Waimea High School freshman Ashlyn Agena took first place in the novice division, 107 pound weight class, at the Pa’ani Challenge which wrapped up Thursday at Punahou School in Honolulu.
Agena gave the friends and family who flew over from Kauai the biggest thrill when she pulled off a last-second come-from-behind victory against Annica Marie Hong of Moanalua.
The match was close all three rounds, with Ashlyn managing to tie the score several times after countering Hong’s attacks. With 20 seconds left, Agena was down by two points and her mat side coaches were hoping for at best a two-point reversal to get the match to overtime. Ashlyn got a headlock reversal, and with just a couple ticks left on the clock clinched the hold for a fall and an exciting win.
Three from Kapaa High School and one from Kauai High School also made it the podium in the novice division at the two-day all-girls tournament.
In the consolation finals, it was Kapaa versus Kauai at 155 pounds. Warriors sophomore Joji Miner-Ho met up with Red Raiders freshman Alana Takata in the battle for third place. Miner-Ho had wins over Kamehameha Schools-Hawaii, Campbell and Hilo. Takata fought through Aiea, Campbell and KS-Hawaii to set up the battle for third place. Miner-Ho got the win for third place.
Kapaa sophomore Inana Lowry finished fifth at 145 pounds, and her teammate sophomore Tessa Jensen excited the crowd with a third place finish at 132 pounds when she sealed the win with an arm spin throw.
“The Pa’ani Challenge is such a great event. It is exciting to be involved in girls high school wrestling,” said Kapaa coach Jess Jensen. “It is growing so fast so fast across the nation. It is amazing to have a two-day tournament packed with high quality girls only wrestling. We are just thrilled to be involved. A big thanks goes out to Punahou School and the Pa’ani committee for putting on such a spectacular event. I was really proud of the way our girls competed. We were at this same tournament last year and we have really seen the growth that they have made. Now we just need to keep this momentum going in to our KIF season.”
The KIF wrestling season starts today at Island School beginning 10 a.m.