PUHI — A strong audience greeted the first-ever Kauai Interscholastic Federation mixed team dual format meet Thursday at the Island School’s gym.
“As we are still building the program, we are not able to field full teams for each school so we have these dual format meets sort of like a pick up basketball game,” said Mac Pigott, the KIF tournament director.
Under the dual meet format, 27 wrestlers weighed in, representing four KIF schools. The wrestlers had 15 bouts, several being “mixed weight” exhibitions.
Battling in the 126 pound division, Kristopher Alcos, a senior, was pitted against fellow Red Raider Bryzen Cadiz, a sophomore.
Entering the final of three regulation rounds, Cadiz trailed 6-4, but came back to force overtime on a 6-6 tie at the end of the round.
Alcos charged back for the takedown to claim the match in overtime.
Madison Leanio, a sophomore from Kauai, matched up against Nicholas Gabriel, a Kauai senior, in the second overtime match.
“These boys probably fought the best technical match of the night,” Pigott said. “They are, in my opinion, two of the best pound-for-pound wrestlers in the KIF. Even though they are teammates, they wrestled to win in the mixed team dual meet.”
Leanio took the lead early in the opening round with a takedown and near fall for a 6-2 read at the buzzer. Coming back in the second and third rounds, both wrestlers exchanged scoring opportunities to end in an 8-8 tie to force overtime.
Gabriel, keeping his undefeated status following two KIF meets, secured a takedown over Leanio in OT, 10-8.
In the heavyweight division, 220 pounds, Ian Garcia proved to the crowd the match was worth waiting for as the Waimea senior went up against Abe Rivera, a Kauai junior fighting his second match of the night.
Garcia took the slow-opening round with a takedown for the 2-0 go-ahead, and after grappling through most of the second period, Rivera found his second wind, rousing the audience with a takedown and a near fall.
Garcia was saved by the bell as Rivera was pushing for a pin.
The break gave Garcia back his wind as the Menehune pushed for a reversal and secured the win on a fall with less than a minute left in regulation.
Girls were included on the card in mixed weight exhibitions, led by Kauai’s Nika Tapucol who finished with two wins, one against fellow Red Raider freshman Jordan Kahananui and one against Kauai junior Sierra Kalama.
Wrestling continues with an individual match Saturday at Kauai High School starting at 10 a.m.
Another dual format match is on Thursday at the Island School gym.
Nika Tapucol (Kau) over Jordan Kahananui (Kau) – fal
Naia Manintin (Kau) over Damia Cain (IS) – fall
Nika Tapucol (Kau) over Sierra Kalama (Kau) – fall
Kristopher Alcos (Kau) over Bryzen Cadiz (Kau) – 8-6, OT
Bryson Yoro (Kau) over Keolewa David-Mendija (Kap) – fall
Nicholas Gabriel (Kau) over Madison Leanio (Kau) – 10-8, OT
Braeden Jensen (Kap) over Athens Acosta (Wai) – fall
Eosin Chelius (IS) over Chasen Alayvilla (Kau) – fall
Andrew Evans (Wai) over Kenneth Niheu (IS) – fall
Abe Rivera (Kau) over Nehemaia Kafoa (Kap) – fall
Mixed weight exhibition boys
Raycyn Aviguetero (Kau) over Levi Eulalio (Kap) – fall
Brycen Cadiz (Kau) over Cory Agena (Wai) – fall
Eosin Chelius (IS) over Micah Cardinez (Kau) – fall
Ian Garcia (Wai) over Abe Rivera (Kau) – fall