Kapolei’s Allicia Mahoe‘s main event moment was almost as much a success as Ilima-Lei Macfarlane‘s was in December’s mixed martial arts event.
Sure, Mahoe was at the OIA West Championships at Pearl City and Macfarlane was defending her Bellator flyweight world title belt at the Blaisdell Arena, but Mahoe is still on her way up.
The renowned local power lifter — she can deadlift 220 pounds — won her fourth OIA West championship at 107 pounds with a 9-4 win over defending champion Shantelle Mangrobang of Leilehua. Mahoe is the fourth girl to win four OIA West Division titles in the 21 years girls have had their own tournament.
“It was a goal in the beginning of the season,” Mahoe said. “One of my goals was to win the West again. Even though it is only Westerns it is one step closer to my other goals I have for the season.”
Her match drew the biggest crowd of the night, with spectators rushing into the gym when they heard that the scrap was on. One coach commented that it reminded him of a fight behind the lunchroom back in the day.
Part of it was because they knew that she could join an exclusive club with all-time greats Angela Peralta, Kuuipo Badayos and Ashley Gasper, and it turned a switch on for her. Mahoe learned of the tidbit the day before.
“It actually motivated me because I got injured so I was feeling like I haven’t been my best,” Mahoe said. “Then (I learned) and I was like ‘now I have to be my best.’ ”
Mahoe won her first three OIA West titles at 97 pounds but bumped up to 107 to complete the slam. She is a growing girl, and he hydration tests wouldn’t allow her to make 97 again. She tried 102 at Officials and didn’t make it, but figures that Mangrobang and the others at 107 would provide tougher competition.
It’s a wrestler’s mentality, and Mahoe seemed giddy that Mangrobang pushed her so much before falling. She said she expected to do better and was surprised at how gassed she became against the tougher opposition.
The hype for the title match grew minute-by-minute because the preceding match was delayed while three officials tried to sort out the previous bout. Mangrobang stood intent and completely still for most of the delay while Mahoe, who warmed up by slamming a friend from Campbell to the concrete in some sort of greeting, hopped around like she was on coals.
Mahoe is the defending OIA champion at 97 pounds and has never stood on the top step of the podium at states. After enduring a nerve-racking day at Pearl City on Saturday, she expects that to change.
“I think I am going to win it,” Mahoe said.