.

This Intermediate Red team is good, 4-1 so far with their only loss to Sacred Hearts. Wins were against Word of Life (5-0), Pac-5 Brown (2-0), Iolani Black (1-0) and yesterday's win over Pac-5 Orange.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Iolani Boys Varsity Volleyball vs Damien

Yesterday was a good day for the boys varsity volleyball team and for this photographer. First, the game. We won 25-10 and 25-19. It was not as close as the score sounds. Coach Mike Among substituted liberally to give everyone as much playing time as possible. When our first string was in it was an obvious mismatch. With the backups in it became much closer.

Good coaches find a way to let everyone contribute. I like what I see with this team.

This team now has a 4-0 record, beating Hanalani (2-0), UHS (2-1) and St. Louis (2-0) previously. According to the polls, Punahou is number one (no surprise there), Maryknoll number two and Iolani three. Kamehameha weighs in at number five, HBA at six, and Mid-Pac at nine. Our next game is against Mid-Pac on Friday night, 6pm, at Iolani gym. I wish I could be there, but I'll be busy with preparations for Saturday's Iolani XC Invitational at Kualoa.

Photographically, it was a good day. Indoor volleyball is a tough sport to photograph. Low light, fast action, unpredictable plays, and with our Raiders - usually black uniforms. Any one of those factors is a challenge, put them all together and you have a headache.

I've used a 20 year old 135mm 2.0 manual focus a few times now for the smash and block shots with mixed results. The last game I had some good shots but too many were out of focus. Yesterday I made two changes that contributed to a vastly better result. Instead of using the 135mm on my D70, I switched it to my D200. The D200 has an advantage that came into play yesterday. There is a much brighter, clearer view of what I'm shooting. This is crucial because at 135 mm and an aperture of 2.0 the depth of field is pretty thin.

The other thing I did was rig up a monopod that allowed me to shoot vertical but with much greater stability. The 135mm lens is not that large but it is very heavy.

These two factors contributed to my best selection of smashes and blocks this year.

For the side court shots I used my 85mm 1.8 with the D70. This combination worked fine, so I will stick with the above strategy unless I can come up with something better.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Iolani JV Boys Tennis vs HBA

I like photographing tennis IF there are no fences in the way. So, usually the best shots I get are taken when the players are warming up. Yesterday's match against HBA was, um, a "mis"-match. There weren't any competitive matches and this was even after Coach Mike decided to rest his top players.

Because there were no matches in doubt I was able to get a little closer to the action than usual. The result was better photos. There also was not any sun so the light was more even than usual.

Our boys JV team is off to a 3-0 start after wins against MPI, Maryknoll, and now HBA. None of the matches were competitive. JV tennis is a short season. The Iolani-Punahou match (October 2, last match of the regular season) will probably be the deciding one. Then it's off to the playoffs.

Today I will be doing Boys Varsity Volleyball vs. Damien at the Iolani gym. See you all there!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Schedule - 9/18/06 through 9/23/06

This is my tentative schedule for this week:

Monday - Boys JV Tennis
Tuesday - Boys Varsity Volleyball
Wednesday - Girls Intermediate Red Soccer
Thursday - Girls JV Soccer - Black vs Red
Friday - Intermediate Football
Saturday - Iolani Cross-Country Invitational at Kualoa Ranch

ILH XC Musings

The Mid-Pacific campus is a beautiful place for a cross-country meet and I'd like to see a meet there each year. Considering it was the first meet there, it was relatively trouble-free, but maybe a few things could be done to make it better.

1. Simplify the route. This was a very complicated route which was exacerbated by some incorrect instructions given out by volunteers.

2. Have course maps available at least one week before the race. This is easier than it sounds. I will gladly post any course maps on the USATF of Hawaii site so that everyone can see them.

There were kids that took wrong turns yesterday that cost them quite a bit of time. I hate to see that happen.

So what happened yesterday? The Mid-Pac boys won the individual crowns in the Intermediate (Devin Furutani ) and Varsity divisions (Scott Motobu). A lone St. Louis runner (Kevin Donahue) won the JV division.

On the girls side, Maryknoll continues to dominate individually, but has too few athletes to compete as a team. Brie Adams and Claire Hann (both from Maryknoll) took 1st and 2nd in the intermediate division. Jenna Wong (Iolani) moved to the JV's for this week and responded with a very strong race to win, despite feeling a bit under the weather. In the varsity division, Haley Abing took the win as her teammate Julie Besenbruch had a scheduling conflict and had to miss the meet.

Teamwise, there were some interesting changes from the previous weeks.

Intermediate girls:

Iolani - 52
HBA - 54
Punahou - 69

JV Girls:

Kamehameha - 29
Iolani - 49
Punahou - 92

Varsity Girls:

Punahou - 36
Kamehameha - 48
Iolani - 86

Intermediate Boys:

Iolani - 40
MPI - 52
Kamehameha - 96

JV Boys:

Punahou - 33
Kamehameha - 45
Iolani - 80

Varsity Boys:

Kamehameha - 36
Iolani - 49
MPI - 79

For the girls, I say, welcome back to Kamehameha. I've been expecting them to show better than they did in the first 2 meets. They showed much better yesterday. Punahou is still the favorite but Kamehameha will challenge. Iolani suffered a big blow losing their top runner, Katie Pellitteri, to injury. We at Iolani are praying that she recovers in time to help us later in the season.

For the boys, it currently looks like a 2 team race with Kamehameha and Iolani the main combatants.

It's the Iolani Invitational at Kualoa Ranch this Saturday, 12pm. See the IXCI Invitational website for details.

Lea Lundblad Returns To Defend At Kualoa

Just got this in from Maui!

Front Street Mile Lahaina.

Lea Lundblad from Seabury Hall recorded the fastest mile ever recorded for Maui county by a middle school runner. Lundblad covered the mile distance in a blazing 5 minutes and 30 seconds. Lundblad next travels to Oahu to run in the Iolani invitational to defend her title she won last year.


The Iolani Invitational at Kualoa Ranch is this Saturday, September 23, 2006. Lea will be back to defend her Intermediate division title. Pictured here is Lea and Katie Pellitteri (Iolani) who was only seconds behind Lea last year. Katie recently sustained an injury that will prevent her from running at Kualoa this year.

Iolani Intermediate Football Team Comes Up With Big Win!

This was nice, very nice. From the looks of the Punahou bench, all 130 of them, I was a bit concerned. But, once they started playing, it was pretty obvious that the Raiders were the better team, by quite a bit.

Our offense was cooking. I saw lots of good, strong play from our QB (Jarrett Arakawa - 9th grade), receivers (Trevyn Tulonghari - 8th grade), Sheldon Lee and Andrew Skalmon (both 9th grade). Also, Sean Nada and Jaron Teramoto, who seemed to be everywhere.

I'm sure there were others that made great contributions, especially in both lines. You can't dominate on both sides of the ball the way this team dominated without effective line play.

To make it even sweeter, the light was good, so I was able to get a lot of great photos. I haven't done that many football games, but I have to say when the light is good, it is a great sport to photograph. Here are a few that I especially liked. To visit the complete gallery, click here.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Girls JV Black Soccer vs Punahou Gold

I just have a few minutes before running off to do the Intermediate Iolani vs Punahou football game. Then it's off to the cross-country meet at Mid-Pac. If it rains, I will try to catch some volleyball at Iolani. But, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the soccer game yesterday. Yes, we lost, and it was frustrating because I really thought we outplayed the Puns in every phase of the game - except scoring...We lost 2-1 but it was still a fun game to watch. And, the light was good for photography. I was pretty pleased with the photos. If you want to visit the gallery, please click here.

In the meantime, here are a few examples:

Friday, September 15, 2006

Iolani JV Black Boys Volleyball vs Maryknoll

Yesterday was my first chance to shoot a boys volleyball game this season. It was over so fast, though, that I almost missed it! This was a huge mismatch with our Raiders overwhelming a smaller, at times disinterested looking Maryknoll team, 25-9 and 25-12.

The Iolani team looked very good, but how can you really tell when the other team can't extend you?

I look forward to seeing this team play when they are pushed. Maybe HBA can provide the needed competition on Saturday?

On the photographic news front, I finally received my repaired D70 after an over 2 month wait. This allows me to have 2 camera bodies at each event. Having 2 different lenses available without doing any switching is a huge advantage and convenience and will be very helpful in certain sports.

But, I had a few difficulties yesterday. The D70 is quite a different camera from the D200, which is now my workhorse camera. The D70 is a good camera, but it is slower (3 frames a second vs 5 frames a second) and has it's own set of gadgets to master. I used my "smash and block" lens on the D70 and must say I wasn't that thrilled with the results. There were a lot of "good content" photos, but too many that were out of focus that I needed to delete. I may need to use that lens exclusively on the D200.

Today I plan on doing the Girls JV Black Soccer game vs Punahou Gold at Kapiolani. This is a matchup I really look forward to. Two good teams slugging it out. Can't wait!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Smugmug down for maintenance

Hi all,

Sorry, but the Smugmug galleries are going to be down for a few hours Thursday night, 9/14/06, for maintenance. I got caught too. Photos from today's JV Boys volleyball match with Maryknoll will have to wait until Friday.

Coach Al

Iolani Girls JV Black Volleyball vs Kamehameha White

Wednesday's volleyball game was in the upper gym. Pretty hot up there, bad. Light is better than the lower gym, good. The doors in the corners are opened to increase ventilation - good, but creates another challenge for good photos.

You don't want a real bright area behind the players so what I try to do is move around to create an angle that excludes the bright spots. Of course, in volleyball you never know where the ball is going to go so you try to get to know the team and their tendencies. Then, you GUESS! Sometimes you guess right, sometimes not. I was probably about 50/50 yesterday. Now if I guessed right all the time then the opposing team should be able to also, so it's a good thing, I suppose, that I was at 50/50.

It was a good contest, going 3 games. Kamehameha White won the 1st and the 3rd. The 1st was won pretty handily, the second went to Iolani in a complete turnaround of momentum. I had to leave before the 3rd game started (family obligations), but it sounded like the closest game of the day with Kamehameha winning 25-20.

Today I will do my first boys volleyball game of the season as the JV Black team plays Maryknoll.

If you'd like to visit the gallery of all the pictures from yesterday's game, please visit Smugmug.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Iolani Girls Varsity Volleyball vs Maryknoll

Tuesday was a day to get back to volleyball. I was looking forward to this so I could try out my new lens. It's a 135mm F2.0 manual focus lens. Greek to you? Sorry. The reason I got this lens was to be able to handle the smashes and blocks from the end of the court. The F2.0 means it is a "fast" lens, good for low light, action situations. Since I need to focus behind the net, autofocus is not a good solution since it can be fooled by the net.

Enough of that photography talk, on to the game! Our Iolani girls looked to be in complete control of this match. Every facet of the game, serving, digging, setting, blocking and smashing (did I miss anything?) was clicking. The final score was 25-9, 25-19.

I'm not an expert on high school volleyball, although after spending so much time at the Ann Kang Tournament I'm definitely more comfortable with it. I've seen the Punahou team. They are good. We beat them at the Ann Kang, but I heard Punahou was dealing with some illness situations at the time. I've also read about the Kamehameha team and they sound like a powerhouse. The games against those two teams will be much anticipated by this sports nut!

Today it's volleyball again. This time I will cover the Girls JV Black team vs Kamehameha White at Iolani School.

To see the complete gallery of photos from yesterday's game, please visit my Smugmug gallery.

See you there!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

September 11, 2006 - Iolani JV Red Soccer vs Punahou Gold

Monday was a chance to get back to soccer! I love shooting soccer. The light is usually excellent, and there is lots of action which means there are many opportunities for spectacular photos.

Yesterday's game was between the Iolani Girls JV Red team and the Punahou Gold team. Iolani has 2 JV teams this year and they are not equal in ability. The Black team is the stronger team. Also, this year Punahou did not have enough girls to make 2 teams which means the one team should be stronger. So going into this game I was not really expecting Iolani to stay with the Punahou team.

Alas, I was right. The first half only saw one Punahou goal. Truthfully, though, we were lucky. I don't know what the shot totals were but we were outshot by a huge margin. Actually, I don't remember any Iolani shots on goal. Sigh...

In the second half it went from rough, to ummm, rougher! Punahou scored on an own goal, then on a header, then on a great individual effort. Final score was 4-0. It easily could have been 8-0. On the good side, the Iolani girls never gave up. They were still playing hard when the final whistle blew.

I am looking forward to Friday's game between this same Punahou team and our JV Black team. That should be a good, competitive game.

This afternoon I will be covering the Girls Varsity volleyball game vs. Maryknoll. I purchased a special lens just to cover volleyball smashes and blocks. Today I try it out for the first time in game conditions! My plan is to do one half with the new lens concentrating on our front line. The other half will be done with a shorter, but faster, lens to cover the backcourt.

To see the complete gallery of photos from the soccer game, please click here.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

2006 ILH Boys Cross-Country

Looking at the results from yesterday's meet at Kamehameha Schools, I couldn't help but notice how different the strength is distributed in the boys from the girls teams. The top teams results were as follows:

Intermediates: Mid-Pacific 40, Kamehameha 41, Iolani 64, HBA 108, Punahou 124
JV's: Iolani 29, Kamehameha 51, HBA 82
Varsity: Kamehameha 46, Mid-Pacific 53, Iolani 57, HBA 85

Pardon me, but the first thing that this old Iolani supporter notices is, where's Punahou? Whereas Punahou is the team to beat on the girls side, they certainly have a lot of work to do on the boys side. There were 62 entries in the boys varsity, not one from Punahou. There were also only 3 boys entered in the JV division. Wow!

But, even without Punahou, it looks like the competition will be fierce. Mid-Pacific, led by Scott Motobu, looks to have the depth to make a run this year. Kamehameha and Iolani also have the top runners and depth to make it a 3 way race this year. All 3 teams have 3 potential top 10 runners. Mid-Pacific has Scott, Philip Hong and Rick Goto. Iolani has Kon Weber, Daniel Lum and Sean Dudevoir. Kamehameha has Kyle Pidot, Kainoa Ho and Kamalu Beamer. The only other team on the horizon would be HBA, but at this early point in the season, it looks like they don't have quite enough this year to stay with the other 3 teams.

2006 ILH Girls XC Musings

From the official results, I have calculated the team totals for the top teams.

Intermediates - HBA 57, Punahou 67, Iolani 88, Kamehameha 94
Junior Varsity - Punahou 34, Iolani 44, Kamehameha 74
Varsity - Punahou 35, Iolani 60, Kamehameha 82

HBA continues it's newfound strength in the intermediates which first became obvious last season. Looks like a "Lauren Ho" legacy has taken hold at HBA with all these good young female runners. As these youngsters mature, I expect HBA to join the "big 3" and make it more of a 4-way race.

Since this was the first week where the JV's and Varsity divisions had their own races, the coaches had their first opportunity to move around their athletes. Some might make these moves to give younger, but still top runners, a chance to run at the front. Some coaches might be playing strategy games. Whatever the reason, since the races are on the same course, it is interesting to look at these two divisions as one.

Punahou continues it's dominance. This week they not only showed their excellence, but they showed their depth. They will be tough to beat.

Just to see what would happen, I played with moving the top JV's into the Varsity race based on their times. No change in the final results. Yes, the names change a bit, but the top 5 places remain unchanged for Punahou, Iolani and Kamehameha.

It's hard to talk about girls cross country and not talk about Maryknoll. They have the top 2 runners in Julie and Haley and a probable top 10 runner in Malia Kagawa. But, without 5 good runners, Maryknoll will not be a factor. Too bad.

So, although Iolani shows they are in the game this year after an uncharacteristic off-year last year, they and Kamehameha have their hands full with a large and talented Punahou team.

The above is just how I see it. Comments are very welcome!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Hi All,

After covering the cross-country meet at Kamehameha Schools this morning (6 races, about 5 hours), I decided that was enough for the day. I considered going to the boys' varsity volleyball match, but drive out to Mililani? Then I thought about the boys varsity football game at Aloha Stadium. Hmmmm, black uniforms at night, ugh! Enough to give a photographer heartburn!

So, I'm having a relatively easy Saturday to gear up for next week when Iolani athletics really swings into action. Presently, I have something planned for every weekday afternoon next week.

This is my tentative schedule:

Monday - JV Red Girls Soccer
Tuesday - Girls Varsity Volleyball
Wednesday - Girls JV Black Volleyball
Thursday - Boys JV Black Volleyball
Friday - Girls JV Black Soccer
Saturday - Intermediate Football and Cross-Country

I'm expecting to get the official results from today's XC meet sometime on Sunday. If I have time, I will analyze the results and post again if I can think of something useful to say. All photos from today's XC meet are being uploaded as I type this. I expect all galleries to be operational by about 10pm Saturday night.

Until tomorrow, Al

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Saturday - September 2, 2006

Today was the first day of Iolani athletics after the school year started. The Ann Kang Volleyball Tournament got me back in the swing of doing Iolani athletics. Today it really hit home that the school year has begun!

First off was the first ILH cross-country meet of the season. It was held at the Waipio Soccer Complex. There are usually 6 races in a XC meet, intermediates, junior varsity and varsity, one each for boys and girls. Since it was the first meet, it was run pretty casually, not scored and they combined the junior varsity and the varsity.

The best finish of the day was in the Varsity boys race where MPI (Scott Motobu) and Iolani (Kon Weber) battled right up to the finish. After leading for the whole race, Kon was caught by Scott with about 150 meters to go. Scott surged ahead as they passed me but it looked like Kon came back and regained the lead at the finish. A great race and a sign of more great things to come from these fine runners.

In the girls Varsity, Julie Besenbruch and Halie Abing of Maryknoll continued their dominance of the ILH but will they be able to find enough good runners to have a scoring team? Newcomers Amanda Tamanaha (St. Andrew's Priory) and 9th graders, Katie Pellitteri and Jenna Wong (from Iolani), will challenge them all season.

Teamwise, for the girls, Punahou has to be the favorite. If the meet were scored they would have won 45-50 over Iolani. Punahou ran in a tight pack taking the 7th through the 11th place. Iolani, though, had 9 girls in the top 20. It's a long season and it will be interesting to see who's standing at the end.

The smaller amount of races was a big break for me as the meet was over earlier than usual. This allowed me to do the Iolani-Moanalua varsity football game. So it was back to school, just made it by 2pm, starting time. The weather was hot and sunny for a while, then it cooled off a bit with some showers. There was enough light, though, for me to use my "big gun" lenses (100-300mm F4.0 with a 1.4 extender) that I started using for water polo in the summer. As I expected, this combo works well for football. I will also use it for soccer when the light is good.

The first half was a defensive struggle with the score 3-0 in Iolani's favor.

In the second half, Iolani's superior manpower took charge over a tiring Moanalua team. It seemed that every time I looked I saw Justin Yamamoto running with the ball for good yardage. Ryan Dung also started hitting on his passes. Three touchdowns and a safety later allowed the Raiders to put this one safely in the win column. Final score was 26-7.

For more photos of the cross country meet and the football game, please visit my Smugmug galleries.

ILH Cross Country
Iolani Events