Lunas take third at state tourney
LAHAINA — In yet another valiant effort, the Lahainaluna High School wrestling team made a spirited run at the Chevron Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships over the “Tsunami 2010” weekend at the Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, but the deep blue of Punahou proved once again to be too much for the scrappy Valley Isle team.
The final tally of the boys team scores put the Lunas in third place behind the Buff ‘n Blue of Punahou and second place Kamehameha Kapalama, and the girls from Lahainaluna in seventh place — also chasing the champions from Punahou.
It was the second consecutive bronze trophy for the Lunas and their fifth straight top five finish as a team at the state tournament, to go along with their fifth Maui Interscholastic League championship in a row.
Senior co-captain Holden Mowat led the charge for the “Red Tide” from the West Side, as he captured the state championship at 152 pounds after a runner-up finish last year. Mowat displayed the go-for-broke spirit of the Lunas, as he worked his way back from a near career-ending elbow injury four months ago to climb to the top of high school wrestling in Hawaii to win the gold.
Mowat’s sidekick classmate and co-captain George Chihara also climbed to the crest of the championship peak, but fell in the final to settle for the silver medal at 125 pounds.
Sophomore Chanse Uyeda placed fourth at 140 pounds, junior Teanu Rickard (215) finished fourth, senior Blake Ball (145) came in fifth, David Arcangel (130) took fifth place, and sophomores Kelvin Cruz (120) and Christian Carbajal (108) closed out the scoring for the Lunas with sixth place finishes.
On the girls’ side of the mat at the Blaisdell, sophomore Makalani Hussey won the silver medal at 140, and senior Gina Bela Mataafa won the bronze at 175. The Lady Lunas won their first-ever MIL title last week and finished seventh for the second straight year at the state tournament.
Despite falling short once again to the depth and resources of powerhouse Punahou, the Lunas’ resolve shined brightly once again in this most recent effort in Honolulu.
“To have eight of our boys place in the 14 weight classes is really something,” said Lahainaluna Coach Kim Ball following the event last Sunday.
“That’s really amazing, and that was a great effort by the whole team. We are really pleased and proud of all the kids.”