Twenty-six wrestlers representing the Kauai Interscholastic Federation teamed up for the Moanalua Holiday Duals tournament earlier this week at Moanalua High School in Honolulu.
The team, “Team Garden Isle,” competed in one of the state’s toughest preseason tournaments.
“It was so nice to have all the four schools come together as one Kauai team. It built island pride, the wrestlers and coaches learned and grew from working with one another while forging relationships,” said Kauai High School coach Paul Shindell. “Combining schools also made us more competitive.”
The Garden Isle boys team pulled off victories against Kaiser and Kamehameha Hawaii. The girls won against Kamehameha-Hawaii and Damien.
Individually the vast majority of Kauai high wrestlers pulled off at least one win. From Kauai high, sophomores Mason Tolentino-Stoll and Yongkang Lin, freshman Coby Lawrence and senior Jordyn Kahananui all pulled off two wins.
In dual meet format tournaments, teams line up by weight class across the mat from each other and wrestle one at a time as their team mates cheer them on. Unlike individual double elimination tournaments, each team wrestles each other whether they won or lost their previous matches.
Team Garden Isle wrestlers got up to eight matches in the two days. Kapaa senior Braeden Jensen got three wins. Senior Ana Malia Santos and sophomore Joji Miner Ho both got two wins.
“It was a great tournament. Our kids had a lot of matches and experience wrestling at a high competitive level. It was also very good for them to experience the dual meet format and compete as a Garden Isle Team,” said Kapaa High coach Jess Jensen. “We were really proud of how they represented their school and island.”
Next week, girls from the KIF will be on Oahu for the Pa’ani Challenge at Punahou School.
The Pa’ani is the biggest all girls wrestling tournament in the nation. On the first day, a clinic will be taught by by Hawaii native and Olympic bronze medalist Clarissa Chun.
Tournament 1 of the 2018 KIF season takes place at Island School on Jan. 6 starting at 10 a.m. The KIF Championships wrestling meet is set for Feb. 3 at Waimea High School.