When one goal is crushed, another wish is answered.
That’s the life in high school wrestling. All Libby Petrie wanted was to end a skid against defending state champion Sanoe Spencer.
Petrie, competing for Kahuku in the 220-pound weight class, rallied from a 5-0 deficit for an astounding 7-5 win yesterday during the Oahu Interscholastic Association dual-meet championships at Campbell High School.
Spencer got the last laugh, though, as Pearl City’s girls won the team title over Kahuku. Campbell won the boys championship.
Petrie and Spencer, both juniors, had met roughly 20 times since they first battled as freshmen. Spencer, of Pearl City, had won every time until yesterday. It looked like another solid win until Spencer lost control.
"I looked at the score and I was, ‘Oh no, I can’t lose to her again,’ " Petrie said. "Then she tried to arm bar me."
"(Spencer) got caught on a reversal," Chargers assistant coach Bryson Pascua said of the counter move, which left Spencer on her back.
With the score at 5-all, Petrie got away from Spencer momentarily, but Spencer was whistled for pushing Petrie off the mat in an unsportsmanlike manner.
"The referee saw it differently than I did," Pascua said.
Petrie was surprised, too.
"I don’t know what that point was for," she said.
Spencer was also surprised by the penalty, which gave Petrie a 6-5 lead with less than 35 seconds to go.
Petrie added another point in the final seconds on an escape move.
For Spencer, who is 8-2 this season against OIA and nonconference foes, it’s a lesson learned.
"I think it’s careless mistakes on my part. I can’t leave the match for the referee to decide," she said.
With a five-point lead, some wrestlers would back off a bit and protect it.
"That’s not Pearl City wrestling," Spencer said. "I can’t stop. I’ve got to keep working."
Spencer doesn’t have to look very far to find competition and excellence. Her father, Sterling, was a three-time judo champion in the late 1970s — twice at Waipahu and once more at Kaiser as a senior.
A cousin, Brayanne Moe of Radford, won the OIA title at 220 last year. Spencer plans on studying yesterday’s video footage, shot by her dad. It was her lone match of the day, which means she’ll have plenty of time to reconstruct every move.
"Even though I lost, I’ll still win," she said.
Petrie isn’t getting carried away by her upset win.
"Now I have to work harder so she doesn’t beat me," she said.
Pearl City was strong against Kahuku in the dual meet, getting pins from Xandria Ford (120), Kaimi Evans (125), Joey Nanhta (103) and Kacie Prado (108) to seal the win over the Lady Raiders.
Kahuku later toppled Aiea 36-24 in another dual matchup.