Lahainaluna’s Nanea Estrella earns top rank in preseason wrestling

Lahainaluna's Nanea Estrella is ranked No. 1 in the nation. Photo by Kat Wade Special to the Star Advertiser

As a three-time state champion, Lahainaluna senior Nanea Estrella is the presumptive heir to Kelani Corbett‘s top spot in Hawaii Prep World’s pound-for-pound wrestling rankings.

After this week, though, that honor will seem like small potatoes.

Estrella was judged the top female wrestler in the nation at 122 pounds, jumping over No. 2 Alexys Zepeda of Gervais, Ore. Estrella finished last year ranked fourth at 127 pounds before embarking on an eventful summer that included titles all over the continent.

Hawaii Girls Ranked in Nation

OIA champion Lana Perez of Moanalua had a good summer as well. After finishing third at states behind Paige Respicio of Kamehameha and Baldwin’s Jahnea Miguel, Perez went on a summer rampage that left her ranked third in the nation at 127 pounds, one spot ahead of two-time state champion Waipualani Estrella-Beauchamp of Baldwin and six spots ahead of Kamehameha’s Skye Realin, who was a state runner up behind Estrella. If those three girls stay at that weight over the summer, it could be quite a show.

Other nationally-ranked Hawaii wrestlers include Emily Paulino of Kalani at No. 7 in Estrella’s weight class, Kahuku’s Tangitenina Niutupuivaha moving up six spots to No. 10 at 225 pounds, Kamehameha state champ Paige Respicio and Baldwin’s Jahnea Miguel at 13 and 14 at 138, Waianae’s Tiare Carlson at No. 14 at 132, Tianna Fernandez of Baldwin moving up a spot to 18th at 100 pounds and Shannon Jaramillo of Lahainaluna dropping a spot to No. 16 at 180 pounds.

Much of the buzz for Estrella, Perez and Paulino was earned in North Dakota, where Team Hawaii surprised the wrestling world.

Despite entering a fraction of the wrestlers other schools did, Hawaii finished fourth in the tournament just four points away from California in third.

Half of Hawaii’s wrestlers earned All-American status led by Corbett and former Kaiser state champion Tiare Ikei with championships. Estrella and Perez also made the finals in their weight classes to take second, and Estrella-Beauchamp finished third with Paulino taking fifth.

That 50-percent mark of Hawaii All-Americans was a higher percentage than any other state. Washington was second with a 40-percent mark.

Here is how Hawaii’s girls fared in the tournament:

Junior Women
100 pounds: Kennedy Javier, Mililani (3-2)
106: Brianna Funakoshi, Aiea (2-2)
106: Kaycie Tanimoto, Pac-Five (3-2)
122: Emily Paulino, Kalani (7-2).
138: Jahnea Miguel, Baldwin (4-2)
144: Jamie Grilho, Aiea (0-2)
180: Kelani Corbett, Leilehua (6-0)
127: Lana Perez, Moanalua (5-1)
122: Nanea Estrella, Lahainaluna (5-1)
117: Rita Morales, Waianae (4-2)
132: Tiare Carlson, Waianae (3-2)
117: Tiare Ikei, formerly Kaiser (6-0)
127: Waipuilani Estrella-Beauchamp, Baldwin (7-1)


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