Four Warriors take first in judo match


Photo by Jaylin Kekiwi

Senior Neʻula Aarona pins her opponent during the judo matches on April 26, 2014. Aarona won first place in her 154-lb. weight class.

By Jaylin Kekiwi, editor

WAILUKU – Four Kamehameha Maui Warriors went home with first place titles in the April 27, 2014, round robin judo matches at the Baldwin High School gym.

For the girls, senior Neʻula Aarona took home first in the 154-lb. division, while sophomore Keely Lindsey got first in the 174-lb. division.

“I think I did well today, but I need to work on being quicker,” Lindsey said of her first place win.

Lindsey also said that some girls who usually compete in her weight class had not attended the matches that day.

In the boys divisions, sophomore Kainalu Taniguchi earned first for the 134-lb. division and junior Owen Tau-a was first in the 220-lb. division.

King Kekaulike’s Nā Aliʻi team had nine titles, four champions for girls and and five for the boys.

This match was the last one before the Maui Interscholastic League championships next Saturday, May 3, at the Maui High School Gymnasium.

“Overall, we have a lot of people who have a good chance of going to States,” Sensei Ron Hiyakumoto said.

Those who win first and second place in their division in the league championship next week will qualify for a place at the state tournament May 10 at the Stan Sheriff Center on Oʻahu.

Sensei Ron also said the underclassmen and first-timers on the team have improved greatly from their first matches.

“You’re always concerned about [the underclassmen and first-time players] because they come in not knowing much about judo,” he said. “They always have to go up against older students in their weight class or more experienced students, but this year, they got the hang of it really quickly. Their techniques improved a lot.”

Support the Warriors next week as they compete for league champions. Matches begin at 10 a.m.