Noah Wusstig’s road to historic territory wasn’t as easy as he made it look.
The Moanalua senior took home his fourth consecutive HHSAA judo title on Saturday evening with an ippon of Kapolei’s Grayson Ferreira in the 145-pound finals, which lasted 37 seconds.
But in between Wusstig’s coronation at the Stan Sheriff Center and his two other individual state titles in wrestling was plenty of sacrifice, along with the pressure that came with heightened expectations.
“It’s been really hard. I have to push myself and every day my dad would tell me to train harder than everyone in the room,” he said. “I had to sacrifice a lot of time for this but it pays off in the end.”
Wusstig’s four judo and two wrestling titles puts him in elite company, joining Punahou’s Daniel Chow, Kamehameha’s Dane Pestano and Mid-Pacific’s David Terao as the only boys with six combined titles in judo and wrestling. Mid-Pacific’s Joshua Terao stands alone at the top with eight.
“I’m just in complete shock,” Wusstig said. “These past four years, it’s really been harsh and it’s been good to me but there’s some points where I thought maybe I couldn’t do it, but I guess here I am and I did it.
“It feels super good. Grateful for all this training because without the training, I wouldn’t have gotten here.”
Asked of Wusstig’s success, Moanalua boys coach Brandon Maki attributed it to his mental fortitude.
“It’s his mentality,” Maki said. “A relentless, attack mentality that he doesn’t want to lose and he’s just gonna keep going.”
Na Menehune also took the boys team title for the second year in a row, finishing with 99 points. Kapolei was the team runner-up with 81 points, while Pearl City took third with 68.
Other Moanalua boys to win individual titles on Saturday were Dayne Takai at 108 pounds and Mccade Ho at 121.
“The pressure’s always on us so we have to perform,” Maki said. “The key is to get kids in an individual sport to move in different weight classes that maybe sometimes they’re not comfortable with in order to play for each other and fight for each other, not just for themselves.”