Boltyn Taam and Kanai Tapia traveled to Ohio to represent Hawaii at the elite Walsh Jesuit Ironman tournament together to begin the season.
One of them will see their state championship hopes dashed on the first day of the state tournament this week. Taam, the reigning 160-pound state champ from Moanalua, and top seed Tapia of Kamehameha will clash in the quarterfinals if they can win their first-round matches.
Tapia faces either Aiea’s Kekoa Archuleta or Mieszko Stachowski of Mililani while Taam has to get past Kamehameha-Hawaii’s Isaiah Villanueva.
Taam wrestled at 160 last year and Tapia campaigned at 138. They met in the middle to meet second-seed Branden Pagurayan of Kapolei, who is going for his third state crown in the class as a junior.
Tapia is No. 5 and Taam is No. 6 in Hawaii Prep World’s pound-for-pound rankings that will be updated before the state tournament. Pagurayan is No. 3.
Legend Matautia and Marcus Lombard of Kahuku are in another potential first-day clash at 285 pounds. Matautia beat Lombard 4-3 at Officials this year.
Here are the full brackets: State Wrestling (Boys) 2020