Moanalua girls hit OIA championships with momentum

Moanalua’s Lana Perez is going for a repeat OIA championship. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

After dismantling the OIA East last week, the Moanalua girls wrestling team is stepping up in class.

Na Menehune had eight girls at the top of the podium last week, breaking the record of seven at an OIA East Division championships set by the 2007 Kahuku squad. Now that the OIA championships are here, Moanalua is looking for more.

For all of their efforts at Farrington, only two Na Menehune received top seeds for today and Saturday’s tournament in Lana Perez at 127 pounds and Rachel Oshita at 132. Perez is the lone Moanalua girl looking for a repeat.

Campbell with Alizeih Villalpando and Jazmyn Enriquez, Mililani with Jacinta Fonoti and Victoria Lee and Aiea with Brianna Funakoshi and Jamie Grilho are the only other schools with multiple top seeds.

That probably puts the OIA record of five gold medalists by the 2013 Pearl City squad out of reach, but anything can happen.

Caitlin Yap, Isabelle Asuncion, Taryn Titcomb, Kayla Antolin, Chloe Yuen and Princess Leota all earned OIA East titles for Moanalua last week. Asuncion is seeded second in her weight class behind Funakoshi.

Campbell’s Enriquez and Villalpando are looking for repeat championships in the tournament along with Waianae’s Tiare Carlson and Emily Paulino of Kalani.

Paulino is seeded second at 122 pounds behind another reigning champion, Makana Cooper of Pearl City. Cooper can earn her third title to tie Jennie Fuamatu and Sanoe Spencer as the only Chargers to do it. Even if she falls short she has a chance to join Spencer as the second Pearl City girl to place at states four times.

Paulino and Cooper have had more than their share of wars this year, with Paulino taking a narrow 1-0 win at Officials but Cooper beating the Falcon by 4-0 and 3-0 scores in other events.

Cooper has a family legacy to uphold. If she can complete the three-peat she would give her surname its 12th OIA championship and tie her with Blake and Ray for bragging rights in the family.


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