Alo capped a near-perfect career, finishing No. 1 in top 10 ranking
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM
This is the finals of the state wrestling championships held at the Neil Blaisdell Arena. Teniya Alo (KAH) pins Krystal Puahala (KSK) at 138.
Teniya Alo’s next step on her already well-trodden path to success is right around the bend.
The Kakuku wrestler put a cap on her dominant high school career Thursday by claiming her third state championship, which is one short of the number she was out to get. That four-year slam, a realistic goal she set as a freshman, didn’t pan out due to a shoulder injury as a sophomore that nearly kept her out of the state tournament.
Even though she sat in shock outside Blaisdell Arena in February 2016 after losing in the state semifinals to Pearl City’s Netanya Kang, she still had the maturity to digest it. That 3-2 loss came because of a penalty for continuing to push Kang out of the circle, but still, she took the blame: “It’s my fault. My mom always says if you don’t dominate, expect to lose.”
Looking back, Alo said, “I was so focused on winning states four times. I didn’t give myself time to recover.”
But that bitter loss only served to motivate Alo, who already had an extra long list of accomplishments. She finished her career as a four-time league champion — two OIAs with Kahuku and her first two (ILH) with ‘Iolani. She will also be going for her third judo state title in May and a fourth league championship. In addition, she has numerous national and state age-group wrestling, judo, jiu-jitsu and powerlifting titles.
And now for Alo, it’s time to make that long-awaited effort to qualify for the Olympics. She and her sister, Teshya Alo, who won four state wrestling championships at Kamehameha and also has numerous multi-sport national and state titles on her résumé, are trying to make the U.S. team for Tokyo in 2020. It’s been a goal of theirs since they were youngsters.
As soon as Teniya Alo put the finishing touches on Thursday’s 138-pound state title by pinning Kamehameha’s Krystal Puahala, she was already talking about what’s next.
“I’m going to start training for the 2020 Olympics, compete in three national tournaments, attend camps at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, and I’ll be staying home for college — either the University of Hawaii or BYU Hawaii,” she said.
No matter how much that new turn on her path beckons, Alo won’t forget her high school wrestling days.
“It was really cool because my coach, Reggie Torres, coached my dad (Leroy Alo) when he was in high school and he coached me in my last high school match,” Alo said.