Monday, October 30, 2006

Equal Time For Our Arch-Rival

Watching, on average, more than one athletic contest a day has been changing my outlook on athletic contests. Yes, I dearly want my Raiders to win, but I have started to really appreciate athletic talent, no matter what school they play for.

Today I witnessed a very good Punahou JV Girls Soccer team beat up on our JV "B" team. I was very impressed with this team's speed and ability. This same Punahou team will play our "A" team on Wednesday, which is also a very good team. That should be a great game!

To see more photos of this game, please visit my Smugmug galleries.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

ILH Intermediate and JV Cross-Country Championships

The weather was excellent at CORP on Saturday afternoon for the finals of the Intermediate and JV ILH Championships. There were 6 races held as there also was an Open race for boys and another for girls to give everyone a chance to run before next week's Varsity championships.

In the girls' intermediate division, Brie Adams (Maryknoll) reasserted her position as the top intermediate runner of the season with a 14:01 winning time. Teammate Allison Calabrese was about 5 seconds back. Unfortunately, Maryknoll does not have enough runners for a scoring team, which allowed Punahou to dominate in the team competition. Punahou had a tremendous score of 21 points, placing all 5 scoring runners in the top 10.

In the boys' intermediate, Alex Ortega from Kamehameha came from behind to take the title with a superb time of 11:31. Borys Pleskacz of Iolani was second about 5 seconds behind. In a very close finish, Iolani took the boys' title 39-40 over Kamehameha.

In the girls' JV race, Punahou again dominated the race. Megan Steele (Punahou) ran a very strong 20:45 to place first, with all 7 Punahou runners finishing in the top 10. Punahou won with a score of 19 points. Iolani was quite a bit back with 57 points.

Kevin Donahue of St. Louis returned to the winner's circle with a great run of 17:39. St. Louis, though, does not have a scoring team. So, although Iolani took the next 2 spots, Punahou's depth and quality allowed Punahou to almost sweep all the races. Punahou had 27 points to Iolani's 40 points.

Congratulations to Punahou for taking 3 out of 4 races. Very impressive indeed.

Tentative Schedule 10/30/06-11/4/06

Monday - Girls JV Red Soccer
Tuesday - Girls Int Black Soccer
Wednesday - Girls JV Black Soccer and/or Varsity II Boys Water Polo
Thursday - Girls XC Function
Friday - Varsity Boys Volleyball and "Much Ado About Nothing"
Saturday - ILH and OIA Varsity Cross-Country Championships

Friday, October 27, 2006

Some Favorite Photos

This week, so far, I've done 4 soccer games and a volleyball game. Three soccer wins, one loss, and a volleyball loss. Kamehameha was the opponent in 2 soccer games and the volleyball game. Rather than give a detailed blow by blow, I thought I'd just post some of my favorite photos. I hope you like them.

If you'd like to see more photos, please visit my Iolani Events galleries.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

ILH Varsity Girls Volleyball + Photo Talk

On Saturday, I attended the Iolani-Kamehameha girls varsity volleyball playoff game at Kamehameha Schools. I like the lighting in that gym a lot. It's the best I've shot in except for Stan Sheriff at UH. The better lighting allows me to shoot at higher shutter speeds with greater depth of field. What's that mean?

In a fast game like volleyball you need a fast shutter speed to stop the action, 1/250 is a bare minimum, 1/500 is optimum. To get a fast shutter speed in low light you need a lens capable of a large aperture. Lots of people think that 2.8 is big. For Kamehameha that's probably ok. At Iolani, I use 1.8 and 2.0, so when I go to Kamehameha I can either stop down my aperture and get a large depth of field, or keep my lens wide open and get a faster shutter speed. What I did was stop down a little and increase my shutter speed a little, so I end up with better settings on both.

What's depth of field? If you study my photos at Iolani gym, you will see that usually only one player is in focus. That's a shallow depth of field. As you close down your aperture, the depth of field increases, so you might be able to have the focused athlete plus another one a few feet behind still in focus.

Anyway, enough photography! It was a great game! The Raiders had many opportunities to win, but at the crucial times, the Warriors found a way to do it. Particularly worrisome was a terrible fall that Chelsea Hardin took. It looked like a very bad sprained ankle. I hope she's ok. If you'd like to read a more detailed recap of the game, please visit the Iolani Events website.

Another huge game is on tap for tonight, this time against Punahou. I have been confused about how the playoffs work, but finally, I believe I have an explanation that I can understand and makes sense. From one of the athletic directors at Iolani:

1. The first round is over. Kamehameha captured one of the ILH's berths to the state tournament, but not the overall ILH championship. Punahou and Iolani tied for second.

2. The second round is a single-elimination tournament. Kamehameha is the top seed. Iolani plays Punahou tonight at 6:30 at Punahou in the semi-finals. Kamehameha plays HBA in the other semi final. The winners will advance to the finals.

3. The winner of the second round tournament is also guaranteed a State tournament berth. If the winner is a team other than first round champ, Kamehameha, then there will be a play-off to determine the overall ILH champion. The overall ILH champion will get the seeded berth in the state tournament.

4. If Kamehameha wins the second round tournament, then Punahou and Iolani will play a single play-off match that covers their first round tie for 2nd and the results of the second round (regardless of who placed higher in the second round). The winner of that potential playoff match will receive the remaining State Berth.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Iolani XC Intermediate Invitational - the Girls

It was cloudy but warm, showers in the not too distant valleys, but thankfully the rain held off. Knowing personally quite a few of the top female runners made this race quite special for me. I've known Lea Lundbald, and her father Mike, for quite a few years when she started coming over for the state championships in summer track. The first time I saw the famous "Lea kick" was in the 800 meter finals when my younger daughter had about a 30 yard lead going into the last turn and lost at the tape. The "Lea kick" is real!

We have two 9th graders at Iolani that I knew were capable of challenging Lea. Katie Pelliteri, who is recovering from an injury, was rounding into form. Jenna Wong has been steadily improving this season and is now one of the top 9th graders. I also keep hearing that Kimberly Pugliese of Mililani can challenge for the top spot.

Throw in a few more girls from the ILH that I know are capable, plus all the girls from the OIA that I don't know, and I was stoked.

At the first mile, it was Kimberly and Noelani Mikami (Kamehameha) with a small lead over Lea, Jenna and Katie. They all looked pretty smooth, except Lea looked like she was struggling a little. I would find out later that she was a bit sick all this week.

At the turn coming in to the finish, it was Lea, still struggling but leading, with Jenna right on her heels and Katie about 4 seconds back. Kimberly had tired and was about 9 seconds behind Katie, while Noelani had dropped off the pace to finish about 20 seconds further back. Then it was the two Maryknoll girls, Brie Adams and Allison Calabrese. Rounding out the top 10 were Jaclyn Knaus of Mililani, Phoebe Jordan of Iolani, and Kara Katsumi Tsuzaki of Punahou.

Both Iolani and Mililani had 72 points to tie in the team competition. Mililani earned the championship through the 6th runner tiebreaker rule.

There were almost 600 intermediates to finish in this meet, which is why I still call it the "unofficial state championship for intermediates".


I am now accepting advertisers to help support my growing businesses. If you are interested in advertising on my blog or some of my other websites, please email me.

You'll notice an advertisement for Speedchains has been added on the right side of this page. Speedchains have been used successfully by many top athletes playing many different sports in Hawaii. If you'd like to find out more, please click on the logo advertisement and visit Speedchains' website.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tentative Schedule 10/23-10/29

Monday - day off, family obligations
Tuesday - Girls Intermediate Soccer - both black and red
Wednesday - Girls JV Soccer - both black and red
Thursday - Boys Int Black VB
Friday - Varsity Football, Ho'olaulea, Burning of the "I"
Saturday - Int and JV ILH Cross Country Championships

Blog posts coming soon, I hope!

1. Analysis of Iolani Intermediate Invitational XC Meet
2. Iolani Girls Black Intermediate Volleyball vs Kamehameha
3. Iolani Varsity Girls Volleyball vs Kamehameha Playoff Game
4. Upcoming Schedule

I am currently working on the volleyball games from yesterday. Volleyball, and any other indoor sports, take a lot of extra processing before I can post the photos. I hope to have them all uploaded today, Sunday.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Varsity Girls VB Update!

OK, this came from a very knowledgeable volleyball fan, certainly not me. So I think it is right.

Iolani, Punahou and Kamehameha tied for 1st place in the ILH in the first round. Iolani drew a bye, Kamehameha beat Punahou last night. Tomorrow (Saturday), Iolani will play Kamehameha at Kamehameha at 4:30pm. The winner gets an automatic entry to States. Then the second round starts, with the winner of the second round securing the second spot for states. Big game, volleyball fans!

My apologies to the JV Boys VB teams who I was planning on covering tomorrow. I'm going to cover this game instead. I do intend to still cover the Int Black Girls VB team (who I haven't see an at all this season) as planned.

Iolani Boys Intermediate Water Polo Wins Championship Over Punahou!

On Thursday night, the Raiders Intermediate Boys Water Polo Team had a chance to go for the season championship. I covered the first round of the playoffs when they beat a stong Kamehameha team 5-3 at the Punahou pool. In the next round, it was number 1 seeded Iolani vs. number 2 seeded Punahou. I couldn't attend this game, but I know it went to a 7-7 tie and Punahou ended up winning 9-8. This was at the same time our boys varsity volleyball team was losing to Punahou in the third 32-20, and our girls varsity volleyball team was beating Punahou in the third game, 27-25! Talk about 3 great, close matches!

This rematch against Punahou was held at the Kamehameha Schools pool and it was for the championship. According to some rabid water polo fans:

"The score was 5-3. The Iolani Boys' Intermediate Water Polo Team is the 2006 champion! There was excellent execution from the game plan to game time from Coaches David Grainer, Randy Bart, James Duca and Deven Matayoshi. The team played like champions with a tough and relentless defense. They made every opportunity to score count. Sweet victory was clearly earned by the Iolani Intermediate team."

And this:

"It was a great match. The boys were intense and had great defense. The goals were strong and skilled. Goals were scored by David Lim (2), Chris Nichols (2) and Tom Hartwell (1). Goalie Austin Strong made at least 8-10 blocks. Iolani beat Punahou 5-3! Other players, who often are scorers, contributed just as much with great defense and assists: Daniel Barr, Vladimir Bernstein, Shovan Datta, Kacy Johnson and Connor Grune.

"One Team" is the Raider way, and it took the whole team to win this championship. The rest of the members of the Intermediate Boys Water Polo team are: Zalman Bernstein, Jacob Butters, Calvin Chan, Grant Chang, David Jordan, Stephen Jordon, Matt Horner, Scott Marison, and Kyle Twogood."

The future of boys water polo looks to be in fine hands. Great job boys!

Thanks to Iolani parent Debra Lim for the photo.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Thursday update!

Monday I had planned to do an intermediate girls soccer game but it was postponed.

On Tuesday afternoon, at Iolani gym, I attended the Iolani-Punahou boys varsity volleyball game. In the one previous meeting of these two fine teams at Punahou School, Punahou prevailed in a very close, hard-fought match in 3 games. I expected this to be an exciting, close match and it certainly was.

The first game saw Iolani really cooking with the offense featuring Brad Lawson continually getting points on smashes. First game score, 25-21 Iolani.

The second game saw Punahou adjust to Brad by showing frequent triple teams on the block. This strategy paid dividends for the Puns and gained them a second game win, 25-22.

The third game was a classic. Iolani started out strong and shot ahead to a 6-3 lead. Punahou surged back to a 10-7 lead, then to 17-12. Back and forth these two fine teams went. It reminded me of Ali-Frazier. Before your time, huh? Anyway, Iolani never gave up and came back again, pulling into a 22-19 lead. It looked pretty good at this point, but Punahou had other ideas, running off 5 crucial points in a row. At 24-22, Punahou was in the driver's seat, but Iolani refused to fold and came back to 24-24. The excitement and tension in the air was at a fever pitch as these teams battled for the advantage.

Each team took the advantage, with Iolani actually having 4 match points on the way to 30-30. The chances were there but Punahou hung on to win it at 32-30.

What a fine match! My understanding is that even though we have lost twice to Punahou now, we still have a shot at getting into the states through the second spot. I hope we get that shot in a rematch with Punahou. Kamehameha and Maryknoll must not be underestimated. It will be fun.

After the boys' varsity match, it was the girls' varsity against Punahou. The girls also played a close match but this time it was Iolani on top, 25-16, 19-25 and 27-25. I wish I could have stayed to see that match but Tuesday night at 6pm just doesn't work for my schedule.

Also at 6pm, there was another big Iolani-Punahou match up, this time at the Punahou pool. The boys intermediate water polo team, after beating Punahou in their first meeting, went into overtime at 7-7, only to lose 9-8. There will be a rematch at 6pm tonight at Kamehameha pool for the overall championship.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Punahou Cross-Country Invitational

Saturday's weather was brutal. High humidity, hot, and heavy vog. There also was a flood warning in effect for a little later in the evening. The kids also had to face the "dreaded hill", 2 times for the intermediates and girls open, 3 times for the JV boys and varsity races.

In the girls intermediate, Kimberly Pugliese took the early lead and seemed to be in control, but somewhere in the latter half of the race, both Maryknoll runners passed her and took first and second. Kimberly was running against 2 large obstacles. The Mililani bus was late so she had little or no time to warm up. She also won the King Intermediate the day before so it wasn't that surprising that she had some difficulties at the end of the race.

The winner was Brie Adams with a time of 14:07. Second place went to Allison Calabrese who had a time 14:12. Kimberly was at 14:17.

Mililani won the team competition with a score of 46 points. Punahou was close behind at 56 points.

The boys intermediate race was won by Borys Pleskacz of Iolani in a time of 11:52. I believe this was a meet record. Borys has been running well all season but has really come on strong in recent weeks.

Iolani took the team competition with a terrific score of 26 points. Iolani had 4 boys in the top 10, and 7 in the top 20.

Brooke Laporte finished the 2 mile course in a time of 13:49 to win the Girls Open division and lead Punahou to a dominating victory. Punahou had 7 girls in the top 11 totalling an almost perfect 17 points and, once again, showing the tremendous depth of the Punahou girls team this year.

The boys JV division saw the first OIA individual winner when Tomoyuki Miura of Roosevelt won with a time of 18:15. Radford took the team title with Kamehameha, Punahou, and Iolani close behind.

Haley Abing made a successful return from injury with a dominating 19:51 over the 3 mile course. I think I heard that was a meet record. Pretty impressive when you realize she's been out for the past few weeks with a back injury. In the team competition it was Punahou continuing their overwhelming strength with a score of 36 points. Kamehameha, Iolani and Mililani were quite a bit behind. Punahou had their 5 scorers finish no lower than 11th.

The boys varsity was also won by an OIA runner, Bryce Jenkins from Leilehua. Bryce had a time of 16:42 and put in a strong bid for the state championship. Kon Weber (Iolani) will have something to say about that but on this day it was Bryce by 21 seconds.

Bryce's time was 3 seconds behind Jeremy Kamakaala's time in last year's Punahou Invitational. Both ran with large leads so it's hard to tell how they could have done in a closer race. (thanks to Len Tsuhako for that heads up!)

Kamehameha won the team title with a score of 56 points. Punahou and Iolani both had 93 points, with Punahou taking 2nd due to the tiebreaker system.

Next meet will be the Iolani Intermediate Invitational, the "unofficial" Intermediate State Championship. There will be no ILH JV or Varsity meet this week.

To visit the cross-country photo galleries, please click here.

Tentative Schedule - 10/16 through 10/21

Monday - Intermediate Girls Black Soccer
Tuesday - Boys Varsity Volleyball vs Punahou
Wednesday - Off
Thursday - Boys Intermediate Black Volleyball
Friday - Iolani Intermediate Cross-Country Invitational
Saturday - Girls Intermediate Black Volleyball and JV Boys Volleyball - Black vs Red

Oahu goes dark!

Yesterday's earthquake and resulting power outage gave this reporter a chance to do something different on a Sunday. Played cards with my kids. It was fun but I'm way behind now. I'm sorry and hope to get caught up today (Monday).

I covered the Iolani Intermediate Boys water polo playoff game against Kamehameha on Saturday at the Punahou pool. I left with less than 2 minutes to go and we were leading 5-3. Anyone know the final score? The light was great so the pictures are too. You can see them here.

I then walked the 100 yards over to the start of the Punahou Invitational Cross-Country Meet. The vog and humidity were oppressive. I was dripping just from walking around and wondering how the kids would manage on the tough Punahou course. Amazingly, there were some record setting performances. More on this when I get a chance, I hope.

I'm way behind on uploading photos for the cross-country meet. It's now 6am Monday and I just started the girls intermediate race. I will upload in the order they ran. Hopefully, all galleries will be complete by Monday afternoon sometime.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

This just in from Maui!

Keopulani Park Maui

Lea Lundblad smashed the course record by 45 seconds in the intermediate division of the Maui county cross country championships. Lundblad covered the 1.5 mile course in 8 minutes and 45 seconds. Lundblad next travels to the Iolani Intermediate invitational on Oahu.

(photo was taken at Iolani Invitational at Kualoa this year)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Iolani Intermediates Over Word Of Life To Gain Undefeated Season!

This team gave enough thrills to their loyal fans to last a lifetime. It was a very short season, only 5 games, but to go undefeated, especially the way they did it, was superb.

The game against Word Of Life was very typical. Iolani's passing game is, well, awesome. Jarrett Arakawa is a big time passer. He hangs in there, cool headed, and then let's it fly, almost always right on the mark. And he's got a great receiver crew led by Trevyn Tulonghari. I saw lots of great plays by these two, also Sheldon Lee, Andrew Skalman, Jaron Teramoto, Sean Nada, Ammon Baldomero, and many others.

This game was a fan's dream, if you like offense. Iolani really couldn't stop WOL's running game. WOL couldn't stop Iolani's passing game. Result? Lots of touchdowns.

Iolani was behind almost the whole game, but never by much. They tied it at 34-34 with about a quarter to go. I had to leave at that point but a reliable source told me that WOL scored first to make it 40-34. But they missed the extra point which would turn out to be costly.

With time running out, WOL kicked off to a waiting Trevyn Tulonghari, who ran it all the way back to tie the game at 40. The extra point was good. 41-40, Iolani!

I'll miss watching this team, a lot...Great season guys!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Iolani XC Frosh/Soph Team Wins In California!

16 members of the Iolani Girls XC team traveled to California to run in the Central Park Invitational in Huntington Beach over the weekend. In the frosh/soph division, 4 out of 5 girls ran personal bests to beat out Segerstrom, 57-61.

Jenna Wong placed 1st in a time of 20:01, Katie Pellitteri was 8th at 20:55 (this was on 3 days' practice after a 3 week layoff due to injury!), Amelia Linsky - 15th - 21:35, Leyna Esaki - 17th - 21:41 and Allie Turgeon - 26th - 22:08. There were 21 teams and 221 girls in the race.

To read more about this meet, you may visit the Iolani Events Website.

Great job girls!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tentative Schedule 9/9-9/14

Tuesday - Boys JV Red Volleyball
Wednesday - Water Polo Boys Intermediate #4 vs. #5 (if Iolani is playing)
Thursday - Intermediate Football vs WOL
Friday - Girls JV Black Soccer vs Kamehameha Blue (also maybe Boys Varsity Volleyball)
Saturday - ILH Boys Intermediate Water Polo for a little while if Iolani is in first game, then Punahou Invitational XC meet

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Cross Country October 7, 2006

So much happening, information overload has taken over this reporter, but I'll try.

Today was the Kamehameha Invitational. There is a new course this year that includes "THE HILL". It's almost like climbing a cliff. I drove it with my car and said "oh my god".... It's VERY steep and long. Tough is an understatement. Here is a photo from the girls intermediate meet. This is the first turn, they've got a long way to go.

What really makes these Invitational meets interesting is the mainland teams that come to run. Today Big Bear and Capistrano Valley, two California schools, joined us. They also dominated.

Big Bear won the boys varsity with a score of 24 points with their scorers at 1, 3, 5, 7 and 8. They also had 11th and 12th for good measure. That, folks, is domination.

In the girls varsity, it was Capistrano Valley dominating even more. They had 21 points, finishing at 1, 2, 5, 6 and 7. They also had 8 and 9.

Capistrano and Big Bear tied with 47 points in the boys JV division, Capistrano taking the win due to the tiebreaker. Punahou wasn't far behind in this race.

Capistrano also won the girls JV with a score of 29 points taking 3, 4, 5, 7 and 10. Their other 2 runners were at 13 and 16.

The intermediate boys division was won by Iolani who had 3 boys in the top 10. Borys Pleskacz won with a strong race and a time of 11:27, Casy Chun was at 3rd, while Justin Higa took 9th. Iolani had 47 points, followed by Kamehameha at 61, MPI at 80, Punahou 89 and HBA at 98.

Punahou dominated the girls intermediates taking 2, 3, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12.

Iolani's top female runners and most 11th and 12th graders were in California today. Their freshman/sophomore team won the Central Park Invitational in Huntington Beach. Iolani has had more than their share of injuries this year. Some great news is that Katie Pellitteri ran today and took 8th place after only a few practices. Jenna Wong actually won the race, with Amelia Linsky, Leyna Esaki and Allie Turgeon all putting in fine performances to seal the victory.

Speaking of injuries, Maryknoll has been bitten hard by the injury bug. Haley Abing has been out for a few meets now with a back problem. Julie Besenbruch hurt her hamstring and sat out today's race. Julie's injury doesn't seem too bad, but Haley's might be. Here's wishing these 2 fine runners heal fast.

Complete ILH 2006 Cross Country Photo Galleries

So much for my dream...

Well, the boys varsity volleyball team ALMOST did it, losing in 3 close games. The varsity football team, a resounding thumping. I had to leave at the end of the 3rd quarter, but at that point it was 39-10, Punahou. We stayed with the bigger Punahou team until about the middle of the 2nd quarter. We actually had the lead, 10-7, at 9:20 of the 2nd quarter.

But, Punahou had a size advantage that was too much to overcome. Especially their offense vs. our defense. I knew that eventually would take it's toll and with our defense on the field most of the game, it did.

Photographically, I refused to give up. I dutifully stayed down by Punahou's endzone so I could get shots of the Iolani players facing me. In practice, this meant that most of my pictures are of our defense from a pretty big distance. Not optimum, but my very long lens allows me to get these shots. I did get quite a few interesting angles on the Punahou offense that the Punahou fans might enjoy.

One thing I did want to mention is the Punahou Band. I really enjoyed their half-time show. The band was huge, 200 kids I'm guessing, a large flag-waving contingent. Pretty impressive!

I'll try to expand on this posting when I have time. For now, it's off to the cross-country meet at Kamehameha Schools.

To go directly to my game gallery, please click here.