Red Raiders win KIF boys, girls titles

PUHI — Title matches played out and the individual champions have been named.

The Kauai Interscholastic Federation wrestling championship meet was held Saturday morning at Island School’s home gym.

The champions of each weight class qualifies for the Hawaii High School Athletic Association state tournament.

Though most of the individual titlists won by forfeit because there wasn’t another wrestler in their weight class, a few championship matches did take place to finalize the list of KIF winners.

In the 220-pound boys bracket, Waimea senior Ian Garcia defeated Kauai junior Abe Rivera, 3-2.

In the final period, Garcia worked out of the bottom position and got a reversal to score the two points that put him ahead. He maintained top position for most of the final minute until Rivera escaped in the last few seconds to earn one more point.

“I was thinking that I better get this reversal so I can get some points back up on the board,” Garcia said. “In my mind, it was just, ‘Do what you got to do to win.’”

“Today, I got to say, it was kind of rough,” Garcia added. “I got to do more on conditioning and getting to learn more moves.”

In the 160-pound boys title match, Kapaa freshman Braeden Jensen pinned his opponent, Kauai junior Raycyn Aviguetero, in the second period.

“He reached up. I was able to get an undercut with my arm and he rolled onto his back,” Jensen said. “I feel pretty proud of myself. I couldn’t have done it without my parents, and all of my aunties coming to support me.”

In the 138-pound boys championship match, Kauai sophomore Madison Leanio pinned his opponent, Kapaa freshman James Lindsey, in the first period.

“In that first round, I was just trying to pin him as fast as I can,” Leanio said. “I got that chicken wing, stuck with it and ended up with the pin.”

Red Raider freshman Naia Manintin defeated Island School freshman Damia Cain in the 138-pound girls title match.

Manintin stuck in a half nelson to pin her opponent just as the first period was about to end.

“It feels good,” Manintin said. “I just felt like that this was my time to win, and I didn’t want her to pin me.”

Island School freshman Kenneth Niheu won the 170-pound boys title match, pinning Kapaa freshman Levi Eulalio in the second period.

“(I got) double underhooks to a bearhug. Then I did a front trip,” Niheu said. “I just got lucky and got the pin.”

“It means tons to me. I never thought I’d do this,” he added about winning his weight bracket.

Kauai High School won both the boys and girls KIF wrestling team championships.

The Kauai boys scored 51 total points. Kapaa scored 40 points, Waimea had 30 and Island School had 16.

The Red Raider girls got 40 team points. Island School had 16 and Waimea had 5.

“The kids worked hard. They’ve come a long way,” said Kauai head coach Matt Ballard. “They’re a good group of kids. They’ve progressed pretty well throughout the year and did well today.”

The Chevron Wrestling Championships state tournament will be held next month at the Neil S. Blaisdell Center in Honolulu.

KIF representatives are automatically seeded fifth in each weight class at states, according to KIF wrestling tournament director Ray Pigott. If a KIF champion cannot participate for any reason, Pigott added, the runner-up of the weight class has the option to take the champion’s place.

KIF Wrestling Championships

Saturday’s results



113: Corey Agena, Fr, Waimea*

120: Kristopher Alcos, Sr, Kauai*

126: Bryzen Cadiz, So, Kauai*

132: Bryson Yoro, Jr, Kauai

138: Madison Leanio, So, Kauai

145: Nicholas Gabriel, Sr, Kauai*

152: Athens Acosta, Jr, Waimea*

160: Braden Jensen, Fr, Kapaa

170: Kenneth Niheu, Fr, Island 

182: Andrew Evans, So, Waimea*

195: Conner Donaher, Jr, Waimea*

220: Ian Garcia, Sr, Waimea


97: Kaisa Ishikawa, Jr, Kauai*

102: Jordyn Kahananui, Fr, Kauai*

117: Sierra Kalama, Jr, Kauai*

122: Summer Suttell, Fr, Waimea*

138: Naia Manintin, Fr, Kauai

145: Sarah Matsunaga, Jr, Kauai*

155: Brianna Kaneshiro, Jr, Kauai*

184: Laiekawai Tafua, Jr, Waimea*

*denotes winner by forfeit



1. Kauai, 51 points

2. Kapaa, 40 points

3. Waimea, 30 points

4. Island School, 16 points 


1. Kauai, 40 points

2. Island School, 13 points

3. Waimea, 5 points


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