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Running with the Big Dog

Three BIIF Wrestlers Make Finals of HHSAA Wrestling State Championships

Aoki

Three Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestlers had a shot at making history during Saturday’s Hawaii High School Athletic Federation state championships held at the Blaisdell Arena on Oahu.

Kamehameha’s Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy the defending state heavyweight champion, Konawaena’s Sage Aoki, 120, and Keaau’s Cheyden Quiocho, 135, all took center stage to wrestle for a state championship.

In the final championship match of the day it was Paleka-Kennedy needing to get by Molokai’s Spencer Basa in order to repeat as state champion as the two largest boys, 285, in the championships took to the mat.

“This one is even sweeter than last year,” Paleka-Kennedy said of his second state crown.  “I had a huge target coming into this year’s championship as everyone was after me, so it means so much more to win.”

Paleka-Kennedy won the championship finale by a score of 5-2 earning his points on an escape, a takedown and on technical points when the referee called Basa for stalling.

“I had to work really hard as there was good competition,” Paleka-Kennedy said.  “All the hard work, putting in the long hours paid off today.”

Paleka-Kennedy ended his high school athletic career on top as he will shift his focus on other things.

The Warrior senior earned his way into the finals by winning four matches, three by pin and the other on points.

“I will concentrate on football and academics for the rest of the year as I prepare to attend Arizona Western of a football scholarship,” he said.

Aoki, a senior, looked at facing Maryknoll’s Brendan Chang to earn his first ever state championship.

“This was my last chance to win the state championship and I gave it everything I could,” Aoki said.  “My sister, Alexandra, finished two state championships as a runner up and I wanted to win it all.”

Aoki went the full three rounds in the finals to earn the victory by a 3 to 1 score.

“I got a take down in the first period using a single leg to earn two points then in the second period  got another point when the ref said there was a technical violation,” Aoki said.

Aoki needed to win three matches during the two day tournament to earn the right to face Chang in the finals.

“I wrestled some really good guys and won my matches by take downs using the tilt move,” Aoki said.

The Wildcat credited his judo experience as preparing him to be a better defensive wrestler.

“Judo gave me good defensive skills as I kept my distance when my opponents tried to shoot on me,” he said.  “I had seen him (Chang) wrestle and I knew I needed to stay away from being tied up.”

“This was a huge win for me,” Aoki said after the finals.  “I had finished fourth last year and I really wanted this one.”

Quiocho had the most pressure on his back as the senior Cougar was attempting to become the first state champion in the school’s history.

“I knew what was at stake and winning the state championship is a goal that I had set coming into the season,” Quiocho said.  “I wanted to be the first state champion in our schools history and I worked really hard this season to achieve it.”

Standing in the way of Quiocho’s dream was Mililani’s Chase Tantog as the pair squared off on the mat.

“I tried and gave it my all, so I can’t grumble,” Quiocho said of his second place medal.

The Cougar lost a close battle by a 5 to 2 score and it was his second loss of the season to Tantog.

“He used the same move on me that he did at Leilehua earlier in the season,” he said.  “I should have been better prepared when he came at me with using the broom stick move, but I wasn’t ready for it.”

Quiocho earned his way to the finals by winning three matches all in convincing fashion by scores of 16-2, 14-4 and 5-2.

“I wasn’t happy after the finals match but I don’t deserve what I don’t earn,” Quiocho said. 

The 2010 HHSAA state champion, Kamehameha’s Megan Aina, 103, lost one match and finished third overall.

“I ended up losing to this year’s state champion from Aiea by two points,” Aina said.  “In the third place match I won by a pin in the second round.”

Aina went for her classic chicken wing move in her attempt for the third place medal.

“The chicken wing worked for me the entire season, but when I went for it today it wasn’t there,” she said.  “So I had to roll her over and press her down to get the pin.”

Waiakea junior Pat Enos, 152, also claimed a third place medal by a 6-4 score in a  sweet victory over Kamehameha-Kapalama’s Andrew Kahalewai who had beat him last year in the HHSAA championships third place match.

“Last year he won by one point and I finished fourth,” Enos said.  “I’m pretty happy with the way things turned out because I got the early lead on a takedown and then put him on his back in the second period.”

Kamehameha’s Welina Tong, 175, was the biggest surprise as the first year wrestler lost only one match over the two days to claim a third place medal.

“My only goal was to win the BIIF title, so today was just something extra,” Tong said.  “I won four of my matches by pin using just basic, simple moves like the half.”

Other BIIF wrestlers to make it to day two of the HHSAA were:

Konawaena:  Justin Raymond 108, Aimee Shiraki 220

Hilo High:      Kaylan “Lahi” Kanakanui 140

Kamehameha:  Chantel Pohina 130, Jasmine Iuta 155,    Sky “Nalu” Kekona Souza 120

 Kealakehe:      Robin Arellano 114,  Allin Franco 140

  Waiakea:       Kara Nakayama  103, Tanalei Louis 125,  

    Kau:             Keani Mello-Waiwaiole 220

 HPA:              Troy Choi 215

Related link:  https://waynejoseph.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/17-biif-wrestlers-headed-to-day-2-in-hhsaa-state-championships/

March 4, 2012 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

17 BIIF wrestlers headed to day 2 in HHSAA state championships

The following 17 Big Island Interscholastic Federation Wrestlers will be on the mat today (3.3.12) in the finals and consolation brackets of the HHSAA state wrestling championships being held on Oahu

 

Konawaena:  Justin Raymond 108 lb

            Sage Aoki 120 lb

            Aimee Shiraki 220 lb

Hilo High:  Kaylan “Lahi” Kanakanui 140 lb

Kamehameha:  Megan Aina 103 lb, Chantel Pohina 130 lb, Jasmine Iuta 155 lb, Welina Tong 175 lb

      Sky “Nalu” Kekona Souza,       Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy  285 

 Kealakehe:  Robin Arellano 114 lb,  Allin Franco 140 lb

  Keaau:      Cheyden Quiocho 135 lb

   Waiakea:    Kara Nakayama  103 lb, Tanalei Louis  125 lb, Pat Enos

    Kau:        Keani Mello-Waiwaiole 220 lb

    HPA:        Troy Choi 215 lb

March 3, 2012 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

BIIF Wrestling Championships – Results

BIIF Wrestling Crew, under head official Elton Suganuma, back row, second from left.

BIIF Wrestling Championships at Onizuka Gym
                   Saturday, Feb. 5   Konawaena High School   Final Boys Team Scoring
Waiakea 137.5    Hilo 130    Kona 116.5    Kamehameha 112.5
Kealakehe 106   Honokaa 99   Keaau 70    HPA 57     Pahoa 45   Laupahoehoe 25   Ka’u 0   Kohala 0

Individual Division
108 pounds
  1. Justin Raymond, Konawaena  2. William Spain, Waiakea
3. Blake Ahuleki, Kealakehe  4. Serafin Samorano, Keaau

114 pounds  1. Robin Arellano, Kealakehe   2. Warren Buenavista, Konawaena
3. Quitin Wright, Kamehameha  4. Ryan Fujioka, HPA

120 pounds  1. Nalu Souza, Kamehameha  2. Sage Aoki, Konawaena 3. Dan Gampon, Kealakehe  4. Max Hirata, HPA

125 pounds  1. Justin Hirae, Kamehameha  2. Brendan Branco, Hilo
3. Akeno Matsutani, Waiakea  4. Jesse Kihe-Fukuyama, Konawaena

130 pounds  1. Jordan Enos, Hilo   2. Shannon Samura, HPA  3. Charles Aina, Kamehameha  4. Kona Phipps, Konawaena

135 pounds  1. Cheyden Quiocho, Keaau   2. Max Oishi, Hilo  3. Kenneth Pang, Waiakea   4. Caleb Cohan, Pahoa

140 pounds  1. Tyler Yonemori, Waiakea   2. Allin Franco, Kealakehe  3. Jesse Huihui, Keaau   4. Henry Engler, Hilo

145 pounds  1. Pat Enos, Waiakea  2. Jacob Murphy, Hilo  3. Elvis Cardoza, Honokaa  4. Jake Torres, Pahoa

152 pounds   1. Cody Maarsingh, Honokaa  2. Jens Beets, Hilo  3. Patrick Enos, Jr., Waiakea  4. Kileona Manzano, Konawaena

160 pounds 1. Isiah Kanakanui, Hilo   2. Dylan Coffel, Pahoa  3. Jordan Maglinti, Waiakea  4. Russell Laros, HPA

171 pounds 1. Harry Auwelua, Honokaa  2. CJ Matsuyama, Kamehameha 3. Kayed Rodrigues, Waiakea  4. John Genesarin, Konawaena

189 pounds 1. Geo Chavez-Pardini, Honokaa  2. John Postrano, Konawaena   3. Treyven Ahquin-Fely, Keaau  4. Christian Park, Kealakehe

215 pounds   1. Tim Ekert, Kealakehe   2. Troy Choi, HPA  3. Kema Chin, Kamehameha  4. Kainoa Lyman, Honokaa

285 pounds
1. Akoakoa Paleka-Kennedy, Kamehameha  2. Kekai Obrey, Kealakehe  3. Keanu Showm Laupahoehoe   4. Zephanaiah Pawao, Waiakea

Final Girls Team Scoring
Kamehameha 132   Konawaena 120   Hilo 81.5   Waiakea 60  HPA 48   Ka’u 30   Kealakehe 27   Honokaa 7

Individual Division
98 pounds
   1. Megan Aina, Kamehameha  2. Kela Vargas, HPA  3. Christine Presidiaos, Konawaena

103 pounds  1. Sam Neal, HPA  2. Cara Naakayama, Waiakea 3. Jharmine Postrano, Konawaena

108 pounds  1. Haley Delos-Santos, Konawaena  2. Sha Pagan, Hilo  3. Kanoe Padaken, Kamehameha

114 pounds  1. Desting Masters, Kealakehe  2. Jacqueline Moctezuma, Konawaena  3. Phoebe Oda, Kamehameha

120 pounds  1. Kawehi Lopez, Kamehameha  2. Lena Mello-Waiwaiole, Ka’u  3. Kelsi Nishima, HPA

125 pounds  1. Tanalei Louis, Konawaena  2. Noelle Pohina, Kamehameha  3. Hillary Luna, Hilo  4. Kawena Kuamoo-Mendida, Waiakea

130 pounds 1. Rustee Johansen, Kamehameha  2. Melissa Dumaguin, Konawaena 3. Sharrylei Fernandez, Hilo  4. Katie Holdcroft, HPA

140 pounds  1. Alexa Osburn, Kamehameha   2. Kanani Silva, Waiakea   3. Kaylan Kawakami, Hilo  4. Alyssa Cagawas, Honokaa

155 pounds  1. Kainolani Lee, Hilo   2. Chantel Pohina, Kamehameha  3. Kaua Mitchell, Konawaena  4. Allison Felix, Kealakehe

175 pounds   1. Tracy Poch, Waiakea   2. Jasmine Iuta, Kamehameha  3. Kawehi Housman, Hilo   4. Aimee Shiraki, Konawaena

220 pounds   1. Keani Mello-Waiwaiole, Ka’u   2. Sharon Manaarpca, Hilo

February 7, 2011 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kamehameha-Hawaii Favored to win BIIF Wrestling Team Titles

Marlon Miller with state champion Megan Aina

Twenty five weight class championship titles are up for grabs this Saturday when Konawaena host the Big Island Interscholastic Federation wrestling individual and team championships at the Colonel Ellison Onizuka Gymnasium.

Defending girls team champions Kamehameha are considered the heavy favorites to repeat as team champions, but  Warriors coach Marlon Miller believes that their standings are overrated.

“Due to our intensity and rigorous demand that one must give in this sport I had a lot of girls drop out during the season, including several returnees,” Miller explained. 

Miller believes that other coaches are saying that Kamehameha are the heavy favorites, which is a tactic, to draw attention away from them.

“This past weekend I noticed that Konawaena and Hawaii Preparatory Academy were filling more weight classes than we do,” Miller said.  “After having a scrimmage dual meet with Hilo a couple of weeks ago I know they (Hilo) will be contending for the girl’s title also.”

Miller believes that all the private school Warrior girls have the confidence and ability to be State and BIIF champions.

“They all believe in themselves and their teammates,” he said.  “If they didn’t I wouldn’t put them out there.”

Rustee-Ann Johansen and Megan Aina are the two returning BIIF champions for the Warriors girl’s team with Aina (a state champion at 98 pounds) going for her third league title.

HPA coach Gary Jarvill still sees Kamehameha as the team to beat for the girl’s crown.

“I am missing four weight classes for BIIF’s,” Jarvill said.  “I only have two girls with any experience at all and my most successful girl, Kela Vargas, needs to wrestle Megan (Aina) who is the returning state champion.”

Jarvill believes that Kamehameha is on an easy road to winning another girl’s team title and the Ka Makani coach noted that Kona’s strength is in the weight classes from 120 to 140.

Dominate among the Kona ladies is defending champion Tanalei Louis, 125, who won the BIIF championships as a freshman last season.   Louis may be one of the best in the state in her weight class and is considered a heavy favorite to repeat as BIIF champ.

Wildcat teammate Sage Aoki, 108, comes from a rich family tradition in wrestling champions and will also make a run at defending his BIIF title.

“Honokaa’s newest top wrestler is Harry Auweloa. He came to Honokaa this year from Maui, a junior with one year of experience, “said Dragon Coach Dan Whetstone.  “He (Auweloa) took 1st place in 189’s in the preseason tournament at Waiakea and then placed first again in the same weight class at the Kealakehe tournament in early January.”

Whetstone believes that Auweloa  will drop weight and compete in the 171 bracket as the favorite to win at the BIIF championships as he remains undefeated during the season.

Dragon teammate Geo Chavez-Pardini will be wrestling in only his second tournament of the year but should be the one to beat in 189’s and capture his fourth BIIF title.

“I’m switching some of these kids around as a strategic measure,” Whetstone said.  “Geo could actually compete at 171, but we need him in the high weight division.”

Another one of Honokaa’s newcomers is first year senior Elvis Cardoza at the 145 division. Whetstone believes that Cardoza will contend for the BIIF title as he won won all of his matches this past Saturday at Keaau.

Wrestling fans should also watch for a repeat performance from Kau’s heavyweight defending champion, Keani Mello-Waiwaiole who has been dominate in the 220 division.

The main attraction on the girl’s side for Waiakea is Tracy Poch who took top honors at the Officials Wrestling Tournament on Oahu in December and is considered the heavy favorite to win the BIIF crown at 175.  Poch is the BIIF champ at 155 last season.

While there is no clear favorite in the race for the boys team title most coaches agree that Kamehameha and Waiakea have a slight edge over the rest of the field.

Kamehameha returns a pair of title defenders in Justin Hirae, 114, and Nalu Souza at 120 while the public school Warriors showcases Tyler Yonemori and the Enos brothers, Pat and Patrick.

“I think it is impossible to pick, even on paper, who will win the boys team title,” Kamehameha boys coach Brendan Courtot said.  “No one school has shown real dominance at any of the meets, but Kealakehe is the defending champ, so they have the target on their back.”

According to Courtot several Warriors have been undefeated during the regular season and include CJ Matsuyama, 171, and Akokoa Paleka-Kennedy in the heavy weight division.  Despite the unblemished record Courtot feels that they are not well tested because of their missing several key match ups.

“We will be competitive at 114, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140, 152, 189 and 215 with our best chance to medal coming from our two defending champions (Hirae who will wrestle at 125 and Souza at 120) and two returners Charlie Aina, 130, and Kema Chin at 215,” Courtot said.

Action will get under way in Kona on Saturday at 10 am using three mats as the highly anticipated individual and team champions will not be crowned until later that evening.

February 5, 2011 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mello-Waiwaiole Sisters Leaving Mark on Mat for Ka’u

Leah, Keani, & Elena

Sisters Leah, Keani and Elena Mello-Waiwaiole have been working hard for the Kau wrestling team during the Big Island Interscholastic Federation season.

Keani is the defending BIIF champion in the 220 weight division, a title that she won last year as a freshman.

“My father, Donald Mello, talks about wrestling and teaches us the moves in the living room of our house,” Keani said.  “He graduated from Pahoa in 1992 where he was on the wrestling team and my mom, Stephanie Waiwaiole, was the team statistician.”

The Mello-Waiwaiole family has become well known in the wrestling community where all three sisters, including an up and coming eighth grader continue the ohana tradition.

“I like wrestling and I like to win,” Keani said. 

This past Saturday the Trojan grapplers were on the mat at Hilo High trying to hold their own during East Side competition.

Keani wasted no time in her first two matches of the day pinning Hilo’s Kawehi Housman during the first period and later making fast work out of Viking Sharon Manaarpac for another early round pin.

“She was too small,” Keani said after her second win of the day.  “They, meet officials, mixed the 175 weight division with the 220 so that we could have some matches.”

Keani’s strength and size was no match for her opposition as she quickly overpowed her opponents for quick victories.

Sisters Elena, 125 pounds, and Leah, 140, weren’t as fortunate as they were on the receiving end of pins.

“I still need to work on my moves and how to get off my back,” Leah said after dropping a match to Hilo’s Hillary Luna.

Elena, an experienced senior, quickly learned what she is lacking in the contact sport.

“I should have been faster and I need to be able to think faster,” Elena said.  “I still need to learn to wrestle smarter and after each match I need to move my focus to my next opponent.”

Despite the loss Elena still maintains a winning season record of 8-5 and has high hopes of making the top three during the BIIF championships and a ticket to the state championships.

“Me and my sisters are not shame and people know us in Kau as the girls that hunt,” Elena said.

The youngest of the Mello-Waiwaiole sisters, Leah, had a lot of praise for her families sport.

“I like wrestling because of my dad and because I can put all of my anger into this sport,” Leah said.  “I know I still need to work on my moves and how to get off my back.”

Trojan coach Kevin Rence has been out in Kau teaching wrestling, something that he learned growing up in Michigan during his high school days on the mat.

“I’m having fun and we’re starting to build a program out in Kau,” Rence said.  “It would be great if we could get a female coach to help teach the moves to these girls as I will usually demonstrate the technique on our only boy wrestler beforehand.”

Rence also needs to contend with outdated wrestling mats, made in the 1950’s, which are too small and difficult at times to work on, according to the coach.

“One of my biggest challenges is to try and raise money so that we can take some of these girls to states next month as I know we’ll have one or two qualifying,” he said.

Pat & Patrick Enos

On the boys side of the mat it was the Enos brothers from Waiakea showing their stuff.

Pat and Patrick Enos has become a workhorse dynamo for the Warriors as Patrick, a senior, competes in the 152 divisions and Pat, a sophomore, at 145.

According to Pat Enos he is one of only a few wrestlers in the BIIF that has gone undefeated during the regular season including matches that he had in the higher weight class.

“I still need to work on my conditioning,” Pat said.  “I have high goals of winning both the BIIF and state championships at 145 and then making the Hawaii team that goes to Nationals.”

During his first match of the day Pat Enos took on Pahoa standout Jake Torres and managed to get him in a Zealand move whereby he flipped the Dagger, using his hips for a second round victory.

Patrick, who sat out last season with a broken collar bone, is close to finishing his first full season with the Warriors.

“My coach told me that I have a really good chance of winning BIIF’s and at doing well during the state championships,” Patrick said.

“My only losses this season has come from Hilo’s Jens Beets and I know that I have to beat him if I’m going to win the BIIF title at 152,” he said. “I still need to work on my escapes and on my take down reversals.”

At Hilo gym Beets and Enos matched up again with the same outcome.  Enos lead on points during the second period before Beets pinned him with just three seconds remaining.

“I need to practice harder and I need to go in with a game plan,” Patrick said of his loss to Beets.

The BIIF wrestling regular season concludes this Saturday with all schools meeting at Keaau starting at 10 am.  The BIIF championships will be held on Feb 5 at Konawaena.

January 25, 2011 Posted by | Wrestling | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment