Lunas win state wrestling titles at HHSAA State Championships
LAHAINA – The Red Tide of Lahainaluna High School wrestling has become a consistent fixture at the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) State Championships, and the 2019 tournament was no different.
The Lunas advanced 23 student-athletes – nine girls and 14 boys – to the Blaisdell Arena event in Honolulu last week in their quest for team and individual gold.
After top finishes in the Maui Interscholastic League Championships, the Lahainaluna contingent charged into the state tournament intent on reaching the familiar stratosphere on the podium in Honolulu.
For more than two decades, Lahainaluna wrestling has dominated the MIL and become a traditional competitor for top rungs in the final standings at the state championships.
Led by the veteran coaching staff of Todd Hayase, Conrad Bolor, Kim Ball, Neal Nakata, Zane Monteleone, Shane Cunanan, Sheldon Tateyama, Donovan Seno, Junior Boy Bolor and Steven Fisher, the Lunas added to the ever-expanding trophy case in the Jimmie H. Greig Gymnasium on campus with third place finishes last year and were headed for more of the same last week.
Head Coach Hayase pointed to the senior leadership of MIL titlists and 2018 state champions Sami Saribay at 107 pounds, Kawehi Gillcoat (138), and Tayler Pelegrino Hayase (145) as well as classmates and state qualifiers Ty Bates (182), Zeff Dudoit (126), Kainalu Kaililaau (220), Keaka Kuuana (160), Elijah Oliveira Kalalau (170), Derek Perez (152), Nyles Pokipala Waiohu (195) and Jacob Taguiam (145) as being instrumental in the team’s success.
Other state qualifiers included junior defending state finalist Nanea Estrella at 127 pounds; Jesse “Fatty” Dudoit (132); first-year wrestlers Lydia Leilei Dudoit (112) and Alicia Frank (117); junior Shannon Jaramillo (184); sophomores Nalani Kirkman (102), Austin Saribay (285) and Kanoa Lanoza (120); freshman Antonio Paulino (106); and sophomores Cael Yasutake (113), Laieikawai Tancayo (122) and Fayannie Rosario (165).
Rounding out the Lahainaluna 2019 roster were Tayvin Armitage, Christian Clarion, William Hawkins, Manuel Hernandez, Dawson Nolasco, Justice Perreira Antonio, Enoka Phillips, Joshua Taguiam, Sierra Tanner, Jerry Torricer and Kasey Touize.
Team managers included Jasmyne Imamoto, Maile Ramos McAlinden and Kiana Sunio.
“With just 35 kids on our roster this year, this is really a small team,” explained Coach Todd from his counselor’s office at Lahaina Intermediate School last week.
“But we’re in the conversation for the state titles, which is nice. Not many teams can say that. It will definitely take a team effort, and we need to wrestle really hard. You just never know.”
At the state tournament in Honolulu last week, the Lunas racked up 143 points in the girls’ competition to place fourth in the team standings, while the boys tallied 132 to finish in third place overall.
Nanea Estrella and Shannon Jaramillo led the Lady Lunas’ charge with gold medals in the 127- and 184-pound divisions, respectively. Adding to the point total were Tayler Pelegrino Hayase in third place at 145 pounds, Alicia Frank in fifth at 117, Lydia Dudoit in fourth at 112, and Sami Saribay in third at 107.
On the boys’ side of the mat, the Lahainaluna charge was led by Cael Yasutake in fifth at 113 pounds, Kanoa Lanoza in fourth at 120, Zeff Dudoit in third at 126, Jesse Dudoit in fifth at 132, Kawehi Gillcoat in second at 138, Keaka Kuaana in fifth at 160, Elijah Oliveira in fourth at 170, and Ty Bates in fifth at 182.
What is for certain is that Luna wrestling is bolstered by a highly successful intermediate school team led by Kai Keahi, Jaysen Hayase and Nao Ah Puck, as well as the Maui Style Wrestling program all across the Valley Isle.
“We send our sincere mahalo to these programs and most especially to the West Side wrestling ‘ohana – the parents and families for being so supportive of the team. And to Lani and Kai Keahi for organizing our chow fun fundraiser, the Old Lahaina Luau, Kimo’s Restaurant, Royal Lahaina Resort and to the Kaanapali Beach Hotel, thank you for all you do!”