Aina Lead Kamehameha girls in threepeat while Waiakea gains second team title
KEAAU – Kamehameha girls and Waiakea boys came away with team titles at the Big Island Interscholastic Federation individual and team wrestling championships, held Saturday at Paiea Gym on the Keaau campus of Kamehameha.
While cross town public and private schools Warriors were winning team championships another Warrior was celebrating several mile markers.
A monumental 18th birthday celebration took place for Kamehameha’s Megan Aina on Saturday as the tough 103 pound wrestler won her fourth Big Island Interscholastic Federation individual title and helped lead her Warrior squad to their third team title.
“This is a very crazy birthday for me,” Aina said. “It is a really big accomplishment in my life and I’m so proud to be part of our team for all four years.
“Winning a team title is all our girls have been talking about for the past two weeks,” Kamehameha Coach Marlon Miller said.
For Miller and his girls this is their third consecutive league team title and their fifth in the last six years.
“I think our biggest advantage is our experience on the mat,” Miller said. “We have lots of seniors, who will be sorely missed.”
Several of Miller’s girls have shared in all three team titles and the coach was quick to point out that this was indeed a team effort.
“It takes the entire team to win a championship,” Miller said. “It’s not about the coaches; it’s entirely about the girls who were on the mat.”
Miller pointed to his well seasoned squad, naming each of the girls that made the difference in each of the 11 weight classes to win yet another team title.
Warrior girls filling each of the weight classes were:
Nellie Towata (98), Aina (103), Kanoe Padaken (108), Sadie Arakaki (114), Phoebe Oda (120), Noelle Pohina 125), Chantel Pohina (130), Alexia Osburn (140), Jasmine Uta (155), Wilna Tong (175), Ciarra Lynn Parinas (220) all made contributions to winning the Warrior team title according to Miller.
Six out of the eight Warrior girls to make the finals won their matches by pin which included Aina, Padaken. Oda, Chantel Pohina, Iuta and Tong.
“Phoebe (Oda) was in one of the toughest weight division and she went undefeated during the season.” Miller said. “She’s a natural leader who pushes everyone on our team to their fullest potential.”
Aina ended her BIIF career by having an undefeated season and in the process won her fourth consecutive individual league crown to go along with the state title she won as a sophomore. But Aina’s match was anything but easy as she went against Waiakea Cara Nakayama in the finals.
“I felt like I had nothing to lose and I left everything on the mat,” Nakayama said.
Nakayama was winning by a score of 4-2 going in the second round, when Aina used her famous chicken wing move to get the pin and secure the victory.
Two other Warrior girls finished the season with an unblemished BIIF record and went on to win individual BIIF titles on Saturday.
Padaken and Chantel Pohina both dominated throughout the season which added to the Warrior blitz in their team title quest.
This was a Sweet three peat for Warrior girls where experience made the difference, according to Miller. Sharing in past team titles six of their eleven girls on the mat are seniors.
“Many of these girls were with us for all three championships, which makes this one extra sweet,” Miller said.
While Miller’s girls were winning their third team title it was Waiakea Coach Stan Haraguchi bring his young Warrior boys to their second consecutive team title.
“Every one of these guys helped us get here,” Haraguchi said. “We are young with lots of sophomores and juniors but we came into the championships confident and humble.”
Waiakea brought eight boys into the finals which consisted of 14 weight classes.
“It takes an entire team effort to win a title and everyone from our coaches to our parents helped us get here,” Haraguchi said.
Waiakea’s Pat Enos dominated the 152 division all season and ended his BIIF season with an unblemished mark.
Enos won three matches on Saturday, all by pin, using a cradle and twice using a gable move to secure each win.
“It feels awesome to win two straight team titles,” Enos said. “Nobody in the league thought that we could win the title, because we are so young, but we pulled it out.”
Teammate William Spain, a 108 sophomore, won his first two matches to earn a spot in the finals before dropping his finale to two time BIIF champion, Konawaena’s Justin Raymond.
“I think last year winning the team title was really good, but this year it is extra special for us since we have so many young guys,” Spain said. “This is a new team and we really stepped up because we knew we could do it.”
Waiakea placed 8 boys in the finals and 2 in the consolation bracket to secure enough team points to narrowly eclipse Kamehameha for the boy’s crown.
“We came in with the right mentality and jelled at the right time,” Haraguchi said. “Everyone just worked together and blended well.”
The Hawaii High School state wrestling championships will be held on March 2 and 3 at the Blaisdell Arena on Oahu.
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