[ HIGH SCHOOL TRACK & FIELD ]
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Mililani Coach Chad Miyamoto leads by example in the Hawaii's Fastest Man Race at the Punahou Relays.
walks the walk
Chad Miyamoto was truly a leader by example at yesterday's Punahou Invitational Relays.
Miyamoto, who trains the Mililani boys track and field team, made the switch from coach to competitor and gave his squad a thrill by winning the Hawaii's Fastest Human title at Alexander Field.
Miyamoto, 26, won the 100-meter race in his third attempt and was swarmed by the Mililani team after crossing the finish line in 11.09 seconds.
"It feels so good to prove to them that it doesn't matter who you're up against, what odds you have to defy, you can do it," Miyamoto said. "Just be mentally positive about everything that you do."
The victory was just part of a busy day for Miyamoto, who was occupied with coaching his team as he tried to focus on his own race.
After the meet, he hopped on the team bus headed back to Mililani, where the Trojans hosted the Oahu Interscholastic Association junior varsity championships.
"Now I can show them that I did something and you guys can do it too," said Miyamoto, clutching the koa bowl that goes to the winner. "I'm going to go out there and see if I can motivate them positively."
Punahou athletes Micah Strickland and Tamatoa Silva finished second and third in the event. Four-time champion Kelsey Nakanelua came in fourth in his final Hawaii's Fastest Human race.
"I wanted to win on the way out, but I'm so happy for Chad," said Nakanelua, who has mentored Miyamoto over their years. "Chad wanted this victory and I know the feeling. Everything just aligned for him."
Miyamoto's training for yesterday's race included sprinting with the Mililani boys in practice.
"He always tries to inspire us to do our best and we try to keep up with him and try to compete with him during practice," Mililani junior Makini Sosa said. "The whole time we've been training for track he'd be right there by our side. To see this is pretty cool."
The field for the 59th annual Punahou Relays was thinned out by other events around the island yesterday, including the OIA JV championships and senior proms.
But it still gave the participating teams from the OIA and Interscholastic League of Honolulu a chance to gear up for this week's league championship meets and the upcoming state meet on Maui.
Kamehameha's boys and girls teams combined to win eight of the 29 high school events in the meet.
Kamehameha senior Waika Spencer won the Robert "Bob" Paris Award as the outstanding male performer in the meet. Iolani's Kelly Higa won the Mary A.P. May Award as the top girls competitor.
Spencer won the long jump and ran on the Warriors' victorious shuttle hurdle relay teams. He also finished second in the triple jump.
Higa competed in five events, finishing second in the high jump and helping the Raiders to wins in two shuttle hurdle relay events.
"I had to rely a lot on my teammates," Higa said. "We had a lot of girls step up. We had two girls on the hurdles from the intermediate (team). They moved up and they really came through."
Punahou's team of Strickland, Andrew Yeh, R.J. Brown, Travis Tamura, John Overton and Tysan Paaga won the Power Relay, one of the meet's signature events, with a time of 47.54 seconds.
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