• Wes Nakama-Honolulu Advertiser

Kahuku wins state girls wrestling title

The Kahuku High School girls wrestling team broke Moanalua's three-year stranglehold on the state championship last night, amassing 151 points to the Menehune's 116 after winning one individual title and placing four other wrestlers in the finals.

At 98 pounds, Justine Swafford was the Red Raiders' only individual champion. She pinned Punahou's Naomi Karlen in three minutes, 52 seconds.

Kahuku's Kawai Chee was pinned at 3:35 of the 103 final by McKinley's Melissa Orden, who won her third straight title. At 108, the Red Raiders' Shanel Vivas lost a dramatic 11-7 final to another three-time champ, Moanalua's Caylene Valdez. Kahuku's Elizabeth Torres was edged 6-5 by Mililani's Debbi Sakai in the 114 finals, and the Red Raiders' Anela Iseke was pinned at 3:37 of the 155-pound finals by Moanalua's Stephany Lee, yet another three-time champion.

Kahuku did not have any entries at 175 or 220, but with the five finalists and Kehau Kamauoha (third place, 140), Leilani Realtor (fourth, 121) and Ashlee Estokio (consolation, 130) it had built a comfortable lead.

"The whole team worked hard and came together," Red Raiders coach Reggie Torres said. "The whole tournament, they wrestled tough. Even the girls who lost, they lost tough matches. I'm proud of them."

In addition to Orden, Valdez and Lee, Nanakuli's Ashley Gaspar (175) also became a three-time champion by pinning Leilehua's Marita Lavea-Jennings in 5:33. Kamehameha's Iwalani Fonoimoana repeated as the 220 champion, defeating Leilehua's Matalaloa Tuitele 10-2. Moanalua's Shani Alvarado won her second title in three years by defeating Kaiser's Anna Tong 14-3.

Kailua's Danyelle Hedin (121) and Mid-Pacific's Jennifer Miyahira (130) joined Swafford and Sakai as first-time champions. Hedin, who upset No. 1 seed Melissa Fukushima 17-4 in the semifinals, held off No. 2 seed Eva Chan of McKinley 8-7. Miyahira pinned Kamehameha's Jazmine Cockett at 3:48 of the 130 final.

The night's most exciting final was at 108, where both Vivas and Valdez rebounded from painful injuries. Vivas, hampered by a shoulder injury all season, had the joint "pop" near the end of the second period. After being examined by trainers, she returned to a surprised Vivas.

"I didn't think she was going to continue," Valdez said. "When she did, I said, 'Damn. Now I've got two more minutes of this.' "

Vivas not only returned, but she closed Valdez's lead to 8-7 in the third period. That's when Valdez suffered a lower back spasm, an injury she has nursed since Jan. 4.

"They both didn't want to stop," Torres said. "They showed a lot of heart and gutted it out."

Valdez was clinging to an 8-7 lead when she scored a takedown with 20 seconds left, then held on for the victory.

"I saw the score, and I wanted a bigger lead," said Valdez, a junior. "I knew she wasn't going to give me anything easy. She came back real strong."

Correction: The final girls team standings had Kahuku with 151 points and Moanalua with 116. Different numbers were credited to each team in a previous version of this story.


#JustineSwafford #KawaiChee #ShanelVivas #ElizabethTorres #AnelaIseke #KehauKamauoha #AshleeEstokio #ReggieTorres #LeilaniRelator


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