Hard targets


POSTED: Tuesday, February 17, 2009

If Punahou's boys can earn their third straight title in the state wrestling championships beginning Friday, it would be quite a feat.

But they would still be looking up at the 'Iolani girls' dominance in the 103-pound weight class.

A Raiders wrestler has won the state title at that weight every year since 2004, and have a two-time state champ going for her third in a row this year.

Keiko Akamine won the 103 class the last two years and Carla Watase claimed it in 2005 and '06. Joleen Oshiro started the run for 'Iolani with the crown in 2004 after Sadie Kaneda of Roosevelt earned it in 2003.

Taylor Ibera of Farrington is hoping to repeat at 98 pounds, while Chrissy Chow of Punahou, Risha Mishima of Hawaii Baptist and Olivia Fatongia are also trying to defend state championships.

Tournament wrestling is always unpredictable, but the only sure thing is on the boys side: There will not be more than one repeat state champion this year.

That's because all three boys defending state champions are wrestling at the same weight this year.

Shayden Terukina of Kamehameha (last year's 112-pound champ) and Pearl City's Bill Takeuchi (119-pound champ last year) will move up to 125 pounds to challenge reigning champion Reid Oshiro of Punahou.

The early rounds begin on Friday at the Blaisdell Arena with the championship rounds to follow Saturday.