Leilehua’s Kelani Corbett is going for her fourth state championship in wrestling in the spring.
Not many have done that.
But Corbett, ranked No. 1 in the first Hawaii Prep World pound-for-pound rankings of the season, suffered a rare loss in high school competition Saturday in the 155-pound weight class.
Corbett lost 5-4 to Kaleinani Makuaole of Waianae, according to Corbett’s coach and father, Kevin Corbett.
“It was a good match,” Kevin Corbett said. “She (Makuaole) had a nice takedown early in the match. Kelani took the lead 4-3, but got hit with a stalling call and gave up an escape after that.
“When you are on top of your game and everybody is telling you, ‘Great job. Great job,’ sometimes you lose that fight that got you to the top. Sometimes you need a loss to snap you back in. It’s not done. It’s not over. There’s still more to do. Nobody likes losing, but it could have been a lot worse — like if she had that ‘Oh crap’ moment in the middle of the state tournament. There’s still plenty of wrestling to do. I’ve noticed that she’s been working a lot harder at practice this week. (Makuaole) is a good kid. She was pretty excited after she won and she she should be.”
Corbett is ranked No. 2 nationally at 164 pounds and finished last season No. 4 at 152 pounds.
Makuaole placed fourth at 145 pounds in the state tournament last spring. She upset four-time ILH champion Zion Grace Vierra of Kamehameha 5-2 in the quarterfinals.
Kelani Corbett won state titles in 2016, 2017 and 2018, all at 155 pounds.