Day 1 State Wrestling: 5 key first round matches to watch

Leilehua's Shantelle Mangrobang is the defending state champion at 107 pounds and has wrestled some tough competition in her career, including Campbell's Alizeih Villalpando. Photo by Kat Wade Special to the Star Advertiser.

Weigh-ins are just about to begin as the Texaco/HHSAA Wrestling State Championships start today at the Blaisdell Arena.

Our live blog will be posted shortly and we will have live results from every division posted.

Here are some big matchups to watch for in the first round on Day 1. Head on over to our state wrestling page for complete coverage.


Boys 113
Jayce Kamimura (Kalani) vs. Scott Fujishima (Mid-Pacific)

UPDATE: Fujishima has been pulled from the bracket before the start of competition.

Fujishima won three matches at states last year, all of them by pin, but he gets a tough draw in Kamimura. The Falcon is competing in his first state tournament, but came oh-so-close to earning the seeded berth in this weight class with a 6-4 loss in overtime to Leilehua’s Khansith Chanthabouasith at the OIA championships. Fujishima came close to the seeded berth himself, forfeiting the title to Kaistin Vasquez of Punahou after a close 8-7 win over Kamehameha’s Akoni Kaaialii in the semifinals. Fujishima went the distance with No. 1 seed Tobey Ravida at Officials after being knocked out of the champions bracket by Coby Ravida in last year’s state tournament. Fujishima had two pins at the Blaisdell last year, and he might need to get his match with Kamimura over quickly because Tobey Ravida looms in the quarterfinals.


Boys 126
James Lum (Pearl City) vs. Kahiliwala Joy (Baldwin)
Both of these boys have plenty of state experience with three appearances each but they have never wrestled each other on the big stage. Joy has already had a celebrated career but is still looking for the potential that caused him to shock Kamehameha’s Kysen Terukina, ranked No. 1 pound-for-pound, three years ago. He defaulted and forfeited out of the tournament in 2018 but still has won seven matches at states and has two state medals to show for it, but has never rose about the fifth spot on the podium. Joy has had plenty of good showings this year, taking Dreddin Villalpando of Saint Louis to overtime at Officials and pushing Baldwin teammate Coby Ravida and Kanoa Lanoza of Lahianaluna during the season. Lum lost an 11-7 decision to Aiea’s Weiyi Zheng in the OIA championship match after beating him 11-5 at Officials and also has a victoiy over Kalani’s Kade Okura. The winner of this fracas gets top seed Brant Porter of Kamehameha in the second round.

Boys 160
Brock Gooman (Campbell) vs. Hanalei Kahookaulana (Hilo)
Gooman is on the doorstep, using losses to Branden Pagurayan of Kapolei, Kamehameha’s Kanai Tapia and Vincent Terrell of Punahou to improve immensely this year. That tough schedule nearly paid off at the OIA championships, where he lost a close 4-2 match to Thomas McCreadie of Kaiser. Kahookaulana beat McCreadie 8-4 at Officials and was regarded as one of the top wrestlers on the Big Island before failing to get the league’s seeded berth in favor of KS-Hawaii’s Kamalu Anahu two weeks ago. Still, the winner of this weight class at Officials can’t be discounted, especially since he pinned four of his five opponents. The winner of this match gets top seed Kanoa Aruda-Starwood of KS-Maui, but Gooman and Kahookaulana both have more state experience than the Warrior. Given how wide open this weight class is with defending state champ Boltyn Taam of Moanalua moving down to 152, either of these guys could easily run the table after a win over Aruda-Starwood. Aruda-Starwood is one of only two guys in the bracket who have been on the podium at states in their careers, joining Punahou’s Hudson Pak with a sixth-place finish last year.


Girls 102
Kennedy Javier (Mililani) vs. Nalani Kirkman (Lahainaluna)
This quadrant might have the most entertaining first-round match in the entire tournament when MIL champion Nalani Kirkman of Lahainaluna faces Mililani’s Kennedy Javier. Javier is in the tournament for the fourth time and has never failed to win a match and had her hand raised three times in each of the last two years. She has finished third and fourth in her career and has a chance to join Shani Alvarado and Debbie Sakai as the third Trojan to reach the podium three times. No Mililani girl has ever done it four times. She will have her hands full with Kirkman, who has never placed but pinned two opponents last year. Kirkman doesn’t like to dawdle on the mat, she either pins her opponent or gets stuck, while Javier has taken Kogachi the distance three times (winning all three), Funakoshi twice and Asuncion once so she is not going to be an easy out. Javier did get stopped by Kogachi at Officials and Enriquez once during the season, so it can be done. The winner of that fracas gets the winner between Keaau’s Shannen Arellano and Brooke Gantan of Kailua.

Girls 112
Shantelle Mangrobang (Leilehua) vs. Michaelah Vasquez (King Kekaulike)
It’s not often that a state champion finds herself unseeded, but that doesn’t bother Mangrobang. The Mule caught fire from an unseeded position at state last year to take the crown, pinning all three of her opponents including Allicia Mahoe of Kapolei in the final. Mangrobang won a medal for sixth place in 2017 before missing out on the 2018 tournament. All told, she has won six matches in the bog show, four of them by pins. Mangrobang found a rival in Mahoe last year and certainly has one this time around in Campbell’s Ino Terukina. The Saber pinned Mangrobang in the OIA championship match two weeks ago and also did it in the OIA West title match the week before that. Mangrobang pinned Terukina at Officials, but lost twice in her first tournament as a state champion. Vasquez has struggled against elite wrestlers, falling to Kiva Caballero of Lahainaluna in the MIL championship and losing to Kili Terukina of Campbell and Lahainaluna’s Alicia Frank in the state tournament. Still, given Mangrobang’s shaky season, Vasquez has the chops to surprise her. She won four matches with three pins in the 2018 tournament to finish fourth when she was with Lahainaluna and her five career wins are tied for second in the bracket with top seed Haley Narahara of Kamehameha.

COMMENTS

  1. James Smith February 21, 2020 9:07 am

    Will the finals be on tv? If so, what time and channel for Spectrum digital?


  2. R guy February 21, 2020 10:35 am

    I thought Fujishima pulled out?


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