Judo Warriors off to state championships

Hiilei+Casco

Photo by Maleko Lorenzo

Freshman Hi'ilei Casco throws her opponent at the Maui Interscholastic League Championships at Ka'ulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium on Saturday, April 30.

Senior Joshua Kua"ana competing in MIL Judo Championships at Kamehameha Maui April 30, 2011.

Kalani Ruidas

By Maleko Lorenzo, sports writer

The Kamehameha Maui judo team competed in the Maui Interscholastic Championships Saturday, April 30, at Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku Gym to fight for a seat in the state championships.

Three emerged as MIL champions: senior Joshua Kua’ana and sophomores Sai Furukawa and Kristin Miyahira-Dumaran.

The five students who will be going to the Hawai’i High School Athletic Association judo championships are:

  • Kuaʻana, 1st place, 198 weight class
  •  junior Erika Kekiwi, 2nd place, 103 weight class
  • Furukawa, 1st place, 114 weight class
  • Miyahira-Dumaran, 1st place, 220 weight class
  • sophomore Kiana Soloria, 2nd place, 98 weight class.

The day was exciting with some nice throws and tough pins.

“They did great!” said Sensei Ron Hiyakumoto.

“I think I did all right…could’ve done better. I wasn’t happy with my performance, but I won,” Kuaʻana said.

Kua’ana is the only senior to make it to the state Championships this year, and he said he is really happy to be going.

There were some students who made it straight to the finals because of the limited amount of contenders in their weight class. Sophomore Sai Furukawa was glad to win his only match.

“I just tried my best. It was hard to come in for a throw because my opponent was so stiff,” Furukawa said.

“It’s gonna be hard, but there’s a lot of returnees, and they’ve been there before,” said Sensei Ron. He was confident that the students would do well, and he said that they are ready to compete