Kamehameha’s Donavyn Futa is back at the state wrestling tournament for the first time in two years, and she’s been relatively hard to track down since winning the 113-pound division in 2014.
Whenever Honolulu Star-Advertiser/Hawaii Prep World reporters covered a wrestling meet this season, somehow Futa wasn’t there.
Finally, we spoke with her Friday at the Blaisdell Arena, but — wouldn’t you know — it was somehow hard to catch up.
After her second-round victory that put her in Saturday’s semifinals, Futa went to the officials table and signed the scorecard. She was jogging in place and she put on a sweatshirt and hood. A second later, she jogged out the front entrance and started to make her way around the outside of the arena to the back, where her teammates had set up their station for the day.
To make sure she didn’t vanish, it was necesary to begin a jog and dodge a few people in the crowd. She went to the railing, stopped for a second and spit into the moat before resuming her easy pace.
She turned around and an interview began while — still hooded — she continued to jog in place.
“I’m just trying to focus on tomorrow because tomorrow is when it really matters,” she said. “And I’m going to try to do the same thing I did freshman year.”
Freshman year, Futa — now a junior — topped Pearl City’s Alexis Ford in the final for that 113-pound title. She’s going for the 117-pound crown this time around and needs to win two more matches to get it done.
“I was really sick for about a month or so into (last) season, so I missed the majority of the season and I personally didn’t want to put myself in that position to get hurt or do something I know I wouldn’t be 100 percent at,” Futa said.
She faces Kapolei’s Allie Mahoe in the semifinals, and if she wins, she’ll meet either Lahainaluna’s Kaile Kron or Kalani’s Czarina Pineda-Abaya.
Futa knows all of the wrestlers remaining in the division will be tough, but believes Kron is the top seed for a reason. Kron was the winner at the Officials meet and the Paani Challenge this season.
“I have a lot of respect for Kaile Kron,” she said. “I think she’s my biggest competition.”