Sunday, September 09, 2007

Salinas, California

Lea shown here training on Maui, Spring 2007.

Lea Lundblad, the freshman from Seabury Hall, opened her 2007 cross country season not in Hawaii, but in Salinas, California. She ran at the Earlybird Invitational, one of the most competitive, early season cross country meets in the state. With nearly 60 teams and 2,500 runners, Lundblad covered the hilly, 3 mile course, in 20:27 to earn her a second place individual medal. She was 4th overall. We will see Lundblad on Oahu when she will be competing at the upcoming Iolani Invitational.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Hi all,

I've been asked numerous times to make a prediction on the girls' XC season. Because I am so close to the Iolani team, I have felt very uncomfortable doing it. Yes, I have my opinions, but they will remain unpublished.

But, that doesn't stop anyone else from giving their opinions. What follows is a prediction from an anonymous soothsayer. I don't know who wrote it. All I know is they are from the outer islands. Coach Al


2007 Girls State XC Outlook

Underclass women rule!!! The two lone seniors with a shot at the top podium are Kaahumanu Rozet (KSM) and Chelsea Oda (Punahou) with a huge bunch of juniors, super sophs and frosh in the hunt. Big names missing from last year are defending State XC champ Julie Besenbruch/ Maryknoll and Katie Pelliteri/ Iolani.

It’s going to come down to who’s “on” come race day. Race strategy, pacing and sprint speed will become a tremendous factor. This is one race I don’t want to miss come November 2!!!

Kaahumanu Rozet (KSM): injured during the 2006 xc, 4:51.46/ 1500. Made a huge improvement on the track from 2006 – 2007. Gave Chelsea Smith-Wishard (Kauai) a scare in the state 1500 race, so we know she has speed.

Chelsea Oda (Punahou): 9th/ 2005 State xc but was not 100% at the 2006 State xc, 5:07.16/ 1500, 10:48.66/ 3k. Has been hampered with injuries the last 2 xc seasons so her performance has been very erratic. On the track in 2007 we finally got a glimpse of the real Chelsea Oda. Has patience but a little more speed would help. Chelsea, stay healthy!

Haley Abing (La Pietra): 4th/ 2005 State xc but was not 100% at the 2006 State xc,
1500/ 4:56.91, 11:02.86/ 3k, 2:28.30/ 800. She’s good and with a bit more speed it could put her on the top podium.

Bailey Massenburg ( King K): 19th/ 2005 State xc as a frosh, was not 100% in 2006, 4:54.69/ 1500, 11:24.00/ 3k, 2:30.2/ 800. Can this girl make it to the top podium? Oh yeah!!! It would not surprise me if she dominated the xc/track season.

Maile Scarpino/ Iolani: 4:58.67/ 1500, 2:26.75/ 800. Needs more endurance but has enough speed to be a threat. If she did her “homework” over the summer she will challenge for the top spot.

Hailey Grossman/ Seabury: 8th/ 2006 State xc, 5:06.63/ 1500, 10:47.62/ 3k. The state 3k champ on the track and battling Kaahumanu Rozet (KSM) and Bailey Massenburg (King K) every weekend is a win/win/win for all three girls. With the MIL having a 2 week break before the State race this could be the deciding factor.

Kristin Ali-Keith/ Mililani: 2nd/ 2006 State xc, 10:56.76/ 3k, This girl fears no one and has no fear of pain, will this comeback to haunt her or help her?

Jenna Wong/ Iolani: 6th/ 2006 State xc, 5:04.68/ 1500, 10:50.81/ 3k. Needs more speed but makes up for it with patience and guts! Not afraid to take charge and go for it!

Kimberly Pugliese/ Iolani: She was always “up there” in the intermediate division but has been overshadowed by the other two frosh below.

Lea Lundblad/ Seabury: No stranger to xc/track racing as she dominated the intermediate division. With 62.41/ 400 speed, you don’t want to get into a sprint finish with this girl, unless your name is...

Kailea Tracy Visintainer/ Seabury: 58.73/ 400, How fast is 58.73? She would have won the State 400m race, as an 8th grader! This is the last person you want near you with 100m to go.

Top 10 Individual: Subject to change at anytime

1. Kaahumanu Rozet (KSM)
2. Chelsea Oda (Punahou)
3. Bailey Massenburg (King K)
4. Hailey Grossman (Seabury)
5. Kristin Ali-Keith (Mililani)
6. Haley Abing (La Pietra)
7. Maile Scarpino (Iolani)
8. Lea Lundblad (Seabury)
9. Kimberly Pugliese (Iolani)
10. Jenna Wong (Iolani)

Looking to move up: (in no particular order)
Dara Pagaduan, sr, (KSO)
Amelia Linsky, jr, (Iolani)
Malia Kagawa, sr, (Maryknoll)
Dana Domingo, jr, (Pearl City)
Farrah Madanay, jr, (Punahou)
Amanda Tamanaha, jr, (St. Andrews)
Kristi Torkildson, sr (Punahou)
Mari Carmichael, jr (Punahou)
Cheyane Kamai, jr, (KSO)
Emma Broderick, sr, (KSO)

For the team title, I say Iolani by a squeak. They have 4 good runners but their #5 could make or break their state title hopes. With Punahou’s depth and Chelsea Oda being a patient front runner don’t be surprised if Chelsea wins and Punahou repeats. Seabury Hall has 2 good runners but their #3, #4 and #5 is no match for Iolani’s #3, #4 and #5.

Monday, September 03, 2007

September 2007 - 1

ILH Cross-Country

On September 1, the ILH cross-country season opened with a practice meet at Waipio soccer peninsula. This meet is always very casual with no scoring. It is a good way to get everyone reacquainted with running and competing in the meets each week.

Weather-wise we were lucky. Yes, the course was wet, muddy and slow from torrential rains the night before, but at least the rain stopped before the 9am start.

There were 5 races - boys intermediates (2 miles), girls intermediates (2 miles), girls open (2 miles), jv/varsity boys (3 miles) and varsity girls (3 miles).

I admit that I pay much more attention to the girls races. Sorry guys. But, when you have 2 daughters running that tends to happen.

There has been a lot of anticipation on the girls' side of cross-country this year. Probably on the boys side too but I don't really know about it.

Some big things have happened on the girls side since last year. Julie (Maryknoll) is not running this year. Last year she was the dominant runner in the state. Also, Katie (Iolani) moved to the mainland due to a family relocation. Katie was a promising runner who will be missed greatly by Iolani.

There are also some new faces in the varsity ranks this year. Kimberly Pugliese, a top intermediate runner, is now a 9th grader and has transferred to Iolani. Kimberly will be a force. Also, Lea Lundblad, last year's Iolani Invitational winner at both Intermediate races, is now a varsity runner. Some think she will win States this year. She just might. Then there is Maile (Iolani) who is new to the running world. She had a very good track season last year and will also be in the mix at the top.

So, what happened on Saturday? A veteran of the running world, Haley Abing (Maryknoll, La Pietra), held off Maile in the closest finish of the day to win by about 1 yard. Kim and Jenna (both of Iolani) were close on Maile's heels. Maryknoll and Iolani dominated the top 20.

But, and this is a big but, Punahou did not run in the varsity race as they elected to run their varsity in the 2 mile open. Also, Kamehameha looked like they were just using this race as a normal training run.

In other words, some of the girls who I expect to be there at the end of the season, weren't in the varsity race, either at all or because they weren't really trying. There will be many changes as the season progresses.

August 2007 - 4

Varsity Football

On August 25, the Raiders took on Kalaheo in a pre-season, inter-league match up.

I love shooting football, but only when the light is good. Most varsity games are at Aloha Stadium this year, at night. Aloha Stadium's lights are not very photographer friendly. They are not very bright, and to make things even worse, they are inconsistent as some parts of the field are brighter than others.

So, I will try to do varsity football when the lighting, schedule and location work for me. I wish it were different, but that's the way it works out. The Intermediate football team will probably see me more as they have some games on weekdays in the afternoon which work much better for my schedule.

So, how about the game?

It was a hard fought game with Kalaheo dominating until late. Kalaheo's quarterback, Cody Von Appen, is an excellent athlete who gave our defense fits, especially with turning broken plays into substantial gains with his superb running.

The Raiders did make a game of it late and put themselves in a position to steal this game at the end, but Kalaheo held on for a 28-25 win.

August 2007 - 3


The water polo tournament was 6 days in a row. I also had 3 photographers working for me so the amount of photographs to process was incredible. I had 2 days to catch up on all the water polo work before jumping right into the Ann Kang Invitation Volleyball Tournament.

The Ann Kang Tournament is a wonderful, pre-season volleyball tournament that attracts some of the best volleyball teams in the country. This year there were 20 teams, 10 local, 10 from the mainland. The tournament is held at Iolani school, using both the upper and lower gym constantly.

I enjoy doing this tournament because it gives me a good idea of how good my beloved Lady Raiders are in relation to many other very good teams. This year it looks like Kamehameha (Oahu) has the State Championship firmly in it's grasp. A lot of things can happen between now and States, but if they stay healthy they are going to be very, very tough to beat.

Indoor volleyball is one of the toughest sports to photograph, especially when the light is marginal. There are really only 2 venues where I like to shoot indoor sports, Stan Sheriff (UH) and Kamehameha. There may be others that are this good but I haven't seen them. Most indoor high school gyms have very marginal lighting. If you've tried to shoot volleyball or basketball in marginal lighting, you know what I'm talking about. I've had a lot of practice so am able to get quite a few very good photos, but it sure would be more fun if the lighting was better.

Kamehameha, by the way, won this tournament with a pretty dominant victory over Redondo in the final. Redondo is ranked in the top 20 in the nation. Kamehameha is now ranked number 5. Wow!

August 2007 - 2

Water Polo

From August 7-12, I covered the Hawaiian Invitational Water Polo Tournament. This is a huge tournament played at 3 locations (Punahou, Iolani and CORP) with over 100 teams participating. There were a bunch of local teams, but many from the mainland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Water polo is a fun sport to cover photographically. The light is usually very good and there is constant action. The blue of the water gives the shots some really nice backgrounds and the splashes can look quite spectacular when caught just right.

August 2007 - 1

Fiddler on the Roof and Youth Basketball

Many people might not realize that I do cover some things besides sports. Not much, but there are a few things I do enjoy covering, like musicals that have nothing to do with sports. On August 1, I had a chance to cover the Fiddler on the Roof production at Hawaii Theatre. The kids did a great job and I had a great time shooting it.

A few days later I had a request to cover a youth basketball game. I usually only cover intermediate through varsity, but I have been getting quite a few requests from parents that get much coverage for one of their children, but none of their other because that child goes to a different school or participates in club sports. I do try to accommodate these requests if I can.

This game was held at Palolo gym - the Bulls vs the Heat. This was a U12 game with both boys and girls on the teams. The lighting was very, very strange. I never saw anything like it. Yellow? Green? Kept changing? The lighting level was pretty good, though, just the color hue was tough to deal with.

These event galleries can be reached at this link.

So where have you been Coach Al?

I had planned to take it easy the last few weeks. This is the only time of the year when there aren't a lot of big high school athletic events. Most teams are just practicing with games and matches just starting now.

So, what happens? I have 3 computers in the house, 2 of which are devoted to my business. One of those computers does 90% of the work. That computer died. I was able to remove the disk drives and copy them onto a giant external drive so I didn't lose any data. But, as anyone who has gone through setting up a new computer knows, there is a lot of work to do.

Just shopping for a new computer takes time. I bought a close to top-of-the line Dell which was delivered in a few days. I decided to get lots of memory, but only one huge disk drive (500 gig). Everything is very easily expandable. I just ordered another 500 gig internal drive. My plan is to have all programs on the C: drive, all data on the D: drive, and another 500 gig external drive for backup.

Another thing I learned through this challenging time is that USB external drives can not be plugged into a USB hub with other devices if you want them to perform well. I couldn't understand why my USB drive was just moping along when that same drive really hummed on my older, slower computer. When I read about how USB 2.0 works, I realized that I had about 8 devices already plugged into the hub and they all were competing for bandwidth. So, along with the 500 gig internal drive, I ordered a PCI USB 2.0 card. I will only plug the external drive into this card, nothing else, so it will have it's own "pipe". I don't expect the external drive to run as fast as the internal ones, but it should now be useable as a backup drive and occasionally for processing.

Currently I'm doing all processing on the internal C: drive. It's very fast but I don't like to mix programs and data on the same drive. As soon as the drive arrives I will move all data over.

I also hope to rebuild my dead computer. It is still very useable, at least it will be if I can get it running again.

I have done a few jobs in the last month to tell you about. Be back soon, I hope.

Coach Al