Ever heard of a 97-pound sophomore captain? In anything?
Well, Roosevelt’s Menjam Tamang is one of the Rough Riders’ wrestling captains and she’s making waves in the 97-pound class.
She’s off to a fast start this season, winning the Officials meet at Leilehua and following that up with a victory in the Paani Challenge at Punahou. In addition, she finished in third place in the state meet a year ago.
“She’s only a sophomore, but I actually look up to her,” said teammate Yuting He, a contender at 117, about Tamang. “She shows us good examples of how good a wrestler can be. She’s a good captain. She helps us push through.”
Added Roosevelt head coach Ted Kaneda: “We don’t have any seniors; we’re mostly juniors and sophomores and Menjam leads by example.”
Tamang did not wrestle on Saturday at the Pearl City round-robin tournament, but she was there to support her teammates.
“I wanted to wrestle, but taking time off to rest before the (dual) championships (next week) is also good,” Tamang said. “I feel bad for the only other girl at 97, who didn’t get to wrestle because I didn’t wrestle. There was no one at 102 for her to wrestle either.”
Tamang scored two big victories over defending 97-pound state champion Bailey Hoshino of Punahou in the final at both Officials and Paani.
“It was a good accomplishment,” she said. “Winning (against Hoshino) was motivational.”
Hoshino was in attendance for part of the Pearl City tournament Saturday and the two ran into each other.
“We saw each other in the bathroom and we said hi,” Menjam said. “Every time we see each other, we talk, but this time we just said hi.”
It’s possible they could be seeing each other again in the state final, if they both can get that far.
Oh, and for the record, Menjam thought it was important to mention Roosevelt’s two other captains while being interviewed for this story: Macy Higa (112) and Megan Mena (122).