HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING
GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARBULLETIN.COM
Sally Tolentino, left, of Waianae grappled with Judith Heger of Hilo in the 114 weight class yesterday.
Top seed falls, but Kahuku girls lead
With help from an unseeded, unfamiliar freshman, the Farrington Governors put pressure on defending champion Kahuku after one day of the Chevron/HHSAA Girls Wrestling State Championships.
In the first state-tournament match of her career, Kamehameha freshman Taisha Santiago upset top-seeded Amanda Soliai of Kahuku 7-3 in the 155-pound weight class.
Going into today's action, Kahuku led with 63.5 points, followed by Farrington with 61, Kamehameha with 58 and Iolani with 54.5.
Santiago, who placed third in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championships, had reason to be optimistic despite a preseason loss to Soliai.
Santiago was injured prior to that loss, which resulted in a pin by Soliai. This time around, Santiago toppled the Red Raider, and then took a default win over Chelsea Ganzagan of Castle in the quarterfinals.
"This week, I changed my routine. I got my mind straight and concentrated when I warmed up," Santiago said. "I was ready for anybody."
Soliai tried to lock up on Santiago, but had little success.
"This time, she was hesitant. She wasn't as aggressive as last time," Santiago said.
Santiago will face another unseeded upstart, Ilima-Lei Macfarlane of Punahou, in today's semifinals. Macfarlane, the fourth-place wrestler in the ILH, ousted Maui Interscholastic League champion Kacie Davis (KS-Maui) in another quarterfinal.
In another stunner, Jessica Caires of Sacred Hearts Academy eliminated second-seeded Kulia McGurn of Kamehameha-Maui in another 155 matchup. Caires placed fourth in last week's ILH championships.
Three-time state champion Randolyn "Hoku" Nohara of Kamehameha drew a bye through the first day. She will match up against Naoli Weller (Hilo) in the semifinals.
Farrington's defending state champion, Tani Ader, pinned Shelby Asato (Punahou) and Tamra Takeshita (St. Anthony) to reach the semifinals. Ader, now in the 120 class, won the state title at 108 last year.
Two more top-seeded Governors advanced. Taylor Ibera, the favorite in the 98 class, outpointed Caitlin Mizoshiri (Iolani) 2-1 and Andrina Ramos (Kahuku) 10-2. Ashlee Lilo, a runner-up at 220 last season, breezed through the 175 class with pins of Kimberly Suetos (Lahainaluna) and Ashlee Kanai (Konawaena).
Kahuku got a spark from Danica Auna, the top seed at 125. Auna, who won the 114 title last year, pinned Anacleta Magalianes (Kohala) and Cheryse Sana (Waianae). Iolani got a boost from top seeds Carla Watase, Keiko Akamine and Megan Morisada.
Three-time state champion Watase improved to 38-0 as a senior with a pair of one-sided wins, though she wouldn't admit to them.
"She pinned them both," teammate Megan Oshiro said.
The latest victims for the four-time ILH champion were Kayla Giannotto (Baldwin) and Kira Hagi (Kapolei).