Monday, September 5, 2011

LAHAINALUNA CROSS-COUNTRY at Seabury Hall: September 3, 2011

Meet this year's Lahainaluna cross-country team. First the boys:

Left to Right: Corbain Kaikkonen, Fernando Rodriguez, Erich Skrotzki, Kenny Kaikkonen,
Jeramy DeGracia, Nick Vierra, Blake Ramelb and Branden Leopoldino.
And the girls:

Left to right: Sydney McKinney, Eryn Pendergast, Tihani Cadiam-Moore,
unidentified reserve, Amanda Mayers, Kailey Sager

Last year, I ambitiously set out to try to photograph all of the sports in which Lahainaluna participated. I ended up almost accomplishing that lofty goal - the only sports I could not / did not cover were cross-country, bowling, golf and paddling. Today, I set out to cross two of those sports off my bucket list: cross-country in the morning and bowling in the afternoon.

The cross-country meet was being held at Seabury Hall. I had never been to a cross-country meet before. I didn't even know anyone on the cross-country team. Talk about being a fish out of water. I had no idea what to expect. Still, despite the rain and clouds and the 9:00am start, I headed up to Olinda to give it a shot.

Having shot many basketball games at Seabury, I figured the cross-country meet would take place on the soccer fields outside of Erdmann Gym. Rather than taking my usual right on Baldwin Avenue, I tooke an earlier right on Kealoha Avenue. But when I saw choke cars parked on the side of the road near the intersection, I realized the parking lot was likely already full. So I went around back and parked in the main parking lot.

Since it was outdoors and it had stopped raining, I decided to just take out the D7000 with the 50-500mm Sigma attached to it. No monopod. I left my camera bag in the car. I had to keep myself mobile and flexible depending upon the race course and terrain.

I got there just in time for the start of the boys' race:





After while, it was clear what the race route was. The race is basically a three mile race. Three laps around the hilly campus, with a sprint to the finish. Once I figured out the route, it was easy to get into position well before the Lunas' runners arrived. And with only 8 boys (and 5 girls), it was easy to get shots of all the athletes. I think I'm going to like shooting Cross-Country!

Fernando Rodriguez

Branden Leopoldino

Jeramy DeGracia

Nick Vierra

Blake Ramelb

L-R: Kenny Kaikkonen, Branden Leopoldino, Erich Skrotzki

Once the runners were on their third and final mile, I hurried down to the finish line to get shots of them as the crossed the line. Unfortunately, it was hard to get a clear shot as the race personnel, particular Seabury AD Steve Coeflesh, kept getting in the way of the shot as he shepherded the runners down to the scorer's table after crossing the line. Anyway, here are some of the shots I got as the boys came in:
Lunas' top finisher: Corbain Kaikkonen (5th, 18:08)


Nick Vierra (33rd, 20:51)

Blake Ramelb (38th, 21:17)




Fernando Rodriguez (41st, 21:21)

Erich Skrotzki hunting down a Bear (52nd, 21:54)

Kenny Kaikkonen keeping an eye on the finish (59th, 22:17)

Branden Leopoldino (63rd, 22:30)


Jeramy DeGracia sprints to the finish (78th, 24:00)


Top Lunas' finisher Corbain Kaikkonen discusses the race with the Luna coaches.

Lunas' Blake Ramelb trying to cool down.

After a short intermission, the girls' race started.


Sidney McKinney

Kailey Sugar

Tihani Cadiam-Moore

Eryn Pendergast

Amanda Mayers
Then it was a race to the finish line.
Sidney McKinney is greeted by the boys' team after she crosses the finish line (14th, 23:15)

Kailey Sager (18th, 23:38)

Amanda Mayers (41st, 26:43)



Tihani Cadiam-Moore (55th, 28:18)
Eryn Pendergast (65th, 29:51)




 Lunas' girls cross-country finishers: (L-R) Kailey Sager, Sydney McKinney,
Amanda Mayers, Tihani Cadium Moore, Eryn Pendergast.

Click here for the Maui News article.

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