POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Feb 13, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 7:31 a.m. HST, Feb 13, 2011
By Matt Oney's admission, this was not the easiest of seasons for Punahou wrestling.
On the other hand, the coach had a "mother hen" in Chrissy Chow to help lead the way, and that is what she did once again last night.
Chow captured her third state crown and Punahou's girls made it a three-peat last night, taking the Chevron/Hawaii High School Athletic Association State Championship at Blaisdell Arena.
The Buffanblu girls amassed 149.5 points, well ahead of Lahainaluna (117.5), Pearl City (116), Kahuku (108.5) and Aiea (64).
Punahou reaped the rewards of their year-round training, as well.
Chow (127) edged tough Tanalei Louis of Konawaena in overtime, 8-3. Her younger sister, Mindy, took the 132 championship with a technical fall (15-0) over Rustee Johansen of Kamehameha-Hawaii.
Mindy says she'll miss the camaraderie and leadership of her older sister. The two shared a national wrestling title last July in a mainland tourney.
"I'm really excited, but I'm sure that tomorrow, I'll be sad because it's over," Chrissy said. "I feel like all my teammates are all my kids. I feel really protective of them more so than ever before."
Aside from Punahou's ongoing dynasty, it was a night of firsts and upsets.
Quinn Nagatani became Pacific Buddhist Academy's first state wrestling champion by upsetting No. 1 seed Nicole Taniguchi of Punahou, 6-3, for the 110 title. Nagatani led 5-3, but was wrapped up by Taniguchi in the final minute before holding on for the win.
Just a match earlier, PBA teammate Chloe Nagasawa also wrestled for a title at 105 but lost to Kamehameha-Maui's Nikki Davis 7-0.
Fourth-seeded Samantha Higa, one of the six-member Aiea Na Alii girls team, overcame elbow and knee injuries to win the 116 crown. Higa, who placed fifth last year, downed No. 2 Kristy Rabaino of Kahuku 4-0, breaking a scoreless duel with three points near the end of the second period.
Higa reached the final after knocking off top-seeded Bree Rapoza (Kamehameha) in the semifinal 6-5.
Her teammate, third-seeded Darcie Manning-O'Brien, celebrated her birthday by winning the 177 crown. She pinned unseeded Janelle Fuamatu of Pearl City.
Campbell's Rachel-Jean Factora, unseeded, provided another surprise by winning the 142 class. She pinned No. 2 Charmagne Monis of Pearl City.
Unseeded Brayanne Moe rose to the 222 title, defeating No. 1 Gina Bella Mataafa of Lahainaluna 4-1 in the final.
For Punahou, which had less than a handful of wrestlers on the girls team during Chrissy Chow's freshman year, it is now a dynasty without any doubt.
"Coach (Oney) has a lot of discipline. It really sends a message and helps us to understand," Chow said.
Punahou's coaches have already started looking ahead, both at development and energy among their wrestlers.
"Chrissy's much more of a leader than outside people will understand," Oney said. "She's a mother hen."
The future is bright for the team, which has 21 on the roster now, including many who came up through Punahou's elementary-age (Pumas) program.
Top seed defeated No. 3 Mikayla Pico of Molokai 11-9 in the championship; beat No. 4 Thai Ha Sloan of Punahou by fall 5:21 in the semifinal.
Angela Enos, Roosevelt def. Candice Segi, Aiea, by pin
Megan Aina, Kamehameha-Hawaii def. Thai Ha Sloan Punahou, by pin