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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, March 1, 2010

Buffanblu girls pull off unexpected

 •  State wrestling championships: Girls results

By Stanley Lee
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Punahou's Chrissy Chow, top, took revenge from Pearl City's Kelly Ancheta in the 125-pound final. "It means so much because last year, she (Kelly Ancheta) is the one I lost to," Chow said.

ANDREW SHIMABUKU | The Honolulu Advertiser

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Punahou's group of "sisters" made use of an unexpected day off, going on a two-mile training run together.

"It kept us in the mindset," Punahou's Kaimana Lundquist said of Saturday's run. "We really wanted that championship."

The bond that brought the team together also carried the Buffanblu to an unexpected state title at yesterday's Chevron/Hawai'i High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Championships at the Blaisdell Arena.

Punahou finished with 146.5 points to edge Kahuku (144) and win its second straight girls team title. The Buffanblu trailed the Red Raiders in the team standings going into yesterday's competition that was originally scheduled for Saturday, but pushed back a day due to a statewide tsunami warning.

"The entire team is family, but these girls are sisters," Lundquist, the 155-pound champion, said of her teammates. "We all got each other's back. We've been encouraging each other from the start."

Punahou overtook Kahuku in yesterday morning's semifinals and held an 8.5-point lead going into the championship matches with five of six girls advancing. Sisters Chrissy and Mindy Chow won their championship matches at 125 and 130 pounds, respectively.

"It's really exciting. We took it last year and we thought that last year was our only chance because that was when we had a really full lineup and we lost seniors and we lost weight classes this year," said Chrissy Chow, who won a state title in 2008 at 114. "We didn't know if we could do it, but we did."

The tsunami warning that pushed back the second day of competition did have an impact on the final standings. Kahuku was missing a wrestler who couldn't compete because of church obligations, and yesterday's matches were held one after another on six mats with a 10-minute break between the semifinal and final rounds. Had it been held Saturday, there would have been more time between rounds.

"Not to take anything away from my girls, but that made a difference," Punahou coach Matt Oney said.

Kahuku lost five of its six semifinal matches, but coach Reggie Torres was proud of his girls for rallying in their last matches.

"That last round, we won six matches, including five by pins, to put us in a position to win," Torres said. "Hat's off to Punahou, they've got a great program."

Kahuku's Anela Santiago won the 140-pound final after pinning Lahainaluna's Makanalani Hussey in 52 seconds.

Megan Aina of Kamehameha-Hawai'i beat Punahou's Erin Uehara in the 98-pound final for her school's first wrestling title, capping an emotional weekend. Her parents spent Saturday calling relatives in Hilo during the tsunami warning. Her sister, Jenna, withdrew from her 114-pound match yesterday because of an injury.

"We were calling Hilo all day, worried," Megan said. "But my parents were here with me so I felt better."

'Aiea's Joy Yamashita repeated at 120 pounds after pinning 'Iolani's Kari Watase in 4 minutes, 43 seconds.

Kalani's Megan Yamaguchi won at 114 pounds, beating Roosevelt's Marisa Fukunaga, 4-3. Yamaguchi trailed the entire match, but picked up two points on a reversal with four seconds left.

Kamehameha's Macy Yonamine, last year's 108-pound champion, won at 103 pounds by technical fall over Pacific Buddhist's Quinn Nagatani, and Warriors freshman Bree Rapoza pinned Punahou's Nicole Taniguchi in 3:30 to win at 108 pounds. Kamehameha finished third in the team standings with 116.5 points.

Wins by Mei Ling Keiki (175) and Sanoe Spencer (220) helped Pearl City finish fourth with 112.5 points and 'Aiea was fifth with 99.

Advertiser Staff Writers Dayton Morinaga and Kalani Takase contributed to this report. Reach Stanley Lee at sktlee@honoluluadvertiser.com or 535-2451.