TSR's Profiles of Greatness - Michael Kominsky
By: Mike Mcmillion
We are honored to begin this series with Michael Kominsky. It is our goal at TSR to promote running while raising millions for charity and I want to thank Coach Mike McMillion for allowing us to use these fantastic profiles in the weeks and months to come.
Michael Joseph Kominsky (born on July 1st, 1962) was a middle distance runner. He grew up in Oak Hill, West Virginia, where he attended Oak Hill High School from the fall of 1976 to the spring of 1980. He is the son of the late Dr. Walter and Delores Kominsky. Walter was a humble and noble optometrist for 40 years in Oak Hill. Mike’s older brother was the late John Kominsky, and he has a brother Paul and sister Teresa.
While in high school, Mike ran track all four years and cross country his junior and senior years. He also played football for three years.
Kominsky’s high school track and cross country coach was Dusty Hayhurst.
Hayhurst was most impressed with Kominsky’s “tenacity and work ethic. He really put in the time and effort. I knew no matter what race he was in, he’d be competitive.”
In his track heyday, Mike Kominsky didn’t really consider himself a long-distance runner. He was more the middle-distance type who liked the finish tape to arrive sooner rather than later. He would average 50-55 miles per week out-of-season and 30-40 during track season.
He is a four-time, WV State Champion in his senior year of high school. In the fall of 1979, Mike won the individual West Virginia High School State Cross Country Championship with all classes combined, while Elkins’ Mark Nichols was runner-up. Then in the spring of 1980, he won and set the WV State track records in the 800-, 1600-, and 3200-meter run - all in the same day.
The 1980 spring track season of his senior year was the first year of conversion to the metric system for West Virginia high schoolers. Kominsky captured all three Class AAA distance events, registering times of 1 minute, 54.5 seconds in the 800m, 4:19.5 in the 1,600m and 9:17.3 in the 3,200m. His 3200m WV State record was one of the longest standing records - unbroken for 29 years.
On May 22nd, 2009, North Marion's Zach Tennant ran the 3,200m in 9:14.84. That broke by more than 2 seconds the 29-year-old Class AAA boys mark held by Oak Hill's Mike Kominsky. The next day, Tennant broke another record with a 4:13.84 clocking in the 1,600m. Tenant had quite a two-day weekend.
Kominsky says he’s surprised the 3,200m record stood for so long, especially since he was running the race for only the third time that year.
“I thought the mile and the half records would stand longer,” he said recently. “I thought the 3,200m was my weakest race.”
The current triple-A state meet record in 800m is 1:54.01, set by Cabell Midland’s Jacob Burcham in 2011 & 2012, the 1,600m mark is 4:08.80, run by Cabell Midland’s Jacob Burcham in 2011, and the 3,200m mark is 8:57.73, ran by Cabell Midland’s Jacob Burcham in 2012.
After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a track scholarship (1980-1983), Kominsky was sponsored by Adidas. He ran for the Adidas Track Club in Atlanta, Georgia for three years. His PR’s include the 800m in 1:49.8 and the 1500m in 3:42.2. While at North Carolina he did his undergraduate work in Biochemistry and Nutrition. Afterwards he attended Life Chiropractic College in Marietta, Georgia from 1983-1986.
In 1988, he attended the Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIV Olympiad, in Seoul, South Korea as the team chiropractor.
In 1992, he just missed qualifying for the U.S. Olympics Trials in the 1,500m by 2/10 of a second, while having ran 3:43.6.
on June 25th, 1995, Kominsky married Julie Bassichis. They have two children Alexandria and Miles. Alexandria (a.k.a. - Ali) ran for Shady Spring High School before graduating in 2015, while Miles (a freshman) currently runs for Woodrow Wilson High.
As recently as July 25th, 2015, The Premiere Distance Academy hosted a clinic for middle and high school distance runners for boys and girls at Woodrow Wilson High School in Beckley, WV. The clinic included a presentation from three-time Olympian Craig Virgin. There were also appearances by four-time West Virginia state champion Mike Kominsky and former Marshall wide receiver Matt Morris. The clinic was open to runners age 12 and older. It concentrated on cross country, 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter training.
The Kominsky’s currently reside in Daniels, West Virginia. Mike is the owner of Independent Medical Services, PLLC in Beckley, West Virginia from 2007 to present.
An interesting fact: Mike Kominsky was one of two distance runners that I know of that ever won the Toughman Contest. My brother (Todd McMillion of Poca/Nitro High) was the first in the early 1990’s, while Kominsky was the second to do so by winning the 1996 Toughman Champion in the Light Heavyweight Division.
Michael Kominsky biography compiled by Mike McMillion.