Kaiser’s Ikei takes Pan-Am wrestling gold medal

Kaiser's Tiare Ikei captured a gold medal at the Pan-American Championships in Guatemala City in May. She ends the year ranked No. 3 in the country at 106 pounds as a sophomore. Courtesy photo by Chad Shilson.

Kaiser’s Tiare Ikei won a gold medal at the Pan-American Championships cadet wrestling tournament on Saturday in Guatemala City.

In the 49-kilogram (approximately 108 pounds) final, Ikei stopped Venzuela’s Maria Jose Mosquera Rojas at the 1:07 mark of the first period.

“Getting to compete against other countries and getting the feel at how they wrestle was a lot of fun,” Ikei sent in a text to Hawaii Prep World on Tuesday morning. “I learned a lot and enjoyed meeting new friends, especially my USA teammates. To be able to stand on top of the podium and hear our national anthem played during the medal ceremony was a huge honor and such a memorable moment (that) I’ll never forget. I couldn’t have done it without the help of so many people. My parents, family, coaches and teammates all pushed me to get here. God is great.”

Earlier this month, Ikei captured a gold medal in the Women’s Nationals in Irving, Texas.

Ikei, a Hawaii Technology Academy student who wrestles for Kaiser, is the reigning high school state champion in the 112-pound division. She will be a senior in the fall.

Ikei finished the tournament 7-0, with three pins and four technical falls. In July, she will wrestle in the World Cadet Wrestling Championships in Zagreb, Croatia.

Before that, from June 16-26, she will train at the Cadet/Junior National Team Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo.

“She will be training … under the direction of coach Terry Steiner and Clarissa Chun,” texted Chad Ikei, Tiare’s father and a wrestling coach.

Chun, a Roosevelt alum, won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics and won the 2008 world championship.

“Tiare is very luck to have Clarissa there,” Chad Ikei continued. … “She’s an amazing role model and has been very interactive in encouraging Tiare throughout this process — checking in on how she’s been doing ever since last year after she injured an elbow at the camp in Ohio, where Clarissa took care of her, even driving her over an hour to see the doctor. Couldn’t have asked for a better ambassador to the sport and great role model for Tiare and the Hawaii girls.”

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