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

Big Island Sports Hall of Fame 5K run/walk on Aug. 22

Big Dog will host a Free 5K run/walk on Sunday, Aug. 22

August 22 is Big Island Sports Hall of Fame Day

The Big Island Sports Hall of Fame will induct seven members into its 12th class with a trio of events on Sunday, August 22.

That day has been proclaimed by Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi as “Big Island Sports Hall of Fame Day.”

The day kicks off with the Big Dog’s Sports Hall of Fame 5K (3.1-mile) run/walk starting at 7:30 am from the entrance to the Moku Ola (Coconut Island) parking area.  The event is free and open to the public.  Contact the Big Dog at 969-7400 for more information.

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.

The BISHF will hold a photo unveiling at the Prince Kuhio Plaza on at 10:30 a.m., followed by a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens at noon. 

Luncheon tickets are now on sale to the general public with limited seating. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 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 at Ellsworth Custom Cycles at 969 Kinoole Street.

August 18, 2010 Posted by | Running on the Big Island | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Karate Sensei Speaks Softly, but Carries a Bamboo Stick

Karate Sensei, Richard Nakano

“Speak softly, but carry a big stick,” former American President Teddy Roosevelt said.  The Rough Rider motto also comes from Richard Nakano who has been teaching karate in Waimea for the past 42 years.

Nakano has taught thousands of people the art of karate for more than four decades and his method of instruction has varied according to the temperament of each student.

Yes, karate is an art, not a sport, as this writer quickly learned while interviewing Nakano Sensei.  “We don’t place a heavy emphasis on competition, instead our emphasis is on character building,” he said.

Nakano also provides his students with a history lesson on the art of karate which is largely based on Nishioka Shihan’s (founder) Karate history.

“It is important that the students learn the founder’s history to truly appreciate our unique style of Karate; Modified Shorin Ryu,” he said.

  The soft spoken Nakano takes a no nonsense approach to teaching karate and believes in using firm discipline should the situation arise.

“Each person is a little different and I need to teach to their individual learning styles,” Nakano said.  “I have a big split bamboo stick and I show it to all my students and have used it on a few.”

Former student, Steve Morifuji, can attest to Nakano’s strong discipline style as he had on occasion felt it on his head.

“He should have awarded me the bamboo stick after all those years, as I’m sure it still has part of my scalp on it,” Morifuji said, with a wide grin.

The 70 year old Nakano Sensei has been teaching the modified Shorin Ryu style of Karate since 1963 and has been the head instructor for the International Karate League, Waimea Branch, since 1968.

“I actually got my start in learning karate while I was attending the University of Hawaii,  at the Manoa Campus,” Nakano said.  “I met an instructor who got me interested and I was recommended as a student.  Back in those days you needed to be recommended in order to take martial arts.”

During his career as student and instructor Nakano has emphasized character building and discipline as well as self-defense in his training facilities.

“He encourages goodness and decency in his students to ensure that the skills learned will only be applied in self-defense,” Morifuji said.

Nakano believes that only students of good moral fiber should be evaluated with a physical and mental examination test, for possible promotion to a higher rank.

Since the inception of Nakano’s Waimea Dojo in 1968 the Sensei has kept one session free of charge and another session where students are charged a mere $5 per month.

“We don’t do this for profit,” Nakano said.  “We charge a nominal fee when we use the church because we need to pay for rental space and we make it free when we use the county facility because it’s free for us to use.”

“Nakano Sensei has been donating his time and experience willingly for the betterment of the youth and adults in this community,” Morifuji said.  “His passion is to see that proper techniques are passed on to students who have good moral character and become productive and responsible members in our communities and citizens of the world.”

Reviewing notes of an interview of Nakano Sensei that son Brit conducted for a term paper, Morifuji, despite being a disciple of the bamboo stick, recently nominated Nakano to be inducted into the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame. 

“We felt the Nakano Sensei was very deserving of getting this honor and took it upon ourselves without telling him beforehand,” Morifuji said.

The BISHF selection committee also felt that Nakano was well deserving of being inducted into the BISHF’s 12th class and will honor him along with six others at the wall unveiling at the Prince Kuhio Plaza at 10:30 am on August 22.

Along with Nakano the BISHF will also honor 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; at the induction ceremony followed by a luncheon at the Nani Mau Gardens at noon.

Anyone interested in attending the luncheon ceremony is asked to contact Ellsworth Fontes at 935-5519 or Ellsworth Custom Cycles at 969 Kinoole Street.  Cost is $20 for adults and $15 for children ages 10 and under.  Tickets must be purchased at least four days in advance as there will be seating is limited.

August 16, 2010 Posted by | Profiles | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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