Mililani’s Kennedy Javier isn’t going to let yet another injury ruin her last high school wrestling tournament.
Javier, a senior, beat MIL champion Nalani Kirkman 15-10 to move on to the second round of the 102-pound weight class.
Javier was down 7-2 in the first period when she hurt her knee and stayed on the mat for a while. Just when it looked like she might be done, she toed the line and quickly ran off six straight points to take the lead and built on it until the final whistle.
“I got stuck and I’ve never gotten an injury like that in the middle of a match where I thought I couldn’t wrestle any more.” Javier said. “It’s my senior year so I want to be on the podium, hopefully at the top, it was pretty scary for me. I thought that might be my last match.”
Despite adding a knee injury to her shoulder, wrist and back injuries, it is a good bet she is not going to miss it. A coach from Eastern Oregon approached her to get her contact info as she came off the mat, further adding to the first match of her last state tournament. She fought through a concussion and back injury last year when she went 3-2. She has now won eight matches in her long and painful journey and collected two medals, a third and fourth.
“I felt worse pain going through my wrestling training, so I had to push past the pain,” Javier said. “I know my work, I wasn’t going to give that up.”
Javier moves on to face Brooke Gantan, who won her first state tournament match on a mat near Javier, in the next round. It will be just another opponent after taking out the MIL champ.
“Whoever you put in front of me, I am just going to wrestle them,” Javier said. “ILH champ, first-year wrestler, I’m going to wrestle them all the same.”