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|| News Item: Posted 2006-04-28

Goose, Sumo Photos Tie For Top Honors In The Sports Shooter Annual Contest
By Sports Shooter Staff

Photo by Juan Villa and Donald Miralle / Getty Images

Photo by Juan Villa and Donald Miralle / Getty Images

Juan Villa's image (top) and Donald Miralle's images shared the Photo of the Year award in the Sports Shooter Newsletter Annual Contest.
For the first time in the history of the Sports Shooter Newsletter Annual Contest there was a tie for the top award, Photo of the Year.

After much heated debate, judges declared the category a tie with College of the Sequoias student Juan Villa and Donald Miralle of Getty Images winning the Photo of the Year honors.

The debate between the two winners was a classic battle between a high impact action photo and a humorous feature photo that also had strong graphic elements.

Villa was also recognized in the Student Category with a Third Place, while Miralle also won a Judges Award in the Action Category.

The two winners in the Picture of the Year Category will receive a point and shoot digital camera courtesy of Nikon.

The daylong judging session was hosted by Brooks Institute of Photography in Ventura on April 21 and was well attended by students and faculty.

The judges were: Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times, Matt Brown, freelance, Rick Rickman, Brooks and Robert Hanashiro, Sports Shooter founder and staff photographer with USA TODAY. Also contributing were Myung J. Chun from the LA Times in addition to Jim McNay, P.F. Bentley and Greg Cooper from Brooks,

The lively debate between Villa's photograph of a goose attacking a high school cross country runner as she nears the finish line and Miralle's black and while image of a sumo wrestler standing on a up side of an escalator as a gawking woman passes on the down side had Brown and Hanashiro voting for the action photo with Rickman and Skalij opting strongly for the feature.

Skalij: "The escalator (photo) is such an immediate read, you laugh right away. With the goose (photo) you had to read the caption to actually see what's happening."

Brown: "I didn't have to read the caption! That animal's (obviously) gone wild! I knew immediately that a goose was slapping her. I didn't have to read the caption!"

Skalij: "That's (the escalator photo) an immediate read. It's got graphic elements. You've got lines. You got (the women's) expression. How often do you see that (a sumo on an escalator)?"

Brown: "I'd probably see the escalator (photo) than see a goose attack a runner."

Hanashiro: "I lived in Visalia. I never saw a goose attack a runner. I worked there 10 years!"

Brown: "You work the escalator (situation). You hope that person to go up and that person go down. And it worked for him. And he got it. This (the goose photo) is THE moment right in front of him. You had to have the right lens … How many times do see a goose hit a person?"

Photo by Jordan Murph

Photo by Jordan Murph

Brooks Student Martin Fuentes, recipient of a new RonTan Hawaiian shirt from the raffle and contest judge Robert Hanashiro wave the "shaka" during the open judging at Brooks in Ventura.
Rickman: "It's a good shot, you can't take that away from it. The escalator is a good shot. These all are good shots. The picture on the escalator is thought through, executed well. He had to wait. He could have given up. He could have said 'Screw it!' and given up, it's not going to happen and walked away from it. But he didn't. And he caught a priceless moment of a woman coming down the stairs watching those butt cheeks. You know, it makes you feel it He's pulled it all together, the planning, execution, it was all successful."

Brown: "Any other year, any of these could have won, hands down."

After the lengthy debate, the judging panel declared a tie with Rickman saying "We'll make (Ron) Taniwaki (of Nikon) suffer!"

First place winners in the five categories all receive compact flash cards courtesy of Samy's Camera.

Other multiple winners were Chris Detrick of the Salt Lake Tribune and recent Missouri graduate winning the Picture Story Category, 2nd place in the Student Category and 2nd in the No Ball Category. Eastern Washington University student Dustin Snipes won three Judges Awards in the Student Category.

Also held during the judging session was "Bert's Garage Sale" where Hanashiro gave away equipment and other items he found in his garage to students attending. Included in the give-away was a Vivitar 283 lighting kit, a Quantum radio slave, numerous fanny packs and bags and a RonTan Hawaiian shirt. However attempts to give away a collection of cassette tapes, which included albums by Donna Summer, Santana, Mick Jagger and Tower of Power, was unsuccessful. The package of tapes was taken by the LA Times' Chun.

The Sports Shooter Newsletter Annual Contest was sponsored by Nikon and Samy's Camera.

Winning entries can be viewed on

Photo by Jordan Murph

Photo by Jordan Murph

From left: Contest judges Wally Skalij, Anacleto Papping, PF Bentley and Rick Rickman (front) think something is really funny during the open judging at Brooks in Ventura.
Category 1: Sports Action
1st Place Craig Wilson, FPC Courier Newspapers
2nd Place Chris Machian, Prairie Pixel Group
3rd Place Thierry Gourjon, WireImage
Judges Award Ed Mulholland,
Judges Award Donald Miralle, Getty Images

Category 2: No College, No Pro
1st Place Douglas M. Bovitt, Courier-Post
2nd Place Bruce Ely, The Oregonian
3rd Place Eli Lucero, The Herald Journal
Judges Award Chip Litherland, Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Category 3: No Ball
1st Place Annegret Hilse/GES-Sportfoto
2nd Place Chris Detrick, Salt Lake Tribune
3rd Tim Gruber for The Evening Sun
Judges Award Andrew Craft, The Fayetteville Observer
Judges Award Ezra Shaw, Getty Images
Judges Award Denise Wall, Freelance

Category 4: Picture Story
1st Chris Detrick, University of Missouri
2nd Place Darryl Dyck, Edmonton Sun
3rd Place David Burnett, Contact Press Images for ESPN Magazine
Judges Award Ralph Barrera, Austin American-Statesman

Category 5: Student
1st Place Casey Templeton, James Madison University
2nd Place Chris Detrick, University of Missouri
3rd Place Juan Villa, College of the Sequoias
Judges Award Dustin Snipes, Eastern Washington University
Judges Award Dustin Snipes, Eastern Washington University
Judges Award Dustin Snipes, Eastern Washington University
Judges Award Scott Bort, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign/The Northwest Herald

Category 6: Photo of the Year
Tie: Juan Villa, College of the Sequoias for The Visalia Times-Delta; Donald Miralle, Getty Images

Related Links:
Gallery of winning images

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