KS Maui wrestlers improve moves as season nears end

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Photo by Kalani Ruidas

Jonathan Lum Lung attempts to break free from his opponent at today's round robin wrestling tournament at Maui High School.

Kalani Ruidas

By Kalani Ruidas, Features co-editor

The wrestlers of KS Maui used today’s round robin meet at Maui High to practice against all competitors in their weight classes.

Round robin tournaments begin with the weight class with the most participants and continue sequentially to weight classes with fewer participants.

They are organized so that each wrestler gets a chance to compete with everyone in his or her weight class. Coaches are able to gauge wrestlers’ ability level based on a point system and categorize them into brackets A, B or C.

Junior Sheylin Patao made two pins today, along with senior Kai’olu Kaho’ohalahala, who also made two.

Freshmen Owen Tau-a and Jonathan Lum Lung and juniors Alika Ostermiller and Chayce Tancayo each made one pin.

Ostermiller said that he uses these tournaments to refine his moves. “I learn something new about my opponent each match, and it helps me see what I need to work on,” he said.

Patao said she has noticed the improvement in her fellow wrestlers. “From the beginning of the season until now, we’ve gotten a lot better with our technique, and we’re able to last longer. Like at the end of a match when there’s just a few more seconds left on the clock, and we’re down by a few points. Our team as a whole works well at enduring to the end.”

Coach CJ Elizares agreed that everyone on the team has made great improvement.

“They’re giving their 110% on the mat. We’re the only team that goes to states every year. Realistically, I’d say we have 3 contenders for [the] state [tournament], and we have 8 that qualify..

Consistent attendance at practice is mandated by the Maui Interscholastic League. “My only disappointment is that some of our starters had to sit out this tournament [due to lack of hours of practice]. They have to come to practice to compete. But if they show up, they should be okay,” Coach Elizares said.

Coach Elizares’ philosophy has been taken to heart by the wrestlers. “Our coach said, ‘If you practice lazy, then you’ll perform lazy in the tournament.’ So we try not to do either,” Sheylin Patao said.

The Maui Warriors have three more chances to complete before the junior varsity championships and varsity takedown competition on February 18, followed by the league championship on February 25. The next two round robin events will be in Hana.