KAPAA — Ashlyn Agena, an eighth-grade student from Waimea Canyon School, took to the wrestling mats for the first time Saturday during the Kauai USA Wrestling spring season tournaments.
Agena, an award-winning cheerleader with the Hanapepe Colts, joined her siblings, Alyssa, 8, and Corey, a Waimea High School wrestling leader at the tournament held at Clem Gomes Gym at Waimea High School.
She won her opening match, but was stopped after meeting up Shaelin Manibog — a Kauai High School sophomore who is the reigning junior varsity state champion with an undefeated record in her age group.
Working on the tournament clock, 28 wrestlers ranging in age from 6 through 17 competed through 32 bouts in weight classes between 50 to 170 pounds.
“We had two six-wrestler brackets,” said Mac Pigott, tournament dirtector. “This is the biggest so far this season. With just three tournaments remaining in the Kauai USA Wrestling spring season, participation in this inaugural offseason tournament is increasing.”
The Kauai USA Wrestling spring season was set up to give high school wrestlers time on the mats beyond the Kauai Interscholastic Federation wrestling season.
It also allows younger wrestlers an opportunity to explore the world of wrestling at the high school level.
Harlem Mitchell of Kekaha Elementary School finished his class first place out of six wrestlers. Anna Malia Santos of Kapaa High School finished first in her six-girl high school division class.
The Kauai USA Wrestling returns to the Kapaa High School cafeteria Saturday with the first bouts hitting the mats at 9:30 a.m.
People seeking to be part of the action are invited to weekly practices. Eastside practices with Coach Jess take place Mondays and Wednesdays at 3 p.m. at Kapaa High School. Westside Wrestling Club with Coach Mac hosts practices Mondays starting at 5 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 6:30 p.m.