It was, at least in the eyes of Chrissy Chow, the most outstanding performance by a team of female wrestlers from Hawaii on a national stage.
The squad that went to Fargo, N.D., came home with champions in two divisions and a host of top-four finishes in what is arguably the most prestigious junior national tourney in the country.
For Chow, younger sister Mindy and Megan Yamaguchi, the two-day tournament yielded the best results possible: individual titles. The Chow sisters shared the 124-pound title, not permitted to compete in the final because of a tournament policy that prohibits sibling-versus-sibling competition in the deciding match.
“I think it’s a good rule,” said Chrissy, who will be a senior at Punahou this fall. “That way nothing gets between you and your sister or brother. We probably would’ve been OK with (competing), but other people may have had a problem. I might be hard for them.”
Chrissy Chow has already won two state championships, but one bonus of national competition is joining forces with other elite wrestlers.
“It was really fun. I like the team aspect. It wasn’t just our school, but people from other schools and Maui. We got to meet other people,” she said. “This is the best that a girls team (from Hawaii) has ever done. It was better than last year.”
Chrissy Chow may compete at the 125-pound level or even 120 when the high school season arrives.
“We have a lot of girls around 130, 140. That would open up spots for them and our team would be stronger,” she said of the defending state champions.
Mindy Chow, the taller of the sisters, will wrestle at 125 or 130. Each had internal challenges to go with team goals.
“I wanted to be really aggressive and I did that, especially at the end of the tournament,” she said.
While Mindy stuck with leg shots, Chrissy employed more throws in the freestyle format, taking advantage of her judo skills.
“I wanted to work on freestyle moves like a gut wrench. I don’t know if I mastered it, but I used it in a match,” Chrissy said.
Since the end of the tourney on Saturday, the sisters have finally indulged.
“I get to eat,” Chrissy Chow said. “I had a McFlurry.”
Mindy Chow enjoyed her sweets, too.
“The cafeteria (at the tournament) had chocolate milkshakes,” she said. “I took my time.”
The team was coached by John Robinson, assisted by Matt Oney and John Schmidtke.
Paul Honda, Star-Advertiser