WAIMEA — Two points separated the girls and three points was the margin for the boys Saturday when Waimea High School hosted the Kauai Interscholastic Federation wrestling championships at Clem Gomes Gym before an enthusiastic audience that nearly filled one side of the gym on the Waimea High School campus.
“I have not done exact head counts, but I am pretty sure this was the largest crowd to watch a KIF tournament,” said Mac Pigott, KIF wrestling tournament director. “The wrestlers provided plenty of action with some tough match-ups.”
The Kauai High School girls redeemed their upset loss to Kapaa from last year to capture the division title, 45-40, led by Sarai Valdez, Jordyn Kahananui and Halle Sakai battling to a pin over Audrey Warner of Island School. This is the fifth Red Raider girls’ title in six years since the KIF sanctioned wrestling as a high school sport.
Host Waimea High School edged out Kauai High School boys, 59-56, for its second team championship in six years.
“It helps that we have the home field advantage,” said Waimea coach CJ Threat. “We had a great day, and I’m so proud of our boys and girls. I’m really happy that all of my seniors qualified for the state tournament. All of the hard work is paying off, but we still have states ahead of us and have to remain focused for the next stage.”
Corey Agena, one of three seniors having undefeated records, led the Menehune charge along with Bryan Ingeniero getting a hard-fought pin over Yong Kang Lin (Kau), and Jaime Mararagan prevailing over Malachi Sacramento (Kap) in the boys 195-pound class.
“Kauai’s biggest underdog comeback victory came from Jeremiah Fernandes-Fukushima,” said Kauai coach Paul Shindell, who got in his share of excitement with passionate coaching from the box. “Last week, Jeremiah was pinned in the first period by Kaz Espina (Kap). This week, he dominated 4-0 in the first period. He wrestled hard and persevered to pin Kaz in the third period.”
Island School fielded three wrestlers, with Aliana Ho getting pinned by Alana Takata (Kau) to finish in third place in the girls 155-pound class.
Warner succumbed to Halle Sakai for second place in the girls 145-pound class, and on the boys’ mats Marcus Charles prevailed over Kylen Aana (Wai) before succumbing to Mason Stoll-Tolentino (Kau) for second place in the boys 113-pound class.
Pigott said 10 girls earned individual championships in weight classes ranging from 102 to 155 pounds.
There were 14 boys earning individual titles in weight classes ranging from 106 to 285 pounds.
“These 24 individual KIF champions earned berths in the Texaco Hawaii High School Athletic Association wrestling championships,” Pigott said.
“This week, the KIF school mats will be busy with wrestlers training to match up with the best wrestlers in Hawaii when the state tournament starts Feb. 14 and 15 at the Blaisdell Center Arena in Honolulu.”
102: Sarai Valdez (Kau)
107: Ashlyn Agena (Wai), Shaelin Manibog (Kau)
112: Jordyn Kahananui (Kau)
117: Anna Malia Santos (Kap), Kaya Akana (Wai), Janessa Llego-Finney (Kau)
122: Daniella Santos (Kap)
127: Ini Marshall (Kap)
132: Tessa Jensen (Kap)
138: Olivia Kelekoma (Kap)
145: Halle Sakai (Kau), Audrey Warner (IS)
155: Joji Miner-Ho (Kap), Alana Takata (Kau), Aliana Ho (IS)
106: Coby Lawrence (Kau)
113: Mason Stoll-Tolentino (Kau), Marcus Charles (IS), Kylen Aana (Wai)
120: Jeremiah Fernandes-Fukushima (Kau), Kaz Espina (Kap)
126: Kainoa Rivera (Kap)
132: Corey Agena (Wai), Michael John Anderson (Kap)
138: Matthew Tamanaha (Kau), Jaiden Ogata (Kau), Lucas Freitas-Diaz (Kap)
145: Lowen Matsusaka (Kau)
152: Braeden Jensen (Kap), Makena Holt (Kau), Adrianne Quetula (Kau)
150: Bryan Ingeniero (Wai), Yong Kang Lin (Kau)
170: Kalama Fernandez (Wai)
182: Levi Eulalio (Kap), Zayden Sarmiento (Wai)
192: Jaime Mararagan (Wai), Malachi Sacramento (Kap)
220: Cody Artaho (Wai)
285: Roger Dela Cruz (Wai)