When the bus breaks down, it’s always good to have trusty parents nearby.
The day began in the dark for many of the teams in the Texaco/HHSAA Wrestling State Championships. That included Kalani and Kaiser, which met at their respective schools by 5:30 a.m. to share a bus ride to the tourney.
A short while later, the bus broke down near Kalani, Kaiser assistant coach Nick Hironaka said. His team got help from parents who were en route to the site of the tourney. They did a U-turn and brought their cars to provide new transportation.
Kalani parents were sipping on coffee at Kahala McDonald’s when the call came.
“We had three sets of parents eating breakfast,” said Erwin Paulino, whose daughter, sophomore Emily Paulino, is the reigning OIA champion who won both of her matches to advance to the 127-pound semifinals.
The parents all hopped back and picked up the wrestlers for the early-morning ride to Blaisdell Arena. Because of heavy traffic in East Oahu due to the closure of the Pali tunnel, the going was slow, but most teams made it in time for the 8 a.m. weigh-in. Teams that arrived later were able to weigh-in, and the tourney began just 15 minutes later than the scheduled 10 a.m. start time.
The new “fish tail” format includes more wrestlers from more schools, and the consolation rounds were still ongoing at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
The action resumes all over again on Thursday with another 8 a.m. weigh-in, with semifinal and consolation matches to follow at 10 a.m. Finals will start at 3:30 p.m.
For full coverage, check out our live blog here.