Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Wedemann to Bike Around Island on Sunday

Ironman, Joe Wedemann, to bike 215 miles on Sunday
Ironman, Joe Wedemann, to bike 215 miles on Sunday

     Firefighter, Joe Wedemann, is looking to celebrate Father’s Day in a special way, with a bike ride around the island.

    “This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a few years now,” Wedemann said of his desire to bike 215 miles around the island in a single day.

   Wedemann plans on starting his adventure at 3 a.m. Sunday morning from Hilo Bayfront.  “I have a friend, Adam Busek, that is planning to ride with me for the first half, and then Mike Brown is going to ride from Kona back to Hilo with me,” Wedemann said.

   “We’ll be with headlights for the first two plus hours until the sun comes up, and the idea is to make it back to Hilo before sundown, around 7:20 p.m.,” he said.

    The course that Wedemann will follow heads up to Volcano first and works its way around South Point.  Wedemann will then ride up to Holualoa using the high road to Waimea before heading back to Hilo along the Hamakua Coast.

   “If we average 15 MPH and have limited breaks, theoretically it is possible,” Wedemann said of making it back home by sunset. 

   “My friend Adam (Busek) says it’s not a race, it’s a stunt.  Either way, bragging rights would be pretty cool!”

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June 18, 2009 Posted by | Events, Health and Fitness | , , | 4 Comments

Dvorak & Acob advance to Nationals

Sarah Dvorak wins finals during sectional play
Sarah Dvorak wins finals during sectional play

Rising tennis stars Sarah Dvorak and Zandrix Acob sweep their ways through the finals of the DT USA Nike Summer Section Tennis Championships in Honolulu to qualify for the national championships.

    Dvorak, a soon to be 8th grader at Waiakea Intermediate School, warmed up for the sectionals by playing in the West Hawaii District Junior Championships held in late May.

   Playing in the Girls’ 18 Singles in the West Hawaii Championships Dvorak had to work her way through the consolation bracket after losing a tough opening match.

   “My coach (Evan Schermer) told me that if I want to be very good I need to play the best players, so we decided to enter the 18 singles, even though I’m only 13,” Dvorak said.

   The soon to be eighth grader persevered by winning her opening match in consolation before facing Hilo’s Kendall Tada in the semi’s.  Dvorak eliminated Tada by identical scores of 6-2, and then faced Kealakehe’s Sayo Tsukamoto in the finals.

   Tsukamoto is the three time Big Island Interscholastic Federation girls champion and has finished third in the Hawaii High School Athletic Association tennis championships for the past two years.

  Dvorak, who was unseeded going into the tournament defeated Tsukamoto in 6-2, 7-6 to win the Consolation bracket championship.

   “That was definitely the biggest win I’ve ever had,” Dvorak said of beating Tsukamoto.  “My ground stokes worked well for me as I like staying back and hitting for point.”

   The left hand Dvorak also brings to the courts a solid serve with very few double faults that allows her to stay in all of her matches.  “I need to work more on my volleys as that is probably the weakest part of my game,” she said.

   Entering the Nike Sectional Play in Honolulu on June 11 Dvorak was again unseeded and needed to start play in the group of 32.

   Dvorak managed to fight her way through the competition before playing in the championship finals against the number one seed, Julia Weisel, for the lone automatic berth to nationals.  

  In a highly contested match Dvorak pulled out another exciting win of her young career with straight set victories 7-5, 6-2.

   “I don’t get to play in many tournaments because of the travel cost and that is probably the reason that I come into these tournaments unseeded,” Dvorak said.

   “My coach (Schermer) really helped my game as he makes me try my best.  I was really confident coming into this tournament and I really wanted to win,” Dvorak said of her sectional victory.

   Dvorak also had high praise for University of Hawaii at Hilo conditioning coach, Robin Takahashi.  “He’s (Takahashi) really helped a lot of us in our strength and conditioning as a lot of high school tennis players go to him after school to get in shape,” she said.

  Even after winning sectionals and advancing to nationals the jubilant Dvorak believed that her previous victory over high school champion Tsukamoto was her biggest.  “My win over Sayo remains as the biggest tennis victory in my life,” she said.

   Zandrix Acob is no stranger to junior tennis in Hawaii as the youngster maintains the states number one ranking for Boys’ 14.

   Acob started 2009 off with a bang by winning the Copper Bowl Championship in Tucson, Arizona for Boys’ 12 before turning 13 in March.  The youngster has just completed the seventh grade at Hilo Intermediate School and isn’t sure where he might be next year.

   “I’ve been talking with my parents about possible changing schools next year, but we still haven’t decided,” he said.

   At the Nike tourney in Honolulu last week Acob defeated his first three opponents in straight love sets before beating Marcel Chan in the finals 7-6 (2), and 6-2.

   “I think I’m playing my best right now and my opponents are having a hard time adjusting to my game,” Acob said.

   “My serves and forehand strokes worked really well for me,” Acob said.  “But I still need to work on my footwork and my volleys.”

   Acob credits a lot of his success to his coach, Steve Drosdick, who has been working with the youngster for almost two years.”

   “He’s (Drosdick) really strict and he has changed almost all aspects of my game, from my forehand to my backhand and even my serves,” Acob said.

     With their sectional victories Dvorak and Acob have won from Nike roundtrip transportation, food and lodging for themselves to play in the NJT USA National Masters at Stanford University in California from September 18-20.

    Winners of the National competition will then advance to play in the NJT International Masters in the Dominican Republic in October.

June 18, 2009 Posted by | Junior Tennis | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment