KAPAA — Kauai High School dominated the wrestling mats Saturday to take both the girls and boys division titles at the Kauai Interscholastic Federation wrestling championships at the Bernice Hundley Gym in Kapaa.
“Four years into our league competitions, the Kauai High School boys have won three out of the four years,” said Matt Ballard, the Kauai head wrestling coach. “Our girls have won four out of four years. Our wrestlers had great performances out there.”
Kauai girls finished the day-long tournament by winning five of the seven contested weight classes. The Kauai boys finished by winning five of the 12 contested weight classes with second- place finishes in three weight divisions, outscoring Waimea High School 80-61 points for the league title. Overall, 47 wrestlers weighed in for the field.
“You have got to view the Kauai High girls wrestling program as a dynasty,” said Mac Pigott, the KIF wrestling tournament director. “There is no other viewpoint.”
Kaisa Ishikawa, one of 10 Red Raider seniors, led the girls’ stable by being crowned four-time KIF champion, finishing her high school career with 15 wins and seven losses heading into her final appearance at the state tournament, Feb. 19-20 at the Blaisdell Arena on Oahu.
“Kaisa racked up an impressive record in her four years wearing the red singlet,” Pigott said. “Her teammate, Sierra Sanoe Kalama, goes to the state tournament with a high school career record of 20-6, and Nika Tapucol joins Kaisa and Sierra as four-time KIF champions.”
Kapaa High School broke the string of wins in the girls division as freshman Bernadette Lindsey upset Brianna Kaneshiro in the Girls 168 Pound class, the mat official requesting a medical check for the Kauai High School senior following a hard hit which left the girl stunned on the mat for a few moments following the end of the bout.
“I wanted to wrestle,” said Anna Malia Santos, the Kapaa 10th-grade wrestler who captured the Girls 117 Pound class. “This was my first year wrestling, and it was good. But I wanted to wrestle today, not just get suited up to have my hand raised. Getting the gold is really satisfying, but I would be willing to go.”
Kapaa coach Larry Richardson said Santos really epitomized the Warrior spirit.
Pigott said one of the more exciting bouts took place in the Boys 120 pound class where Kauai’s Aukahi Kalama matched up with Waimea’s Corey Agena, both boys dropping from the 126 pound class during the season to the 120 pound class for the championships.
Kalama scored first on a takedown only to have Agena reverse the position and ride out the opening period tied at 2-2.
The Red Raider jumped off the bell in the second period, notching up a three-point near fall, but Agena fought off his back to earn a two-point reversal, trailing by a digit as the noodle ended the period.
Kalama held on to his single-point lead through most of the final period when Agena brought the near-capacity crowd to its feel by earning a one-point escape to force the overtime where Kalama took the match on a sudden death fall.
The top finishers in each of the weight class head to the Chevron Hawaii High School Athletic Association wrestling championships with the fifth seed, Pigott said.
Results of KIF Wrestling Championships
Girls 102 pounds: Kaisa Ishikawa (Kau)
Girls 107 pounds: Jordyn Kahananui (Kau)
Girls 112 pounds: Justice Funamura Sasil (Kau), Quinn Catlin (IS)
Girls 117 pounds: Anna Malia Santos (Kap)
Girls 122 pounds: Nika Tapucol (Kau), Shanayah Marshall (Kap)
Girls 127 pounds: Halle Sakai (Kau), Audrey Warner (IS), Aliana Ho (IS)
Girls 132 pounds: Sanoe Kalama (Kau), Naia Manintin (Kau)
Girls 138 pounds: Sheena Juliano (Kau), Tiffany Applegate (Kau)
Girls 145 pounds: Sarah Matsunaga (Kau)
Girls 155 pounds: Kimberly Yago (Kau), Jessica Dinnie (Kau)
Girls 168 pounds: Bernadette Lindsey (Kap), Brianna Kaneshiro (Kau)
Boys 113 pounds: Ian Penner (IS)
Boys 120 pounds: Aukahi Kalama (Kau), Corey Agena (Wai)
Boys 126 pounds: Naikoa Simao (Wai), Haiden Hirakawa (Kau), Reyden Rull (Wai)
Boys 132 pounds: Noah Espanto (Wai), Matthew Tamanaha (Kau)
Boys 138 pounds: Raffy Perono (Kap), Benymar Tapucol (Kau), Ron Olea (Kau)
Boys 145 pounds: Bryson Yoro (Kau), Ryan Joel (Kap), Chasen Alayvilla (Kau)
Boys 152 pounds: Madison Leanio (Kau), James Lindsey (Kap), Jaiden Ogata (Kau)
Boys 160 pounds: Athens Acosta (Wai), Bareden Jensen (Kap), Dallas Albao (Kau)
Boys 170 pounds: Raycyn Aviguetero (Kau), Izaia Nitta (Wai), Eosin Chelius (IS)
Boys 180 pounds: Micah Cardinez (Kau), Kenneth Niheu (IS)
Boys 195 pounds: Connor Donaher (Wai)
Boys 220 pounds: Andrew Evans (Wai), Aiden Wilson (IS)