HIADA, day 1

LIHUE — This is the Kauai Marriott Resort, loaded with lush foliage. Bromeliads everywhere.

Prominently rising to the sky are 30-foot columns fitting for an emperor or two. A family of nene goose rest comfortably in on the lawn fronting a helicopter rental shop, not far from man-made streams filled with koi.

And somewhere, in this mansion-esque setting, the state’s athletic directors have convened to start their annual conference. When the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association event is done by mid-day Saturday, dozens of proposals will have been dissected by four committees.

For a second year in a row, it appears there won’t be anything on the hot button. There is no proposal to expand the Division I state football championships from six to eight teams. But there are some interesting ideas. Among them:

• Expanding cross country championships to include Division II

• Setting a structured criteria for seeding state tournament teams

• Expanding weight classes in girls wrestling from 11 to as many as 14.

“The only argument against any addition is, will there be enough participation. I think there’s adequate reason to justify it,” said HHSAA wrestling official Keith Matsumoto. “When we first started girls wrestling, there was question about whether there was demand.”

Since the inception, Hawaii has emerged as a big part of the national wrestling scene. Two of this year’s Olympic wrestlers, Clarissa Chun (Roosevelt) and Stephanie Lee (Moanalua) are from Hawaii.

In addition, Hawaii’s team won the Cadet Nationals last year.

“There’s a lot of firsts that Hawaii girls wrestling has achieved,” Matsumoto added.

The conference met with its opening assembly at mid-day and will reconvene at 5 p.m. in committees. Some proposals will be tossed out by tonight, while others will require discussion in committee meetings tomorrow.

Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser 



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