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TOUGHEST COP WORKS IN AREA.

Byline: Greg Botonis Staff Writer

PALMDALE - Palmdale sheriff's station Deputy Dave Miklos was determined to defend his title as Toughest Competitor Alive at the 2002 California Police and Fire Games, and he did that - and more.

In trying to defend his gold medal, Miklos also set new personal records and a new state record, beating the old one set in 1995 by nearly 380 points.

``I was really stoked because the first three out of four events, I had set personal records,'' Miklos said. ``You feel all the pain, but it really seemed effortless because of all the hard work and effort you put into it.''

Miklos competed in the TCA competition in the 45- to 49-year-olds class, winning the gold medal, but also placing fifth against all ages and weight classes.

The state games, held from June 16-22 in Santa Ana, pitted more than 50 of the state's toughest law enforcement officers and firefighters against each other in more than 100 grueling competitions.

Participants competed in events ranging from swimming and shooting skills to weightlifting and the biathlon.

Each year competitors attempt the eight-event Toughest Competitor Alive challenge that includes a 5K run, shot put, 100-meter dash, 100-yard swim, rope climb, bench press, pull-ups, and an obstacle course. Every leg of the event is done with very little, if any, break times in between.

Miklos completed the 5K run in 20 minutes and 9 seconds, a personal best. He did the 100-meter dash in 12.9 seconds, never before having been below 13 seconds; the 100-yard swim in 1 minute 6 seconds, down two seconds from his previous personal record; and the rope climb in 9.73 seconds, another personal best, breaking his previous 10-second record.

He was, however, disappointed with his performance in the bench press competition, pushing only 253 pounds after lifting 270 the previous week, and the pull-up competition, where he completed 48 while 50 was his average.

``You never really know how you are going to do when you get to the next competition,'' Miklos said.

During the last state games Miklos was just 23 points short of breaking the state record and said he worked even harder during training to prepare for this year.

``Every year I have been able to improve my overall score,'' Miklos said. ``I just continue learning how to work out in a manner that will improve my performance in this event.''

The next step, Miklos said, is to prepare to defend his World Champion title at the World Police and Fire Games in Barcelona, Spain, in July 2003.

Within the next couple of months, he will begin his 5 a.m. runs, workouts at the 24 Hour Fitness during lunchtime, swimming at the Eastside Pool and climbing rope at Twister Gymnastics after work.

He also has to concentrate on fund raising to collect the money for the trip to Spain.

Miklos was introduced to the Police and Fire Games in 1997 by five-time gold medal winner Deputy Eric Rubio.

``I just really enjoy competing,'' Miklos said. ``I'll do it as long as I can.''

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

(color) Palmdale Sheriff's Deputy Dave Miklos earned the Toughest Competitor Alive title at the California Police and Fire Games.

Jeff Goldwater/Staff Photographer
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jul 7, 2002
Words:542
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