Kalani made its presence felt at the OIA East Division wrestling championships Saturday at Farrington’s Kitamura Gym.
Whether it was by grittiness or technique, the Falcons got the job done.
In the 12 boys and 12 girls divisions, five Kalani wrestlers made it to the championship match, with four of them winning titles.
Two tenacious lower-weight guys — brothers Brayden and Jayce Kamimura — pulled out one-point victories over opponents from Moanalua.
Brayden beat Na Menehune’s Dayne Takai 4-3 in the 106-pound final, and Jayce nudged past Moanalua’s Keane Escaba 8-7 for the 113 title. They both came back from deficits to win.
“Those two boys, they put in a lot of work in the offseason,” Falcons coach Racer Moody said. “They went to a summer camp in California and that helped them with their top game. They were able to hold their opponents down with those leg rides today. It helped them a lot and they capitalized at the end. They love getting into scramble positions and finding ways on top and turning matches into something fun.”
Another boy for the Falcons, Kade Okura, showed power, defeating Roosevelt’s Iz Gonzalez 8-2 in the 132 final.
“Okura, he’s my stud,” Moody said. “I’ve been working with him since middle school. I’ve known him and his family for a long time. He’s a great kid. He’s one of those, win or lose — and he rarely loses — who comes off the mat wondering how he can get better for the next one. He’s only a sophomore, so he’ll be around for the next two years.”
As a team, the Kalani boys (129 points) finished second to Moanalua (255) in the West meet standings. On the girls side, the Falcons (112) were in second place behind Na Menehune (240).
Two Falcons girls were in on the drama Saturday.
Emily Paulino, who sits just outside the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s pound-for-pound Top 10, won the OIA title at 127 pounds last year. She captured the East 122-pound crown Saturday by pinning Moanalua’s Reese Nishida in 3:52.
“She’s as awesome as they come,” Moody said about Paulino. “Aside from being great on the mat, she’s a 4.0 student. She’ll go to some good college, whoever wants her. That’s definitely in her plans. She’s only a junior, so where she goes I don’t know. She’s solid in all positions. I would love to see her open up more and take more shots. But she’s comfortable in all the other areas. She knows she doesn’t have to score a lot of points to win matches.”
Moody thinks there could be quite a battle brewing at the OIA championships next week at 122, where Paulino and Pearl City’s Makana Cooper, who won the OIA West 122 title Saturday, will be.
“They’re the top dogs at 122,” he said.
Kalani’s Raelyn Yasutake went to the hospital to get checked out after her head was slammed to the mat 10 seconds into her final match at 127 against Moanalua’s Rachel Oshita.
“We were definitely worried about her extremities at first,” Moody said. “She walked off the mat, so she’s OK in that sense. We’ll wait and see.”
Within a few seconds, a group of eight coaches and trainers attended to Yasutake for about five minutes before she got up.
OIA East Division championships
At Farrington H.S.
106—1. Brayden Kamimura, Kaln; 2. Dayne Takai, Moan; 3. Jade Mark Lawas, Kaim; 4. Corbin Caldonetti, Cas.
113—1. Jayce Kamimura, Kaln; 2. Keane Escaba, Moan; 3. Dayven Hom, Roos; 4. Aiden Martinez, Kah; 5. Josiah Kamakele, Kail.
120—1. Elijah Asuncion, Moan; 2. Ethan Okumura, Kais; 3. Ramos Suzuki, Kaln; 4. Blake Takamori, Kail; 5. Gabriel Daquioag, Far.
126—1. Triston Baron, Roos; 2. Brayden Gushikan, Moan; 3. Tyler Shields, Kalh; 4. Micah Ono, Kaln; 5. Malachi Kaapa Iaea, McK;6. Jayden Kamakele, Kail.
132—1. Kade Okura, Kaln; 2. Iz Gonzalez, Roos; 3. Alec Fong, Moan; 4. Rhyden Cabael, Kaim; 5. Zach Fujioka-Silva, McK.
138—1. Max Higa, Roos; 2. Blayze Ferreira, Moan; 3. Michael Stovall, McK; 4. Dare Umiamaka, Cas; 5. Mark Nakai, Kaim; 6. Christopher Lockert, Kail.
145—1. Blaze Sumiye, Moan; 2. Greyson Lee, Cas; 3. Bryson Shields, Kalh; 4. Steinar Tanaka, Kais; 5. Yootthana Chanphut, Kaim; 6. Isaac Telea, Kail.
152—1. Boltyn Taam, Moan; 2. Kang Park, Kaim.
160—1. Thomas McCreadie, Kais; 2. Molena Kekauoha, Kail; 3. Orion Manibusan, Moan; 4. Brison Payanal, McK; 5. John Brian Senesan, Far; 6. Matthew Finefeuiaki, Kaln.
170—1. Karter Nitahara, Moan; 2. Kalena Tauvela, Far; 3. Khert Saing, McK; 4. Patrick McHugh, Cas.
182—1. Andrew Adiniwin, Moan; 2. Sean Waldrop, Kalh; 3. Solomon Ohira, Cas; 4. Richard Tafuna, Kah; 5. Kai He, Roos; 6. Kamanao Gilliland, Kail.
195—1. Lahaina Kane, Kail; 2; Elijah James Ramos, Far; 3. Tanner Ishikuni, McK; 4. Ronson Jhun, Moan.
220—1. Harry Lloyd, Kaim; 2. Justis Davis, Kalh; 3. Royal Crowell, Kail; 4. Noah Yamane, Kaln.
285—1. Marcus Lombard, Kah; 2. Kekoa Kaulukukui, Kail; 3. Gregory Rucilez, Kaln; 4. Isaac Mamizuka, Kais; 5. Justice Smith, Moan; 6. Hunter Atagi, Far.
97—1. Caitlin Yap, Moan; 2. Cheville Gumban, Far; 3. Alexia Parsons, Kalh; 4. Kristi Hirayama, Kaln; 5. Amanda Begonia, McK; 6. Tiny Ly, Kaln.
102—1. Isabelle Asuncion, Moan; 2. Brooke Gantan, Kail; 3. Sage Beltran, Moan; 4. Leinaala Castro, Kaln.
107—1. Reynell Arakawa, Kail; 2. Maka Peralta, Roos; 3. Helaina Hard, Kaln.
112–1. Jennifer Kimura, Kais; 2. Celine Sahara, Roos; 3. Jeylan Arakawa, Kail; 4. Lily Wilson, Kaln; 5. Leilani Samoy, Kah.
117—1. Kaianne Sabagala, Kah; 2. Laylah Alvarado, Cas; 3. Caelin Balansag, Roos; 4. Codi-Jane Kamaka, Moan; 5. Janci Sampaio, Kaln; 6. Rayna Kawabata, Kaln.
122—1. Emily Paulino, Kaln; 2. Reese Nishida, Moan.
127—1. Rachel Oshita, Moan; 2. Raelyn Yasutake, Kaln; 3. Naleo Pruett, Kah; 4. Kahana Belyea, Kah.
132—1. Lana Perez, Moan; 2. Kai Auna Lagmay, Kaim; 3. Jaznel-Lynette Baker-Sumuelu, McK; 4. Lily Polvado, Kah.
138—1. Taryn Titcomb, Moan; 2. Taimane Fiatoa, Kah; 3. Michi Nakasone, Kaln.
145—1. Amber Leota, Kah; 2. Ariez Igafo, Cas; 3. Tamehani Kerisano, Moan; 4. Lainie Mefy, Far.
155—1. Sadie Antoque, Cas; 2. Kira Jhun, Moan.
168—1. Kayla Antolin, Moan; 2. Katie Heim, Kais; 3. Kayla Leong, McK; 4. Kaui Balbarino, Kaln.
184—1. Chloe Yuen, Moan.
225—1. Princess Leota, Moan; 2. Eleina Olap, McK.