Kamehameha sweeps ILH wrestling championships
Kysen Terukina says he strives for perfection every time he wrestles on the mat. So far for the Kamehameha junior, things are going according to plan.
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Kysen Terukina says he strives for perfection every time he wrestles on the mat.
So far for the Kamehameha junior, things are going according to plan.
Terukina wrapped up his third consecutive ILH title with a 10-2 victory over Saint Louis’ Elijah Kaawa in the 126-pound final on his home floor Saturday afternoon. After winning the ILH and state titles at 113 in 2017, he did the same at 120 in 2018. With this year’s state championships from Feb. 20 to 21 next on the docket, he doesn’t plan on getting unseated anytime soon.
“Every match, I remind myself to stay perfect, stay in my stance and don’t give up any unnecessary points,” Terukina said. “I’m going to have that same mind-set in states but even more on it, more pressure on myself to stay perfect the whole tournament.”
Terukina led Kaawa 2-0 after the second period before taking over in the third with a flurry of takedowns. His undefeated season also includes a win at the Officials tournament at Leilehua in December. Terukina said wins at previous tournaments are nice, but a state title is his top priority each season.
“I just see it as another tournament I have to win and do my best. It feels good, but it’s not my ultimate goal for this year,” he said. “The ending goal is always states, so I’ll just have to see how I do there.”
Kamehameha also won the boys and girls team titles. The boys accumulated 223 total points, followed by Punahou with 168 and Saint Louis with 117. Eight boys won on Saturday for Kamehameha, although that figure may very well have been nine if not for Punahou’s Vincent Terrell, who edged the Warriors’ Manaia Wolfgramm 5-3 in overtime during the 145 finals.
It’s the second straight ILH title for Terrell, who won the 138 class last year. ILH title No. 2 came after a hard-fought battle with Wolfgramm, which he ended with a takedown, drawing loud cheers from Punahou fans in attendance.
“I was of course tired because of overtime, but it felt good to get my second title,” Terrell said. “I worked hard all season to get a payoff and I gotta thank my team because they’re always in the room working with me, and of course my coaches too. It was a big relief to get what I’ve been working for.”
On the girls’ side, the Warriors’ 188 points topped Pac-Five, which finished second with 80 points. Punahou came in third with 45 points.
Kamehameha’s Ashley Gooman took home her fourth ILH title, becoming just the seventh girl in school history to do so. The senior won without even wrestling on Saturday, as Punahou’s Marisa Iha forfeited before the 122 final could take place.
Like Terukina, Gooman already had her sights set on a state title. A victory on Feb. 21 would make it her third in four tries.
“Just focusing on states now from here and getting ready for that. Getting ready as a team as well. Ten days left, so last one,” she said. “I’m more so focused on states now. Gotta get past that. I didn’t wrestle today, so it didn’t feel that different, I guess.”
Kamehameha coach Rob Hesia likes where his team is mentally. As tough as the grind is throughout the course of a season, he praised the maturity of both squads heading into its last and most important competition of the year.
“It’s been a joy to watch them, being there to coach them and watch them elevate themselves even without the coaches asking them to,” Hesia said. “That’s how this team is — they’re not satisfied with just winning by points.
“Next time they go out, they’re trying to get pins or they’re pushing each other in the wrestling room. If I tell them to do 50 Warrior Squats, they’ll do 100 Warrior Squats. The work that they’ve been putting on as a team, they’ve earned it.”