2012 High School Wrestling – Mullen at Arvada

I went to a new gym to cover a new sport in Colorado for Maxpreps on Wednesday night.  I drove over to Arvada Senior High, about 5 minutes from my condo.  I walked into the gym and my heart sunk.  Arvada’s colors are red and black with some white.  The gym had red wrestling mats, white walls with red banners, and Arvada’s uniforms were red, and to top it of, cycling metal halide lights.  When the varsity team hit the mat, they turned off all the lights and lowered a single metal halide light over the center of the mat.  How was I going to handle this?  I mounted two of my Alien Bee 800 strobes on the bleachers and pointed them towards the ceiling over the center of the mat.  As you can see in the photos below, this worked out nicely, and as long as I shoot this gym, I think I can handle the red in the gym.

Something happened before the meet that was nice and made me pretty happy.  After I had set my strobes up, I was approached by the Mullen coach who seemed ecstatic to see me, a MaxPreps photographer at a wrestling meet.  He invited me to shoot an invitational they are having in January and the regional meet in February.  It felt really nice to have a coach so excited to see me there let alone invite me to shoot more things at his school across town.

December 12th, 2012: A Arvada wrestler attempts to roll a Mullen wrestler over in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

December 12th, 2012: A Arvada wrestler attempts to roll a Mullen wrestler over in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

It had been over a year since I had shot wrestling, and actually, this was the first time I had strobed wrestling in this way.  In the past, I have set a couple strobes up on light stands and pointed them towards the mat, but here, bouncing them gave me really nice light.

December 12th, 2012: A Arvada wrestler attempts to pin a Mullen wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

December 12th, 2012: A Arvada wrestler attempts to pin a Mullen wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

Both teams looked well matched, but unfortunately, Arvada had a lot of openings in their roster and ended up forfeiting quite a few weight classes.  It was too bad, because a few of the Mullen wrestlers were Junior Varsity kids that were bumped up to Varsity for the meet.  In the matches that did take place, Mullen and Arvada were really close to being equal.

December 12th, 2012: The referee gets a close look at the action as a Arvada wrestler attempts to pin a Mullen wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

December 12th, 2012: The referee gets a close look at the action as a Arvada wrestler attempts to pin a Mullen wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

I like being able to move around on one side of the mat, trying to keep a clear view of the wrestlers, but the Arvada cheerleaders set up right next to me, giving me no room to move.  So, I could not get 100% clear views of the entire matches, which kind of was a bummer, but that is ok, because I was impressed with the turn out, not only of the cheerleaders, but of the crowd.  While the gym was not full, it was the most fans (both students and parents/families) that I had seen aside from a state meet.

December 12th, 2012: A Mullen wrestler attempts to escape a hold by a Arvada wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

December 12th, 2012: A Mullen wrestler attempts to escape a hold by a Arvada wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

I was also shooting with a new lens.  I am currently reviewing a 70-200 2.8 OS lens from Sigma to review for Fred Mirand’s Digital Darkroom and for this site.  So far I have shot 2 basketball games and this meet with the lens, all strobed, but I will be giving it a good workout before the end of the year.

December 12th, 2012: A Arvada wrestler and a Mullen wrestler lock up in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

December 12th, 2012: A Arvada wrestler and a Mullen wrestler lock up in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

I originally started shooting it on my 7D, but with the smaller sensor size, it was too long for what I wanted, so I moved it over to my 1D Mk II with its larger sensor.  So far, I like the lens, but you will have to wait for the review coming early next year for my conclusions.

December 12th, 2012: A Arvada wrestler attempts a takedown on a Mullen wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

December 12th, 2012: A Arvada wrestler attempts a takedown on a Mullen wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

I saw no one else shooting the meet.  Well, that is not entirely true.  I did see some parents with cameras, both still and video, and someone from one of the schools was shooting video, but no one else was shooting with long lenses or as close.  Which is too bad.  I have actually decided to make a post about team shooting which will come this next week.

December 12th, 2012: A Mullen wrestler uses his weight to try to keep a Arvada wrestler on the mat in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

December 12th, 2012: A Mullen wrestler uses his weight to try to keep a Arvada wrestler on the mat in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

Besides shooting the kids on the mat, I tried to incorporate the officials as much as I could.  With wrestling, they are such a big part of the match, and get in very close to the action as seen in the photo bellow, two bellow, and third from the top.

December 12th, 2012: The referee signals the start of a match between a Arvada wrestler and a Mullen wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

December 12th, 2012: The referee signals the start of a match between a Arvada wrestler and a Mullen wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

Also, focusing in on the emotion of the wrestlers is big.  I really liked the image bellow.  While you can only see the refs leg, and one wrestlers face, the fact that he is looking at the ref, and has a kind of pained look on his face is great.

December 12th, 2012: A Arvada wrestler looks up at the referee as a Mullen wrestler attempts a pin in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

December 12th, 2012: A Arvada wrestler looks up at the referee as a Mullen wrestler attempts a pin in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

As I said above, getting shots of the refs is great in wrestling, as they are almost as athletic as the kids, sliding around the ring, getting right into the action.

December 12th, 2012: The referee gets right down with the action between Mullen High School and Arvada at Arvada Senior High School

December 12th, 2012: The referee gets right down with the action between Mullen High School and Arvada at Arvada Senior High School

Some of the matches went pretty long, and the kids were really working hard, and exhausting themselves.  In the photo bellow, the action is still going, but the wrestler on the bottom was clearly winded, and catching his breath at this moment.

December 12th, 2012: A Arvada wrestler attempts to get away from a hold by a Mullen wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

December 12th, 2012: A Arvada wrestler attempts to get away from a hold by a Mullen wrestler in their meet at Arvada Senior High School

To see more images from this meet, please visit MaxPreps! And, you do still have time before Christmas to order prints from MaxPreps, just choose the fastest delivery options, and remember, there are also digital downloads, which are great for screen savers, facebook, and more.

Share Button

Comments are closed.