Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Seven New Inductees to Big Island Sports Hall of Fame

New class of 7 added to 114 on the Sports Wall of Fame

The seven people being inducted are Richard Nakano, Karate; Mo Mathews, swimming; Harold “Russian” Furtado, track & field;   Manny Veincent, outrigger canoe paddling;  Ruth E.K. Walker, Aikido; Hamilton Manley, basketball;  and Francis “Bo” Saiki, baseball/softball.

Photo to left, from L to R:

Mo Mathews, Marisa Manley, Bo Saiki, Russian Furtado’s wife, Richard Nakano, Manny Viencent, Ruth E.K. Walker

Photo on left by Jaclynn Joseph and right by Rick Ogata


August 27, 2010 Posted by | Events | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Dog’s 5K Run/Walk Kicks Off Sports Hall of Fame Day

5K winners Kaylene Peric and Keoni Ucker

Sunday, August 22, was proclaimed by Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi as Big Island Sports Hall of Fame Day. 

A trio of events highlighted the day in which tribute was paid to those who have been inducted and those to be inducted into the BISHF.

The morning started out with a 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk with the start and finish line in the parking area of Moku Ola.

University of Hawaii cross country coach, Jaime Guerpo, was on hand along with a group of Vulcan harriers which used the event as a preseason tune up.

 “This race is a good measuring stick to see where my runners are at and whether or not they have been training during the off season,” Guerpo said.

Leading the way for most of the race was UHH star and former Christian Liberty Academy harrier, Keoni Ucker, who made Coach Guerpo proud.  Ucker was challenged during the first half-mile of the race by teammate Zach Johnson.

“I had not been training as much as I wanted to during the summer,” Ucker said after the race.  “I don’t want to peak to early prior to the season and I’m satisfied where I’m at right now.”

Ucker won the race with a finishing time of 16 minutes and 11 seconds, nearly a full minute ahead of Johnson who clocked in at 17:08.

UHH had seven men and five women racing as they swept most of the top spots in the overall race results.  Former CLA and UHH standout Justin Pang took third, 17:11; Andrew Holbrook, 17:13; and Scott Hunter was fifth in 17:23.

Hunter runs track and field for Central Washington University where he competes in the pole vault and decathlon events.  On Saturday the former Hilo High grad won the Rain Forest Funs 5K in 18 minutes.

For the women it was UHH tennis player, Kaylene Peric, finishing 19th overall, while taking first for the ladies division in 20:25.

“I’m originally from Michigan, but I’ve been attending UHH and study in the pharmacy department,” Peric said.  “I don’t really race, but I like to run and today I just wanted to see what I could do.”

Peric plans on being a walk on for the Vulcan’s cross-country team this year as she finds the flexibility afforded her in the team’s practice schedule is more conducive to her school schedule.

Following Peric for the women was Kirsta Andrew, 21:22; Nina Hagemann, 21:45; Lory Hunter, 21:48; and Melissa Braswell in 22:21.

The youngest member of the group was 8 year old Romeo Tebelan from Kalanianaole Elementary School who traversed the course in 38:26.

Marisa and Harlina Manley

Also on hand were family members of the late Hamilton Manley, a basketball legend who was later in the day to be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.

“My dad always used to have us involved in a variety of 5K and 10K running events,” Harlina Manley said.  “My daughter, Brittany, and I flew in from California to be part of my dad’s induction into the Sports Hall of Fame.”

“We used to do races together as a family including the Saddle Road Relay,” Marisa Manley, widow of Hamilton said.  “Today brought back some emotional moments for us as we feel connected with Hamilton through doing these races.”

Hamilton Manley’s sons, Isaac who lives on the Big Island, and Harlan from Oregon, also were part of the day’s events honoring a man that gave so much to his family and community.

Later in the morning the venue moved to Prince Kuhio Plaza where seven new members joined the already 114 previously selected individual Big Island sports heros. 

The seven people that were inducted into the BISHF 12th class were Richard Nakano, Karate; Mo Mathews, swimming; Harold “Russian” Furtado, track & field;   Manny Veincent, outrigger canoe paddling;  Ruth E.K. Walker, Aikido; Hamilton Manley, basketball;  and Francis “Bo” Saiki, baseball/softball.

The BISHF day concluded with a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens where county and state proclamations were given out, along with individualized plaques.

Related Post with race summary and photos at:  http://bigislandrunningcompany.com/Big_Island_Running_Company/Blog.html

August 23, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mo Mathews, 76 years of swimming and still going

Mathews to be inducted into the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame

For 76 years Morris “Mo” Mathews has been getting all wet.  The 83 year old, super senior, has spent nearly all of his life doing water sports.

Last year Mathews set a national age group record during the United States Masters Swim meet in the 6,000 yard event, breaking the previous record by nearly 15 minutes. 

An incredible individual with remarkable credentials in sports participation and community service Mathews started swimming at the age of seven and “never looked back except to see who he had left behind in his wake,” according to family members.

Born and raised in Hermosa Beach, California, Mathews swam competitively in high school and went on to swim with the University of California, Berkley team for four years where he also lettered in water polo and volleyball.

“Being raised right at the beach I always wanted to be in the water,” Mathews said.  “I learned to swim on my own, by just playing in the ocean, then later took lessons to learn technique.”

In high school (1941-45) Mathews started out doing the backstroke, but after finishing first in his inaugural race, finished last in all his other backstroke races.  “I later learned to do the breaststroke as I had a good kick and my coaches taught me the rest.”

Mathews high school years were during World War II so competition was limited to just three weeks, yet he managed to develop speed and technique that helped him through a stellar collegiate career.

During 10 summers in California he was a Los Angeles County lifeguard and is credited with making nearly 100 rescues.

“I can recall my very first rescue when I jumped into the water and started to swim, my trunks came down around my ankles,” Mathews said with a chuckle.  “That has never happened since as I’ve always remembered to tie my trunks.”

Mathews met his wife of 58 years, Barbara Gay of Kauai, while teaching swimming to physically and mentally challenged children for the LA County Crippled Children’s Society.

“Out of all the things I’ve done in my life being married and raising two daughters are my happiest and proudest moments in life,” he said. 

Mathews moved his family to Honokaa in 1957 and the Big Island swimming community has benefited from his presence for more than 50 years.

Mathews has contributed in multiple task and events as he served as the volunteer Swim Coordinator for the Ironman Triathlon from 1980 to 1988.  Mathews designed the swim course, the pier layout and the search and recovery programs.  He also established the age limit cut off times for the swim, bike and overall finish time.

“I am almost legally blind, since the seventh grade, and I have been wearing these wrap around prescription glasses for most of my life, including every time I get into the water,” Mathews said.

During the early days of swimming competition Mathews never bothered with glasses as all he had to do was swim straight and gauge the distance from the wall.  It wasn’t until Barracuda came out with prescription lens that had high enough strength to work for Mathews that he began wearing them for all water activities.

Mathews was also part of the original committee that helped design the Honokaa pool.  The pool, after completion, was turned over to the County but the adults that were so instrumental in designing it never had the opportunity to use it as it was closed when they got off work.

To solve the problem with the shortage of on duty lifeguards at the Honokaa pool Mathews asked to be put on the County payroll to serve as the afterhours lifeguard for $1 per year, but his gift was never accepted.

Hawaii Preparatory Academy had Mathews as an assistant swim coach for 15 years.  “Mo was such a big part of our swim program at HPA,” Ka Makani swim coach Mark Noetzel said.  “He provided the opportunity for some of our kids that lacked experience in the pool to learn and become part of our team.  Mo is what I would call our ground zero guy and he became a real part of our feeder program.” 

Over the years Mathews has also found the time to give free adult swim classes as well as individualized instruction to concerned Ironman participants while assisting in a variety of ocean swim events.

Little wonder that the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame had selected Mathews, along with Richard Nakano, Karate; Harold “Russian” Furtado, track & field;   Manny Veincent, outrigger canoe paddling;  Ruth E.K. Walker, Aikido; Hamilton Manley, basketball;  and Francis “Bo” Saiki, baseball/softball; to be inducted into the 12th Hall of Fame class on August 22.

For additional information on those being inducted or the induction ceremony itself go to:


August 9, 2010 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Island Sports Hall of Fame to Induct New Class

Sports Hall of Fame to add 7 photos to Wall on August 22

After a two year hiatus the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame will be inducting its 12th class of sports legends to be recognized at a formal photo unveiling at the Prince Kuhio Plaza followed by a luncheon at the Nani Maui Gardens on August 22.

   The seven new inductees will join 114 Big Island sports heroes who currently have their photos displayed in the Prince Kuhio Plaza.

   Chairman of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame nominating committee, Derek Shigematsu, released the names of those selected as:

Manny Veincent

   Manny Veincent – Outrigger Canoe Paddling – Devoted over 45 years coaching a variety of sports on the Big Island and has been the Kawaihae Canoe club head coach for the past 38 years.  Veincent is credited with founding the Club in 1972 and worked with both the youth and adult racing programs.  Since 1972 Veincent’s Canoe Club won 11 Big Island Regatta Championships, including four in a row from 1972-’76.  Prior to Kawaihae he founded and coached the Kuhio Canoe Club in Hilo from 1962 to 1968.

Ruth Walker

   Ruth E. K. Walker – Aikido – Was selected as the Big Island Sports Person of the Year in 2009 for her more than 35 years of sports community service.  Walker, 79, has been a volunteer aikido instructor and instructed hundreds of youngsters over the years while working with Hilo Seishikan Aikido.  She was the first Big Island woman to earn a black belt in aikido and holds the rank of 6th dan. Besides Aikido Walker has also been involved with the Girl Scouts, Japanese Community Association, Kamana Senior Center and the Lions Club.

   Morris “Mo” Mathews – Swimming – Spent more than 70 years involved in swimming. Teacher at Honokaa High School from 1957, Mathews was on the steering committee that helped with the design and construction of the Honokaa Pool in 1959.  Mathews has a long history of achievements and last year set a national record in the USMS 6,000 meter swim, breaking the previous record by almost 15 minutes in the men’s 75-80 age group division.  At age 83 Mathews works out five to six times per week averaging 1,200 yards per day.

   Richard Nakano – Karate – Has been a student and instructor of the modified Shorin Ryu style of Karate for the past 47 years.  Nakano believes in serving as an example of good moral character to his students.  Since the inception of his Waimea Dojo in 1968 Nakano Sensei has kept one session free of charge.  Nakano taught hundreds of students in California and in Waimea, with some of his students becoming sensei on their own.

Furtado in 1947

Harold “Russian” Furtado (deceased) Track & Field – died in July 2008 at age 77.  Was the Hawaii Territorial Champion in the Mile Run from 1946 to 1952.  In 1946 while running for Hilo High School as a sophomore he became the first person in Hawaii to break the 5 minute mile.  Furtado was an active member of the PioPio Bears Basketball Organization and in 1984 played on the Shipman men’s Open league Championship Team. He coached a variety of youth sports teams and was always considered a tough competitor and passionate coach.

   Francis “Bo” Saiki – Baseball – A former athlete and active coach and supporter of athletics for more than 20 years Saiki has spent most of his life involved with baseball and softball.  He has coached the girl’s softball team at Waiakea High, coaches the Keaukaha Warriors baseball team of the Hawaii AJA Baseball League and recently undertook the coaching responsibilities of the Palomino (ages 17-18) baseball team.  Sakai has spent more than 24 years in coaching both baseball and softball.

Hamilton Manley

   Hamilton Manley (deceased) Basketball – Spent most of his life coaching basketball at a variety of levels and was instrumental in helping the University of Hawaii basketball program over the past 25 years.  Began his coaching career as an assistant basketball coach at Pahoa High School in 1979 Manley would help at a variety of basketball clinics over the past three decades.  He was seen as a “players coach” who built strong relationships on and off the court, Manley died in a snorkeling accident a year ago at age 64.

“It was a very difficult decision because there were many qualified applicants to our 12th inductee class,” Nominating Chair Derek Shigematsu said.

   The seven people selected were more than qualified in many areas of sports activity and community service, according to Shigamatsu.

   “We looked hard at their service to the community and the impact that they made in youth sports,” he said.  “The seven people that were selected had a good balance of giving back to their sports through their expertise and knowledge. It wasn’t just what they did as individuals in their sport, but also what they gave to our community that was important in our selection process.”

   The BISHF will hold a photo unveiling at the Prince Kuhio Plaza on Sunday, August 22, at 10:30 a.m., followed by a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens at noon.  Luncheon tickets will go on sale to the general public on July 28 with limited seating. Cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children 10 and under.  For more information on obtaining luncheon tickets contact Ellsworth Fontes at 935-5519 or stop by his shop at 969 Kinoole Street.

   The late Jack Matsui was the founder of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame.

July 28, 2010 Posted by | Events | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment