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Prep Football Preview Special
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Game of the Week
Kalani Takase | ScoringLiveDecember 18, 2012, 5:47pm
For the third straight year, more than 200 female wrestlers took part in the Punahou Invitational Girls Wrestling Tournament Tuesday at the Buffanblu's Hemmeter Fieldhouse.
The tournament, also known as The Paani Challenge, included wrestlers from 24 schools from six islands and one school from Arizona.
"I think we got some really good turnout again despite several of the schools having to opt out because they are still taking final exams, but overall I think the participation is fabulous and there's good representation from the neighbor islands, as always," tournament vice-chair Natalie Taniguchi said.
Wrestlers were placed into the A, B or C bracket of their respective weight classes - based on experience and ability - with the hope of getting each wrestler quality mat time.
"It's a nice format, they've arranged the bouts well so that if it's a small weight class, they play round-robin so they get more matches, which is a good thing for preseason," Aiea coach Rick Williams said. "Sometimes if you take four kids and you put them in a bracketed-tournament, they're only going to wrestle two times, but in round robin, those same kids are going to get more matches and as a coach, that's what I love. I want to see my kids on the mat and I want to see them on the mat against quality opponents and they're pretty careful to do that."
The experience proved valuable for wrestlers of varying skill levels. Punahou junior Zoe Hernandez is the reigning Interscholastic League of Honolulu champion and was last year's state runner-up at 140 pounds, but still relished the opportunity to compete.
"This is such a unique tournament for us and it just gives us so much more matches, especially for me in the ILH," said Hernandez, who won all three of her bouts to capture the 140-A division. "In my weight division, I'll only have maybe one or two competitors that I'll be wrestling in the whole regular season, so Paani is an opportunity for me to wrestle girls from the OIA and the neighbor islands that I never get to wrestle and I even got to wrestle a girl that came from Arizona and that was a really good experience for me, because I don't really get to travel to the mainland to wrestle."
For Kauai High junior Elizabeth Oshiro, Tuesday's tournament marked her very first wrestling matches. This is the inaugural season that the Kauai Interscholastic Federation has adopted wrestling as a league-sanctioned sport.
"It was great, after my first match I was kind of down because I just lost and I came out in my second match thinking that I can win this one, so that's what I tried to do," said Oshiro, whose only other organized athletic activity on Kauai was jiu-jitsu. "It was different than what I experience in jiu-jitsu. It's more aggressive and I like it, it's fun."
Oshiro had one win and three losses, but came away from the tournament with a stern realization.
"I feel like I have to prepare more, because when I come to tournaments like this, there are people who have been wrestling all their lives or maybe since their freshman year and I only started this year, so I feel like I have to put in more effort in practice and outside of practice to feel like I'm at the same level where they are," Oshiro said.
Still, she is thankful for merely having the chance to compete on the mat and represent her school.
"I like it, because there's always the sports like football and basketball, but wrestling, even girls can do it," Oshiro said. "Girls can even be better than boys. There's over 200 girls here and we're just as tough as (the boys), so it's nice to have the opportunity."
Perhaps the biggest thrill for all invovled came Monday as Olympic bronze medalist, Clarissa Chun, staged a clinic for all participants.
"That was amazing ... I love Clarissa Chun, she's my inspiration in life," Hernandez said. "Getting to meet her and talk to her was so neat and the clinic was three hours, but I honestly don't think it was long enough. She taught us so many good moves and I even tried one of them (Tuesday). She was a super good clinician and she's an amazing wrestler."
Chun is a graduate of Roosevelt High School and competed at both the Beijing and London Olympics.
"Especially when you take somebody who's a hometown girl and an Olympic medalist and then have her teaching kids, they just identify with her," Williams said. "If you bring in a mainland person and have her teach the same thing, it doesn't mean as much. That's a hometown girl and besides that, she teaches like a hometown girl, you know, she's not an in-your-face kind of person, she knows how to relate to the girls, so she's perfect."
Monday's festivities also featured guest speakers Jill Yoshimoto (College and Career Counselor, Farrington High School), Marilyn Moniz-Kahoohanohano (Senior Women's Administrator and Assistant Athletic Director, University of Hawaii), Malia Peters (Director of Scholarship Development and Administration, UH Foundation) and Crissy Gayagas (Retired Colonel and West Point Admissions Coordinator, U.S. Army). There was also a college fair, that included nearly 30 universities, as well as all branches of the military.
"It's not only wrestling, this event is about teaching them some life skills and really getting them to think about life after high school," Taniguchi said. "The girls could go up and ask - in an informal session - anything they wanted to know and I think that proved to be a really, really great part of the event."
Wrestlers return to the mat Friday for the two-day Hawaii Wrestling Officials Association Scholarship Tournament at Leilehua's Paul T. Kobayashi Gymnasium.
Bracket A1, Thai Ha Sloan, Punahou2, Malie Gonsalves, Waianae3, Likolehua Manuel, Kalaheo4, Malia Refamonte, Lahainaluna5, Mercina Hutchison, CampbellBracket B1, Sarah Imai, Punahou2, Keahi Paasch, Keaau3, Aileen Umayas, Keaau4, Shayna Costa, Waianae
Bracket A1, Ashley Lawhn, Kalani2, Rachel Tolentino, Pearl City3, Kimberly Mesick, Punahou4, Apple Labuguen, RadfordBracket B1, Diamond Freitas, Lahainaluna2, Brandi Yoshida, Campbell3, Karina Abella, Radford4, Kristin Roche, Pearl City
Bracket A1, Breanne Takaesu, Pearl City2, Kaelynn Canyete, Kapolei3, Ann Marie Andres, Maui4, Miranda Oda, PunahouBracket B1, Anika Pascual, Lahainaluna2, Chassidy Paranda, Baldwin3, Riana Traxler, Radford4, Asialand Whiting, Campbell5, Ilysia Sana, Waianae
Bracket A1, Sarah Grace Alegria, Pearl City2, Mahea Kaaihue-Falahee, Lahainaluna3, Kelly Rivera, Mililani4, Kailaoe Cabating, Molokai5, Miki Kubo, Punahou
Bracket B1, Karley Kaulili, Molokai2, Kayshya Saribay, Lahainaluna3, Kayla Aruda, King Kekaulike4, Harmenie Westbrook, Waianae5, Alexis Ford, Pearl City6, Jasmine Hsia, Punahou
Bracket A1, Xandria Ford, Pearl City2, Jenna Mauliola, King Kekaulike3, Nakia James, Leilehua
Bracket B1, Norlyn Cabonce, Lanai2, Alicia Liemsithisak, Campbell3, Daysha Timbresa-Richardson, Campbell4, Deja Ramos, Radford5, Honelynn Yabo, Lahainaluna6, Elizabeth Oshiro, Kauai
Bracket A1, Kayla Guilermo, Castle2, Tara-Marysa Hirata, Mililani3, Joen Tominaga, Pearl City
Bracket B1, Kaylin Castro, Mililani2, Maria Donley, Kalani3, Traci Kimi Ige, Lanai4, Maile Schiller, Kaiser
Bracket A1, Asian Lien Evans, Pearl City2, Alyssa Greenleaf, Kalaheo
Bracket B1, Erika Takase, Punahou2, Kayla Lono, Leilehua3, Jasmine Yanuaria, Leilehua4, Shalyn Manguil-D'Amore, Keaau
Bracket A1, Precious Jaramillo, Lahainaluna2, Teyshia Kano, Kapolei3, Rebekah Johnson, Castle4, Taylor Castro, Pearl City5, Devin Desha-Vierra, Waianae
Bracket B1, Sierra Pico, Molokai2, Angela Ortiz, Kalani3, Kalai Prothro, Keaau4, Kaile Kron, Lahainaluna
Bracket A1, Angela Lee, Mililani2, Taylor Rabara, Baldwin3, Breanna Dudoit-Vasquez, Lahainaluna4, Ashley Mercado, Leilehua5t, Savanah Speck, Monument Valley (Ariz.)5t, Kori Kunioka, Punahou
Bracket B1, Sydney Cofran, Kapolei2, Shannon Harvey, Monument Valley (Ariz.)3, Asia Igafo, Castle4, Cheyenne Pali-Miller, Keaau5, Raeana Anguay, Baldwin6, Alexandria Aquino, Lahainaluna
Bracket C1, Paula Uatalan, Lanai2, Persuasion Kawailima, King Kekaulike3, Melisha Keamo
Bracket A1, Carly Jaramillo, Lahainaluna2, Shayna Boteilho, Baldwin3, Lhyca Joy Butac, Leilehua4, Cynarra Sana, Waianae5, Racheal Holiday, Monument Valley (Ariz.)6, Kaimiloa Evans, Pearl City
Bracket B1, Netanya Kang, Pearl City2, Saydee Makaiwi, Molokai3, Kawehienalani Camacho, Waianae4, Selina Del Castillo, Baldwin5, Chasity Stalcup, Leilehua6, Nika Tapucol, Kauai
Bracket C1, Sarah Borovac, Kalaheo2, Sarah Cordero, Baldwin3, Alixis Eslava, Kapolei
Bracket A1, Zoe Hernandez, Punahou2, Tekau Taamu, Lahainaluna3, Karla Peaches, Monument Valley (Ariz.)4, Khrysten Gameng, Campbell
Bracket B1, Christine Naihe, Hana2, Rainbow Fernandez, Lahainaluna3, Marlan Ramos, Kapolei
Bracket A1, Janelle Fuamatu, Pearl City2, Kari Okubo, Aiea3, Kanoeala Nakoa, Kaiser4, Courtney Castillo, Radford5, Dinora Villalobos, Maui
Bracket B1, Cendall Manley, Molokai2, Amber Motooka, Baldwin3, Ariana Fernandez, Pearl City4, Leeza Lee-Kiaaina, Waianae5, Tangi Cook, Waianae6, Krislyn Briski, Keaau
Bracket C1, Mary Ann Calamayam, Keaau2, Kaleiwohiokalani Sataua, Halau Kumana3, Shiori Leger, Kapaa4, Abbey Allie, Radford5, Miranda Trueman, Waianae6, Autumn Ollice, Radford
Bracket A1, Kuuleilani Lankford, Campbell2, Jocelyn Tabion, Kapolei3, Hailey Namauu, Baldwin4, Sheldene Akina, Lahainaluna5, Courtney Taua, Baldwin
Bracket B1, Megan Amby, Lanai2, Solove Naufahu, Waianae3, Natanya Jones, Radford4, Stephanie Times, Aiea5, Sierra Steenburg, Kapolei6, Keola Dela Cruz, Maui
Bracket C1, Karina Arroyo-Haro, Lahainaluna2, Kahealani De Aguair, Keaau3, Daisy Kalopodes, Kapolei
1, Sarah Minor, Aiea2, Heather Thomas, Nanakuli3, Supiesi Tongi, Maui4, Sarah Bartley, Kapolei5, Alyssa Reid, Kapolei6, Kalehua Zuttermeister, Castle
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