HANAPEPE — Hagen Barriga takes judo at the Hanapepe Judo Dojo and Saturday was an opportunity for the young boy to try wrestling, said his mother, Jocelyn Barriga who watched the action.
Wrestling in the 10-year-old bracket, Hagen topped Addi Jensen by decision. He later went on to an exhibition match with Dane Jensen, winning that bout by decision, as well.
“I was honored, stepping into the dojo and looking at the pictures on the wall, knowing the rich history and feeling the mana‘o,” said Coach Mac Pigott, USAW spring season coordinator. “As we prepare for the final tournament Saturday, the Sam Silva Memorial Kauai USA Wrestling Championships, some clear favorites have emerged in some divisions while others are very close.”
Seline Gage remains undefeated in her 12-14 girls division despite a strong challenge from much-improved Mea Jensen, and Addi Jensen, 10 years old from King Kaumuali‘i Elementary School, emerges as the top seed in the 8-10 division going into the championship.
“The 140-pound high school boys division is too close to call as we watched upsets over the past two weeks,” Pigott said. “Matthew Tamanaha has been turning it on in practice, and upset both Waimea High School junior Corey Agena, and the top seed, Waimea’s Naikoa Simao.”
Pigott said adding to the excitement in the 140-pound class, he has already registered a 140-pound wrestler from Molokai High School for the Saturday match.
“Outer island wrestlers are looking to enter and fight for the gold medal,” Pigott said.
Registration starts at 8 a.m. at the Clem Gomes Gym on the Waimea High School campus. The first round starts at 9:30 a.m.