Wayne Joseph’s Blog

Running with the Big Dog

Warriors Sweep BIIF Wrestling Team Titles

Megan Aina wins third BIIF crown

KEALAKEKUA – It was all Warriors during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling championships on Saturday.

The Kamehameha girls and Waiakea boys took team titles in a Warrior sweep and left little doubt as to who has the best spread of wrestlers on the island.

Heavily favored Kamehameha lived up to their top billing by winning the girls team title during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling championships, at the Colonel Ellison Onizuka Gymnasium on the campus of Konawaena High School, on Saturday.

Warrior girls took command in the early going, making the finals in seven of the eleven weight classes to claim their second consecutive girl’s team, and third title, in the last four years under Coach Marlon Miller.

“We only brought nine girls and one of them, Kanoe Padaken, dislocated her shoulder during her match or else we would have had eight girls in the finals,” Miller said.

Making it into the finals for Kamehameha were Megan Aina (98), Kawehi Lopez (120), Noelle Pohina (125), Rustee-Ann Johansen (130), Alexia Osburn (140), Chantel Pohina (155) and Jasmine Iuta (175).

The Warriors would go on to win four of the seven finals matches with Aina, Lopez, Johansen and Osburn capturing BIIF titles to clinch the team championships.

“I’m pleased with our second consecutive title, but it’s not going to be as sweet as our third” Miller said.  “We started out strong as a team and never lost sight of our goals.”

Miller gave a pre-game talk to his team, telling them that there would only be a Feb. 5, 2011 once in their life, so how do you want to remember it?

Aina, the two time BIIF defending champion and reigning state champion, had little trouble taking her third title as she appears primed to make another run at the state championship.

Facing Hawaii Preparatory Academy’s Kela Vargas, the Warrior took an aggressive posture taking Vargas down and staying on top of her during the first period.

During the second period Aina used an arm bar to roll her opponent for the pin.

“I listened to my coaches and just did what they told me to do,” Aina said after the match.  “I grabbed her wrist during the roll and it paid off.”

It was Aina’s third consecutive BIIF title and now she shifts her focus on trying to repeat as state champion.

Home crowd favorite, sophomore Tanalei Louis, won her second BIIF title by pinning Kamehameha’s Noelle Pohina in the first round to go undefeated in island competition.

A confident Tanalei Louis

“I believe in myself and my ability,” a confident Louis said.  “My dad and family give me the confidence that I need and it helped that I played Pop Warner football growing up.”

Louis finished third in the state last year as a freshmen and believes she can win it all next week in Honolulu.

The boy’s team title was up for grabs going into the final few matches with Kona, Hilo and Waiakea all in contention for the team title.

“With just two matches to go just a half point separates Hilo and Waiakea from winning the boy’s team championship,” Kona statistician Wally Nakashima said.

Waiakea pulled out the narrow margin of victory and Warrior coach Stan Haraguchi was very stoic in his first team title.

“It’s been a while since we’ve won a team title,” Haraguchi said.  “We just wanted the kids to do their best and a lot of the credit goes to the coaches and the families that did a good job raising them.”

Haraguchi believed that the Warrior success was due to the team’s ability to peak at the right time.

“They stepped it up at the right time,” he said.  “But the season isn’t over as we still have one more week to go.”

One of the leaders for the Waiakea boys was defending BIIF champion Tyler Yonemori who retain his individual title at 140 by beating Kealakehe’s Allin Franco.

“I just wanted to come out and do my best,” Yonemori said.  “The entire team worked very hard this entire season and we’re proud to have won the team title.”

For the Kamehameha boys it was Justin Hirae wrestling in the 125 weight division against Hilo’s Brendan Branco.

“I got bumped up in weight and now weigh 124 pounds,” Hirae said.  “I’ve been doing a lot of weight training and I wanted to move into a weight division that I felt comfortable at.”

In the process, Hirae won his fourth BIIF individual championship, each coming in different weight divisions.

 “During my freshman year I won at 103, then moved up each year to 108, 114 and this year at 125,” Hirae said.  “What I’ve accomplished in winning my fourth title anyone can do with a lot of hard work.”

Honokaa’s Geo Chavez-Pardini was able to wrestle most of the season due to a partially torn ACL, but went for his fourth BIIF title on Saturday in the 189 weight class.

“I weighed in at 162, but my coach wanted me to wrestle at 189,” Chavez-Pardini said. 

During the finals the Dragon went against Kona’s John Postrano and used his speed to out maneuver his heavier opponent.

“I was super nervous going into the match because he outweighed me,” Chavez-Pardini said. “I used my speed and could take him down easy.  When he tried to escape I caught his arm, spun him around for the take down and used a half nelson for the pin.”

Related link:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/biif-wrestling-championships-results/

The top four boys in each of the 14 weight divisions and top three girls in their 11 weight classes advance to the Hawaii High School Athletic Association championships to be held on Oahu on Feb. 11 and 12.

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February 8, 2011 - Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , ,

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