ON THIS DATE: Waianae’s James Woodard reigns at 100 meters

Waianae's James Woodard was one of the fastest boys in the OIA in 1980.

For one sunny day, Waianae defensive back James Woodard reigned as the greatest sprinter in OIA varsity history.

On this date in 1980, Woodard ran the 100 meters in 10.9 seconds during the OIA West championships at Moanalua. It established a record in the event, but so did the winner of every other running race. The state switched to the metric system for that season, making it the first time the race was run longer than 100 yards. 

“I was used to running 100 yards and this year we have to go about 10 yards longer,” Woodard said at the time. “But I find that the last yards is where I find my kick.”

Waianae finished a solid third in the event as Radford won its third straight OIA boys championship on its way to nine in a row. The Rams also won the girls title, breaking Leilehua’s string of three straight. 

Woodward wasn’t even the fastest sprinter in the new format, as Waipahu’s Nelson Inabata broke the tape in 10.8 to win the JV race. The Woodward-Inabata showdown never materialized, though, as Woodward missed the OIA championship and Inabata took seventh in the trials but didn’t participate in the finals in favor of a baseball game. 

Mike Akiu of Kalaheo took the honor of being the OIA’s fastest boy the day after the West championships, winning the East in 10.7 despite playing in a baseball game for the Mustangs on the same day. He ran a 10.6 to win the event at the state meet in May.

In addition to his 100-meter title at the OIA West championships, Woodard took gold in both relays and finished second in the 200 meters. 

Another top performer on the sunny day at Moanalua was Radford’s Gilbert Brown, who won both hurdles races and beat Woodard in the 200 meters. Every winner in the running events set a record since it was the first year of the metric system. 

Nadine Augustiro, Laura Scott and Dedi Kavanaugh all doubled up for the Radford girls, with Augustiro taking the 100 hurdles and the high jump, Scott winning the 100- and 200- meter races and Kavanaugh sweeping the discus and the shot put. Kavanaugh fell two inches short of the national record in the discus after a 130-3.75 effort into the wind. 

Radford’s Karen Morant took four golds in the girls JV competition, earning first place in the triple jump, 100 and 200 as well as anchoring the 800-meter relay. 

Over in the ILH, Damien’s boys dominated the relays at Alexander Field, scoring 104 points to beat Punahou and Iolani’s 66. Punahou won the girls competition by 17 points over St. Andrew’s Priory.

Saint Louis set a record in the boys distance relay anchored by Peter McNelis and Paul Farnsworth. The Priory broke the record in the medley relay. 


  1. Calvin Matutino March 28, 2020 2:35 pm

    James was a running back
    Good story

  2. Garnet Picard March 29, 2020 12:57 am

    If you want some real good truthful stories; you must ask coach Ginoza of Waianae! I was good friends with his son Bryan(RIP) and I would go to his house to repair some plumbing, and his dad had a trophy room and you can’t even imagine all the stories in there! But just anyone can go, it is under high security! But get in touch with that man and you will be amazed!!! From a well respected follower!

  3. Boolakanaka March 30, 2020 10:42 am

    Mike Akiu, had the locker next to mine at UH….bruddha has a pretty good start….wink.

  4. Junior Tufono April 15, 2020 3:06 pm

    James was a beast of a running back for the Seariders. It was like chasing down Thunder and Lightning with the combination of him and Tilson Kekua in the backfield. I’ll let you guess who the Thunder was. One of the best running back tandems to come out of the westside under the legendary Coach Larry Ginoza. The Seariders were simply unstoppable in the 70’s and early 80’s. Hats off to all the great athletes from the westside of the island. True legends that live on forever.

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