In her days as a student, Michelle Jung had two classmates with the same first name.
To this day, friends call her “Mochi.” It’s on her coach shirt, a sleek polo in dark, brick red and black. The Raiders were slick as the lanes at Hickam Bowling Center on Friday afternoon, completing an arduous run through the Billy Tees/HHSAA State Bowling Championships. ‘Iolani placed first in the girls team competition for the first time.
The Raiders’ team score of 6,808 could come with a hyphen, as in *despite lack of sleep. The girls tourney began two hours behind schedule due to the over-run of the boys tourney on day one (Thursday) and the needed repairs to the machine that lays out the oil pattern on the lanes. After six games per player, the girls teams didn’t get out of Hickam until past midnight.
They were back at the state tourney the next morning, and took the lanes before noon. Nothing seemed to rattle the Raiders, who dethroned 2017 state champion Campbell. It was a raucous, exciting scene in a packed house at Hickam. The Sabers contended until the end, finishing at 6,743 pins.
For ‘Iolani, it was about consistency. Seobeen Chang placed fourth (1439), Ashlyn Okazaki took Sith (1399), Logan Akau was 12th (1368), Asia Amii was 25th (1324) and Marianne Takeuchi came in 41st (1285).
“Teamwork is what we stressed and they came through with it,” Jung said. “Everybody being one team. They jelled really well and came together as a team. That made a big difference this year.”
‘Iolani was a close third in 2017 behind champion Pearl City and Campbell. The Raiders had a strong group of returnees in ’18.
“Campbell didn’t lose that many people, too,” Jung said.