HHSAA wrestling: Kealakehe’s Umu stands alone as BIIFs only top seed at states
Roxie Umu isn’t just one of Kealakehe’s top wrestlers, but she’s a one-woman pep squad as well.
At a midseason BIIF meet at Keaau, even as Umu was preparing for one of her matches, she walked through the training area on the far side of the stands and shouted her encouragement when one of her teammates, say Maimiti Otare, was ready to take to the mat.
“Maimiti Otare, 1-2-3,” Umu yelled.
“Maimiti Otare,” the Waveriders’ faithful returned.
“It’s just a way for us to show support,” Kealakehe coach Ivan Louis said.
On Friday and Saturday in Honolulu, the Waveriders may have a chance to return the favor to Umu. Of the 28 BIIF champions converging on Neal Blaisdell Center for the HHSAA championships, Umu is the only top seed, drawing a bye into Friday’s quarterfinals in the 225-pound weight class.
She was fourth last season, losing to the eventual champion, then-senior Lalelei Mataafa of Lahainaluna, in the semifinals. This year, she needs to go 3-0 to grab gold.
“I just tell my kids that it’s the one in front of you that’s the only one that is important,” Louis said.
Fresh off Kealakehe sweeping the boys and girls BIIF crowns, the third-year coach attended the state seeding meeting.
As usual, BIIF wrestlers drew mostly unfavorable pairings, especially on the boys side.
Of the 14 BIIF champions, 10 were slotted in as Nos. 4 seeds, with Waiakea’s Waylon Spain (113), Kealakehe’s Elison Galanto (126) and Malsoi Abrahama (182) and Hilo’s Chris Kuboto getting third seeds.
“Honolulu has a lot of good wrestlers,” Louis said. “Our league is smaller and getting better.
“At some point, the seedings become a shot in the dark.”
The BIIF hasn’t produced a gold medallist at the last three state tournaments. Kamehameha’s Kayla Ararki took third last season, and the four-time BIIF champion drew a No. 2 seed at 155, as did Keaau’s Ivory Ayers at 168. Neither Araki nor Ayers, who owns three BIIF golds and took sixth in 2016 on Oahu, have a bye in their full 16-wrestler brackets
Another top contender for Kealakehe is three-time BIIF champion Charlotte Taylor, who was fourth last season at states. But unlike Umu’s fresh-faced division, the top two finishers return in the 112 class, so Taylor got a third seed – along with Waiakea’s Gracie Miranda (97), Kamehameha’s Kasey Pule (127), Kealakehe’s Gionne Aniban-Morse (132) and Otare (184).
After finishing runner-up to Kealakehe in both divisions, Kamehameha will send 22 wrestlers to states with an equal amount of boys and girls.
Louis is taking 19 wrestlers to Oahu and is hoping to catch magic for the second consecutive Saturday.
“For me, it was a great experience going up against good competition and sweeping,” he said. “Kamehameha was awesome, and to beat them was exciting.”
Feb. 11 at Kamehameha
1. Kobby Faeldonea - Kealakehe (Decision: 10-6)
2. Timothy Nakamoto, Waiakea
3. Kamaehu Akina , Kamehameha (majority decision: 9-1) 3rd
4. Cade Taniyama, Konawaena
5. Kalani Miller, Keaau
1. Waylon Spain, Waiakea (MD: 9-0)
2. 2nd Carlos Beltram, Kealakehe
1. Johnny Tunufai, Waiakea (Pinfall 0:43)
2. Trey Conrado, Kealakehe 2nd Jericho Manning - Pahoa
3. Carlos Lopez, Keaau (fall 00:50)
4. Dylan Olson, Pahoa 4
1. Elison Galanto, Kealakehe (D: 14-7)
2. Jericho Manning, Pahoa
3. Elijah Apao, Hilo (D: 3-7)
4. Caleb Shimaoka - Waiakea
1. Kaau Estrella, Kamehameha (technical fall: 16-1) 1st
2. Kailee Hamada - Hilo
3. Keli’i Pelekane, Kealakehe (MD: 9-1)
4. Anson Spain - Waiakea
1. Jacson Miles, Kealakehe (D: 7-5)
2. Kyle Ortiz, Hilo
3. Ezekiel Anahu - Kamehameha (D)
4. Howard Okamura, Waiakea
1. Manu Wengler, Kamehameha (D: 5-10)
2. Izik Nakamasu, Hilo
3 Mason Morimoto, Waiakea (fall 00:26)
4. Chris Sonson, Kealakehe
1. Sergio Mamone, Hilo (D: 5-2)
2. Dominic Delacruz, Konawaena
3. Hansel Kaumoauna, Kamehameha (D)
4. Titus Estocado, Keaau
1. Brendan Figueroa, Kamehameha (D: 4-2) 1
2. Haili Kapela, Konawaena
3. Peter Matsuura, Waiakea (fall 00:44)
4. Levi Adams, Hawaii Prep
1. Tyler Boromeo, Pahoa (fall 1:25)
2. Jashen Mathieu, Kamehameha
3. 3rd Isaac Pavao, Waiakea (fall 1:02)
4. Tyler Kahananui, Konawaena
1. Malosi Abrahama, Kealakehe (fall 1:01)
2. Kawika Andrian, Keaau
3. Thaze Gomes, Kamehameha (F) 3rd
4. Jacob Grimme, Hawaii Prep
1. Radon Miles, Kealakehe (fall 1:21)
2. Ethan Ramos - Kamehameha
1. Christopher Kubota, Hilo (fall 1:24)
2. Setu Vole, Kealakehe
3. Kekoa Pires, Kamehameha (fall 2:49) 3rd
4. Jmar Castillo-Sol, Keaau 4th
5. Kai Pai, Konawaena
1. Joseph Hooper, Kamehameha (fall 5:31)
2. Micheal Gopaul, Kealakehe
1. Gracie Miranda, Waiakea
1. Mia Lum, Kamehameha, (D: 8-3)
2. Kolbey Low, Kealakehe
3. Taylia Lee, Hilo High
1. Ashley Falces, Kamehameha, (MD: 19-9)
2. Sneha Nair, Hawaii PreP
1. Charlotte Taylor, Kealakehe (TF: 15-0)
2. Aana Dickens - Konawaena
3. Jordan Branco, Waiakea (fall 4:51)
4. Breshaunty Fernandez, Keaau
5. Ale’a Kuahiwinui-Santiago, Pahoa
1. Kaua Albino-Kaupu, (fall 1:27)
2. Taryn Bonham, Hawaii Prep
3, Ruby Jordan, Konawaena (fall 2:15)
4. Tiane Gomes-Keahiolalo, Kealakehe
1. Danakai Reilly-Gober, Kealakehe (fall 3:36)
2. Ilima Kepano-Ferreira, Keaau
3. Chevelle Bertelmann, Kamehameha (fall 00:25)
4. Kitana Heinicke, Konawaena
1. Kasey Pule, Kamehameha (D: 5-7) 1st
2. Berri Lagmay, Kealakehe
3. Cappi Winters, Keaau
1. Gionne Aniban-Morse - Kealakehe (MD: 16-4)
2. Waihulakapu Kaho’okaulana, Keaau
3. Kanani Chan, Kamehameha
1. Isabelle Tayo, Kealakehe (fall 0:55)
2. Jaynah Dias, Kamehameha - Hawaii 2
3. Jorjah Losalio-Watson, Konawaena (fall 1:44)
4. Leina’ala Taylor - Hawaii Prep
1. Asinalu Holika, Hilo (fall 5:35)
2. Chynasty Acia, Keaau
3. Anne Roth, Waiakea (D: 6-3)
4. Cianni Kekahuna, Honokaa
1. Kayla Araki, Kamehameha (fall 0:58)
2. Tianna Avanila, Kealakehe
3. Shamma Nakama, Waiakea (fall 1:07)
4. Kitana Lowery - Hilo
5. Tashia-Lyn Mcguire, Keaau
1. Ivory Ayers, Keaau (fall 1:33)
2. Kapoina Bailey, Konawaena
3. Leiohu Tong, Kamehameha (fall 2:20)
4. Zyann Pavao, Waiakea
5. Karly Requelman, Honokaa
1. Maimiti Otare, Kealakehe (fall 1:22)
2. Taylor Chan, Keaau
3. Poerani Madriaga, Kamehameha
4. Taysia Quintal, Keaau
1. 1st Roxie Umu, Kealakehe (fall 3:45)
2. Kulia Shores-Ulep, Kamehameha
3. Laakea Peleiholani, Pahoa (D)
4. Taysia Quintal, Keaau
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