It’s been three long years since a Big Island Interscholastic Federation girl has won a state wrestling title, but that all came to an end this past Sunday as the smallest of eleven weight divisions came up big.
Kamehameha’s Megan Aina, wrestling in the 98 pound lightweight division, worked her way through two days of competition to win the Hawaii High School Athletic Association individual crown at the Baisdell Arena in Honolulu.
Aina, a two time BIIF Champion at 98 pounds, needed to get past Punahou’s Erin Uehara in the championship match to claim the first girls state wrestling championship for the BIIF since Kealakehe’s Renee Michell won it in 2007.
Aina’s final match was a nail-biter as the Warrior sophomore managed to win by a 3-2 decision over Uehara.
“I was shaken prior to the championship match as I was so nervous,” Aina said after winning the state title.
Aina scored the first point of the championship match with an escape in the second period and scored two more later in that period with a takedown.
“I used an arm drag and moved to a single leg snatch to get the takedown,” Aina said. “I was up 3-0 going into the final round when Erin (Uehara) took me down to make the score tight.”
Aina’s weight division included 16 girls from around the state and the versatile wrestler pinned all three of her opponents prior to going against Uehara.
“My sister, Jenna, was very supportive during the tournament,” Aina said. “I wanted to do well and not disappoint anyone.”
For Aina to make it to the championship match she needed to get past St. Andrew’s Priory, Meghan Chun, a formidable opponent that beat Aina during last year’s state tournament.
“Part of Megan’s desire to want to make weight and wrestle in the 98 class was to avenge the lost she had to the St. Andrew’s girl (Chun) that beat her last year,” Kamehameha coach Marlon Miller said.
Waiakea’s Tracy Poch had the second best finish for the BIIF girls, making it into the championship match at 155 and losing to Punahou’s Kaimana Lundquist by fall at 4:44.
Konawaena’s freshman, Tanalei Louis made it into the semi finals in the 125 weigh class to win the bronze by defeating Kahuku’s Kristy Rabaino on a 7-1 decision.
Other BIIF girls medaling at state were:
Konawaena’s Alexandra Aoki, 103, 4th, Danielle Hubbard, 108, 4th,
Kealakehe’s Joylnn Kahala-Minczer, 114, 4th, Jodi Ozaki, 120, 4th
Kamehameha’s Rustee-Ann Johansen, 130, 5th, Kaopua Sutton, 175, 4th and Jenna Aina, 114, 6th.
Honokaa’s Jessica Muskat, 175, 6th.
Punahou won the girls team title for the second year in a row narrowly edging out Kahuku by 2.5 points. Kamehameha-Hawaii finished sixth and Kona eighth to claim high honors for BIIF teams.
“This was the best finish by any Kamehameha-Hawaii team as we previously finished 11th once and 12th last year,” Coach Marlon Miller said. “I’m very proud of all our girls as they worked hard and served as good training partners for each other.”
“I’m happy with our finish, but there were still five schools ahead of us and with the talent we have coming back next year we will focused on trying to win it all,” Miller said. “Our girls are a really tight unit and with mainly freshmen and sophomores the Big Island should be worried about us next year.”
In the boys division it was Kona’s Jimmy Romualdo in the 135 weight class that made it into the championship match. Romualdo took the runner up spot when he defaulted his match to Kamehameha-Oahu’s Jacob Luning-Hoshino.
Honokaa’s three time BIIF champion, Geo Chavez-Pardini, 160, lost his opening match during day one trials, but worked his way through the consolation bracket to win a 5th place medal.
Other BIIF boys winning medals were:
Hawaii Prep’s Keoni Colson, 152, 6th.
Kamehameha’s Nalu Souza, 120, 4th.
Kona’s Sage Aoki, 108, 4th.
Honokaa’s Chris Reed, 285, 4th.
Punahou easily won the boys team crown for the fourth year in a row with 240 points with second place Kamehameha-Oahu scoring 186.5. The top BIIF team was Kona who finished in 15th place.
Forty-two schools, representing five leagues, participated in the two day tournament which needed to be postponed on Saturday due to the Tsunami Alert.
114-1st-Jolynn Kahala-Minczer-Kealakehe 1 pin 2nd-Danielle Hubbard-Konawaena 3rd-Carly Ann Guia-Honokaa
120- 1st-Sheri Lo-Honokaa 1 pin 2nd-Marie Donahue-HPA 1 pin 3rd-Jodi Ozaki-Kealakehe
130- 1st- Melissa Dumaguin-Konawaena 1 pin 2nd-Heather Sugimoto-Honokaa 1 pin
3rd- Ashley Potter-Honokaa 1 pin
140- 1st-Sheyenne Lorenzo-Hoover-Honokaa 2 pins 2nd-Hokulani Reyes-Konawaena 2 pins
3rd-Jade Perreira-Honokaa 1 pin
155- 1st-Hanna Luepkes-Honokaa 2 pins 2nd-Jasmine Crank-Kealakehe
175- 1st-Jessica Muskat-Honokaa 3 pins 2nd-Joslynn Kahala-Minczer-Kealakehe 1 pin 3rd-Stacie Doi-HPA 1 pin
108-1st-Warren Buenavista-Konawaena 1 pin
2nd-Max Hirata-HPA 3rd-Dylan Raiano-Konawaena
114- 1st-Sage Aoki-Konawaena 1pin
2nd-Justin Raymond-Konawaena 1 pin 3rd-Dan Gampon-Kealakehe 1 pin
125- 1st-Jarrad Kuwana-Kealakehe 1 pin
2nd- Russ Hapgood-HPA 1 pin
135- 1st-Dillon Cortes-Kealakehe 2 pins
2nd-Justin Tanaka-Kealakehe 1 pin
3rd-Kevin Antolin-1 pin
140- 1st- Jimmy Romualdo-Konawaena 2 pins 2nd- Beau Lopez-Honokaa 1 pin 3rd-Kahea Cacoulidis-Kealakehe 1 pin
145- 1st- Bronson Kobayashi-HPA 3 pins 2nd-Allen Chase-Honokaa 1 pin 3rd-Zoey Sandlin-Kohala 1 pin
152- 1st-Keoni Colson-HPA 3 pins 2nd-Dwane Tegman-Honokaa 1 pin 3rd- RJ Espejo-Laupahoehoe 1 pin
160- 1st-Grayson Graham-HPA 2 pins 2nd-Duke Akiona-Konawaena 1 pin 3rd- Charles Mendoza-Konawaena 2 pins
171- 1st- Geo Chavez Pardini-Honokaa 3 pins 2nd-Max Verbrugge-HPA 1 pin 3rd-Kimo Louis-Kealakehe
189- 1st-Kaimana Lutey-Honokaa 2 pins 2nd-Troy Choi-HPA-2 pins 3rd- Chris Park-Kealakehe
215- 1st-Onipa’a Stevens-HPA 2nd-Tim Ekert-Kealakehe 1 pin 3rd- Kawika Scott and Keala Freehauf-Konawaena both with 2 pins
285- 1st- Jordan Ha’o-Kealakehe 1 pin 2nd- Chris Reed-Honokaa
More information can be found on BIIF Eastside matches by going to: https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2010/01/10/aina-family-rules-wrestling-mat/
Wally Nakashima and his Konawaena Wildcats played hosted to a long day of competitive prep wrestling in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation season opener this past Saturday.
“Wally (Nakashima) did a great job in hosting the tournament,” HPA coach, Gary Jarvill said. “Everything ran smoothly and most of the kids got in three matches.”
Ka Makani wrestlers Jonny Chute, 140, Bronson Kobaysashi, 145, Keoni Colson, 152, and Onipa’a Stevens, 215, all went a perfect 3-0 on the mat.
HPA’s Max Verbrugge, fresh off the football team, went 2-1 on the day and Jarvill had high praise. “Max didn’t get in much practice and I believe he’ll be one of the top three BIIF wrestlers at 171 by the end of the season,” Jarvill said.
Jarvill was also impressed with two of his girls, senior Marie Donohue, 120, who went 2-1 and freshman Leila Wong, 130, finished that day at 1-1.
“We have a lot of kids who are off island and still on winter break,” Jarvill said. “Next week we should have everyone back at practice.”
Honokaa was missing their top wrestler during the season opener in Geo Chavez-Pardini, but it didn’t stop the Dragons from getting stellar performances from a number of their youngsters.
“We had five boys going undefeated,” Dragon coach, Dan Whetstone said. Honokaa saw perfection at the 171 weight class with Noa Eads, Preston Cawagas and Chris Camero all going a perfect 3-0. Teammates Chris Reed went 2-0 in the heavyweight division and Kalai Niau went 3-0 at 189.
Whetstone was most impressed with Niau’s win over Kealakehe’s Kimo Louis. “Kalai outpointed Kimo Louis to avenge the loss he suffered in the semifinals at last year’s BIIF championships,” Whetstone said.
For the girls Honokaa saw all six of their seniors going 2-1 while having junior Jessica Muskat going a perfect 2-0.
“Jessica is very athletic and has a great work ethic. I think she is the girl to beat in the 175 weight class,” Whetstone said.
Coach Whetstone believes that the girl’s match of the day was between Dragon Heather Sugimoto and HPA’s Marie Donahue in the 120 class. Sugimoto was behind on points when she reversed the situation and pinned Donahue.
“It was a great way for us to start the season,” Whetstone said of the season opener.
Kealakehe had perfect records from Jodi Ozaki (2-0) at 120 pounds, with boys Robin Arellano (3-0) and Ralph Ortega (3-0) both in the 108 weight class and Dillon Cortes (2-0) at 130. “Our kids wrestled hard this weekend and I’m really proud of their performance,” ‘Rider coach, Michael Ciotti said.
“It still early in the season and we still have a lot of things we need to work on. We don’t have a lot of depth, but we’ll be able to move kids around to fill all or most of the weight classes by the end of the season,” Ciotti said.
The Kamehameha girls, who are considered by many to be the team to beat this season, had great performances from Tehani Jones (2-0 and only a freshman) at 98, Megan Aina (2-1) at 103, Rustee-Ann Johansson (3-0) at 140 and Chantel Pohina (3-0) at 155.
Warrior boys also notched season opening perfect records with Nalu Souza (2-0) at 120, Jason Fowler-Fernandez (3-0) at 152 and C.J. Matsuyama (2-0) at 160.
“This past weekend was one of mixed emotions, as a coach we like to see the hard work pay off in our younger wrestlers and the sense of achievement in their faces,” Kamehameha coach, Marlon Miller said.
Megan Aina suffered her first loss of the season after winning both her matches at 103 Aina was moved into the higher weight class to meet Kona’s Alexandra Aoki.
“I had mentioned to Megan (Aina) that if she wants to be the best she needs to wrestle the best. Aoki is definitely one of the best in the state and she was able to pin Megan in the second round,” Miller said.
Kamehameha’s Justin Hirae, the two time BIIF champion, also suffered his first loss of the young season, dropping a match to Alex Aoki’s brother, Sage, by a close 9-7 score.
Miller also had high praise for sophomores Fowler-Fernandez and Matsuyama. “Both Jason and C.J. has a rough freshmen year, paying their dues as we like to say. C.J. went his entire freshman year without a victory. Both young men persevered and trained diligently and this weekend it all paid off,” Miller said.
Other BIIF wrestlers having perfect opening day records were:
Konawaena’s Alexandra Aoki and Danielle Hubbard (114) each going 3-0 with 2 pins along with teammates Melissa Dumaguin, 125, Tanalei Louis, 130, both perfect at 2-0.
For the Wildcat boys Sage Aoki (3-0) and Justin Raymond (2-0) were flawless in the 114 classes and Kawika Scott (3-0) at 215.
Waiakea’s Tracy Poch, (2-0) at 175, with boys Ryan Tampon, (1-0) at 135, and Micah Kekela (3-0) at 215.
Keaau boys Cheyden Quiocho (3-0) at 130 and Cougar teammate Jeremiah Santana (2-0) at 160 were perfect.
Hilo boys Kelton Castagnetti (3-0) at 130, Draven Torres (3-0) at 140, Jens Beets (3-0) at 145, and Justin Branco (3-0) at 152 stayed unblemished.
Kau had Keani Mello go 2-0 as she won both by pin at the 220 class.
Kona Coach, Wally Nakashima, provided the names and weight classes of those wrestlers with perfect records.