Tuesday, April 30, 2013

2013 Penn Relays Bahamas!

Third in a series of posts about the 2013 Penn Relays.

Here's what happens when you're nice to the sports photographer in the airport.  You get a special post just for your team!  I enjoyed talking with the men and women of the Bahamas 4x400 teams while waiting for our flight in the Philadelphia Airport.  Just so happens, that I have a special affinity for the Bahamas teams and have photographed them at several meets in years past.  So, this year's Penn Relays was no different.  When they came up on the track, I keyed on them as much as I could.

First off, the ladies... Christine Amertil, Amara Jones, Cottrell Martin, and Lanece Clarke (sorry I missed your anchor leg Lanece).

And the men... Ramon Miller, Michael Mathieu, Chris Brown, and Stephen Newbold. 


I also got a shot or two of the 4x100 team, (Shane Jones, Antillio Bastian, Teray Smith, and Stephen Newbold ) warming up on the infield.  Sorry no action shots for you guys...

One of my all-time favorite track photos involves the Bahamas 4x100 team at last years Penn Relays.  Here's Jamiel Rolle on the turn two transition.  Wow!

 Hey... if y'all are reading this (maybe your Media Director), I'd love to shoot more of your meets.  Drop me a line and let me know where you'll be.  Maybe you'll let me sneak onto your plane to Rio in 2016.  Wow... what pictures we could make there!  Good luck to y'all.

See more photos of the 2013 Penn Relays here:

2013 Penn Relays

See much more at wlpearce.com where it's all about the photos!

2013 Penn Relays Long Jump

This is the second in a series of posts about the 2013 Penn Relays.

What a beautiful day for a track meet!  You just can't beat the atmosphere and surroundings of Franklin Field.  There are gorgeous backgrounds and large crowds, all of which make for great pictures.  The long jump was no exception.  Following are some shots from the Long Jump events.

First off, the College Men's Championship winner at 25'11", Damar Forbes from LSU.  Nice intensity there Damar!

Here's the number two finish of Mamadou Gueye of Monroe at 24'6.25".

Jarrod Hutchen from USC (South Carolina) has an interesting latter half style.  Served him well at 24'1.5".

In the College Men's event, here's a fellow Florida resident from Miami, John-Patrick Friday who place 6th at 22'11.25".  Nice form.

And Terrance Boyd of Kentucky who had an intense style, coming in at 4th place with a 23'2.5" jump. Nice Kentucky shades there...

And here's the winner of the College Men's Long Jump, Cameron Hudson of East Carolina at 24'11.75".  Nice jump Cameron!

Sorry to embarrass you Dana Lindberg from Yale... but I met your mother on the train on the way in from the airport.  Enjoyed talking with her and promised that I'd get a pic or two of you.  And not a bad jump either... Dana placed sixth in the College Men's Eastern event at 23'0.5".

And, we can't leave the ladies out.  Here's the second place finisher of the College Women's Triple Jump Championship, LaQue Moen-Davis of Texas A&M.

 And the third place finish of Thea LaFond of Maryland.  Congrats ladies.

See more photos of the 2013 Penn Relays here:

2013 Penn Relays

See much more at wlpearce.com where it's all about the photos!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

2013 Penn Relays

This will be the first of several posts for the 2013 Penn Relays this year.  Enjoy....

Just got back from Penn Relays.  What a track meet!  This was my fourth year, and by far the best year for shooting.  None of the Florida schools that I normally cover sent athletes, so I was free to shoot whomever, whenever.  I didn't make it for the distance events Thursday, but hopped on the 5:30AM flight out of Jacksonville, made it to Philly before 10AM, took the train right to the stadium and was on the field for noon events, starting with my favorite... the High Jump!

In stark contrast to last year, the weather was absolutely beautiful!  You couldn't ask for a better weekend for a track meet... not a cloud in the sky and Goldilocks like temperatures... not too cold, not too hot.  The high jump pit was oriented to the east, so the light was perfect.  Just going to post a few high jump pics, and will submit several more Penn Relays posts as photos get uploaded to wlpearce.com.

You just can't beat the atmosphere at Penn... it's like a football crowd at a track meet.  It's loud, crowded, and rowdy.  I wish the pictures could convey that more.  I love shooting the jumpers with the crowds in the background.  How often do these guy jump in front of 50k track fans?  Not often!

This was the College Men's event.  I'll post more later from Saturday's Championship event.  That event saw a new Penn Relays high jump record set by the Indiana University jumper.  Very exciting!

Coppin State must have a really good Track and Field program.  I see these guys competing at a high level all over the place.

The lefty jumpers got a nice Penn background.  This is one of my favorites of the meet... graceful.

See more photos of the 2013 Penn Relays here:

2013 Penn Relays

See much more at wlpearce.com where it's all about the photos!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

2013 FSU Spring Game

Part deux of a busy shooting day that started with the Seminole Invitational Track Meet, was the 2013  FSU Football Spring Game.  I was anxious to get a chance to try out the 400mm lens on the football field, and the opportunity didn't disappoint.

I found that the strategy for shooting with the long lens was significantly different than the short lens (as would be expected).  I could station myself in the end zone and shoot practically the entire field.  Nice!  Here's an interception that happened on the opposite twenty yard-line from where I was shooting.  I sure like long lenses...

Plays that happened around mid-field filled the entire frame, making for nice close-ups...

When the plays got closer is when it got more difficult to shoot with the long lens... particularly pass plays across the field.  It's hard to react fast enough to swing that big lens around and catch a reception, but I got one or two...

The game itself was the usual practice affair.  Fast, and not terribly exciting.  It's fun just being part of the atmosphere.  The alumni half-time flag-football is usually more exciting than the real game... a group of old (and not so old) guys out having fun like big kids.

See more photos of the 2013 FSU Spring Football Game:

2013 FSU Spring Game

See much more at wlpearce.com where it's all about the photos!

Monday, April 15, 2013

2013 Seminole Invitational

The 2013 Seminole Invitational at FSU was a small affair, as in years past.  However, as with last year, it offered a few interesting nuggets.

Strictly from a photographic standpoint, I had two interesting optical illusions.  First, was this shot during the long jump.  What is it that's not exactly water and not exactly sand?  Quicksand!  I promise this is not a photoshop...

And next, this shot during the Women's High Hurdle.  Just a nice walk in the park holding hands...

Funny stuff.  But on to more serious endeavors.  Friday, the light was absolutely perfect for the high jump.  I complimented Bob Thomas, the FSU Track SID for his placement of the pit facing the setting sun.  Here's James Harris of FSU jumping for the win.

And just like last year when Olympian Christian Taylor jumped in the Long jump, this years event had a special draw... Ngonidzashe Makusha of Zimbabwe, one of only four athletes in history to win both the 100M and Long Jump in the NCAA Championships.  Pretty Impressive!

Not sure who this fellow is (send me a note if you know), but he sure could run.  I wish I had an upper body like that!

See more photos of the 2013 Pepsi Florida Relays here:

2013 Seminole Invitational

See much more at wlpearce.com where it's all about the photos!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

2013 Florida Relays Triple Jump

Another in a series of posts about this years Florida Relays.  What an excellent event, full of photographic opportunities.  On Saturday, I was positioning myself for the 4x100 relay.  The light was right for catching the last transition in turn four, which is my favorite because you get the anchor runner and usually the highest emotion transition owing to the urgency of that last leg.  I set up in the home stretch straight with the long lens, which just happened to put me at the end of the long jump pit.  Florida is one of the few tracks which actually put the long jump in the correct position... right up in front of the stadium.  Most tracks have it out on the far side of the track or some other obscure location.  Good for the Gators for getting this one right.  Anyway, as I set up, I noticed the guys were warming up for the Triple Jump event.  I thought I recognized a few of the jumpers from past events, but one stood out... a jumper who I photographed at last years Penn Relays, jumping for Indiana University.  This year, he's jumping unattached:

Also jumping was Andre Dorsey of Kennesaw.  I've covered him before at the ASUN Championships.  Andre is quite the athlete... I saw him competing (and at a high level) in several events... high jump, shuttle hurdles, high hurdles, relays.  Andre had a busy day!

I saw a few others that I haven't seen jump before.  Don't get to see the Baylor folks too often, but here's Felix Obi, a FRESHMAN from Baylor who ended up winning the event with a jump of 15.71m.  Most impressive!

And Jonathan Gardner of Georgia Tech who tied for second with Rex Parker with a jump of 15.54m.

But back to Rex Parker.  I had seen him jump in the past for Indiana, always an impressive jumper.  Also an impressive figure and somewhat intimidating at about 6'4" (6'7" with the cool hair).  I wandered over to talk to him during the warmups for the finals, and turns out Rex is just about as easy going a guy as you'll ever meet.  Thanks for talking with me Rex.  Enjoyed watching you jump this year and hope you have a blessed career my brother.

See more photos of the 2013 Pepsi Florida Relays here:

2013 Pepsi Florida Relays

See much more at wlpearce.com where it's all about the photos!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A New World Record!

I photographed my first World Record this past weekend at the 2013 Pepsi Florida Relays.  And... it was in my all-time favorite track event... the Shuttle Hurdles.  What an exciting event!  It's like the demolition derby of running.  Runners are running with each other, sometimes opposite each other in adjacent lanes, and to throw in an extra wrinkle, track workers are running on and off the track during the race attempting to reset hurdles.  Some of the worst disasters I've seen on the track have been during the Shuttle Hurdles... a photographer's dream.

No disasters this year in Gainesville... but excitement all the same.  The BoogieFast Track Club set a World Record of 50:78 in the women's Shuttle Hurdle.  Wow!  That's impressive!  To give appropriate credit, the relay team was made up of:  Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, Yvette Lewis and Queen Harrison.  This is Queen Harrison on the last leg of the relay:

Also got some pics of the Star Athletics team comprised of (in picture order): Jackie Coward, Kellie Wells, Tenaya Jones and Lavonne Idlette.

Of course, the men provided some excitement too...

And that little Kennesaw State college must have one heck of a hurdles coach.  They lost Kendell Parks this year and still put together a competitive shuttle Hurdle team of (in picture order) Dorian Powell-Harris, Joshua Mulder, Andre Dorsey and Bilal Abdullah.

See more photos of the 2013 Pepsi Florida Relays here:

2013 Pepsi Florida Relays

See much more at wlpearce.com where it's all about the photos!

2013 Florida Relays High Jump

The High Jump is one of my favorite T&F events... right up there with High Hurdles and Shuttle Hurdles (I must like jumping over things).  Conditions were perfect for a good High Jump competition at the 2013 Pepsi Florida Relays, and sure wasn't missing the opportunity!  Here are some photo highlights of the competition...

Here's Darius Purcell jumping unattached (to a college).  Obviously he's unattached to the ground.

One of the two jumpers from USC had some trouble on this jump.  His hand punch the standard on the way over (or through) and knocked the whole setup down.  Looked like it hurt.  Hope he's OK.

Mykhail Chambers of Georgia Tech was back this year.  I immediately recognized his style from last year's competition.  I featured Mykhail in last year's gallery too.

And the other jumper from USC (sorry guys... I can't discern your names because there are no bib numbers on the results sheets), displaying a graceful style.

The highlight of the day was Ronnie Black of Virginia Tech taking over where Ricky Robertson of Ole Miss left off last year.  Here's Ronnie's winning jump in front of the crowd at Pressly Stadium

 Ronnie didn't quite match Ricky's 7'6" jump, but he came within a within a whisker!  I think a thread on his shirt knocked the bar off on his last jump..

Great run Ronnie!

See more photos here:

2013 Pepsi Florida Relays

See much more at wlpearce.com where it's all about the photos!