Miyamoto wins one for the 'aged'


POSTED: Sunday, April 25, 2010

It was a comeback in more ways than one for Chad Miyamoto.

The 32-year-old Roosevelt assistant track coach surged from behind to retake his title as “;Hawaii's Fastest Human”; in the open 100-meter dash at yesterday's Punahou Relays.

Those watching at the Punahou track weren't necessarily blown away by the winning time of 11.33 seconds, but Miyamoto will take it — especially considering he battled a bad hamstring in the two months leading up to the race. By winning his fourth “;Fastest Human,”; he dislodged two-time defending champ, 22-year-old Joshua Villoria (11.49), who led until about the 70-meter mark before finishing second.

“;Just trying to stay young. I want to motivate the kids that I coach,”; said Miyamoto, an Aiea High grad who specialized in the 100 meters at Whitworth College. “;I came out behind, and I had to work on the middle and last part of my race, trying to use whatever endurance I had left to try to finish strong. That seems to be my forte coming up as I've gotten older. My finishes are getting better, but not my start.”;

He previously won in 2004, 2005 and 2007, posting an 11.10 that year. He's been in the event every year since 2002, except in '06, when he injured a calf muscle. Miyamoto said he was “;scared”; this time because of his tender left hamstring, but attributed diet — he slimmed down to 150 pounds from 155 or higher — to his success.

A healthy Miyamoto ran it faster last year (11.23) but finished third behind Villoria's 11.06.

Miyamoto's friend Kelsey Nakanelua, a 43-year-old veteran and six-time winner of the event, was happy for him — despite Miyamoto's creeping up on his title total. He also battled a bum hammy, finishing eighth, and laughed as he described Miyamoto as “;the least broke of all of us.”;

“;For Chad it's good because I think he's been training hard, and even though he got hurt, it's good to pull one off even though you're subpar,”; said Nakanelua, who has run the race for 18 years. “;For sure the headwind was going to take away from his time, also. In championship races it's always great to get a good performance, but the victory's always No. 1 ... because they can't take away the title, that's for sure.”;

Kamehameha continued its dominance in the popular Power Relay (6x67-meter) event, in which participants must weigh more than 200 pounds. The Warriors' six runners (converted throwers) rumbled their way to the finish in 45.99 seconds, two-hundredths of a second off their pace from last year.

The Warriors had continuity with five of six winning members from last year, but will lose five seniors to graduation this year. Kamehameha won the event all four of the seniors' years in high school.

“;Handoffs are really key,”; senior anchor Landon Aano said. “;Especially with our coach, Coach Mack (Harvey McInerny), he emphasizes handoffs because he says there's a lot of beef running on the track at one time and you don't want to be there when everybody else is handing off.”;

Now the Warriors will look to hand off their dynasty to a new crop of big men.

“;We've also been active in looking for other guys to keep representing,”; Aano said. “;We got some guys up in line for next year's team. Try to keep it a tradition.”;