Moanalua senior Amanda Higa climbed back on her judo pedestal Saturday.
Higa defeated Campbell’s Chelsea Johnny to win the OIA championship in the 115-pound division at Leilehua’s gym.
It was her third league championship to go along with the titles she won as a freshman and a sophomore and the state crown she took two years ago.
Unfortunately, she was unable to get the four-year slam. As a junior, she suffered a concussion in wrestling that kept her out of judo in the spring.
“It’s really awesome to get three,” she said.
Higa’s concussion was serious enough that she barely recovered in time to take final exams and finish up her junior year.
Now, she has her sights set on a second state title May 5 at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Another Higa, no relation — senior Macy Higa of Roosevelt — missed getting a fourth OIA championship by the slimmest or margins — by yuko in a tight loss to Mililani’s Mayu Wise in the 122-pound final.
“It’s frustrating and disappointing, but I mean it’s humbling,” Macy Higa said. “It means I have to work harder (for states).”
Wise now has two OIA and two state titles. She could face Macy Higa again at states. The two are friends and compete together for Team Hawaii, which is planning a trip to a summer tournament in Japan.
Macy Higa, who won two wrestling state titles, will be going for her second state judo championship.
In the biggest match on the boys side, Kapolei senior Rodan Salangdron knocked off Moanalua’s Noah Wusstig at 145 pounds.
Salangdron is now a three-time OIA champion and he is going for a second state title.
Wusstig, a two-time OIA champ, will try for a third state championship.