Teniya Alo carving out her own legacy

Iolani's Teniya Alo was the only girl to sweep wrestling and judo state championships this year. Cindy Ellen Russell / Star-Advertiser
Iolani’s Teniya Alo was the only girl to sweep wrestling and judo state championships this year. Cindy Ellen Russell / Star-Advertiser

Though premier wrestler and judoka Teshya Alo of Kamehameha was away in a wrestling competition on the mainland, her younger sister, Teniya Alo, stepped up and won her first state title.

The ‘Iolani freshman won the 122 weight class on Saturday at Stan Sheriff Center. She hadn’t played judo for two years before this spring, but is hoping to become a four-peat champion in both sports. 

“I would actually stay and do something my sister hasn’t done,” she said. “And not just be known as Teshya’s sister.” 


Teniya might also be known as a tough-as-nails competitor. She has an opportunity to play in a national tourney this weekend, but a nagging injury may force her to finally stop for the first time since the start of wrestling season, and simply rest and heal.

“I popped my left shoulder at Officials,” she said of the preseason tourney. “I was practicing with my sister. I went to physical therapy three times a week and I kept going to practice. Then it popped again during judo.”

Alo edged Sienna Ho in the final.

“We’ve been rivals since 8 or 9. I actually didn’t remember her moves because I haven’t done judo for two years, and before that, I had a fractured ankle, broke the growth plate. I was supposed to sit out six months, but my mom is really protective and she made me sit out for a year,” Teniya said.


Beating Ho was more about instinct and patience.

“I honestly don’t know what move I did,” she said. “I did a counter move. She tried to throw me backwards. I turned quick enough to make her land on her back. Then I ended up pinning her.”

The time away from judo didn’t take away from her passion for the sport.


“I like judo. You can incorporate judo into your wrestling. In almost every match, I used judo,” Alo said. “When I came into judo, it was very challenging because it was almost all boys I was playing.”

The prospect of winning a state title in wrestling, judo or both as a freshman sets up the possibility of a rare four-peat. She’s already broken the mold, an Alo athlete from the North Shore who didn’t attend Kamehameha, like older sister Teshya.

‘Iolani freshman Teniya Alo captured the girls 122-pound title on Saturday at the HHSAA Hawaii State Judo Championships. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser
‘Iolani freshman Teniya Alo captured the girls 122-pound title on Saturday at the HHSAA Hawaii State Judo Championships. Paul Honda/Star-Advertiser

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