Ikehara, Lindsey are MIL judo champs

Girls team places second


Photo by Faith Owan

Senior Keely Lindsey pins Emily Kane during her single match at the Maui Interscholastic League Championships at King Kekaulike on Saturday, April 30. Lindsey continued her undefeated streak, which started in her sophomore year, and won in her 172-lb weight class.

Senior Keely Lindsey and freshman Jillian Ikehara are both Maui Interscholastic League Champions for the 2016 judo season. Lindsey (172-lb weight class) and Ikehara (98-lb weight class) remained undefeated throughout the entire season in their weight classes.

Ikehara said that she’s excited to be MIL champion for her first year in high school judo.

“It feels good. It feels important,” Ikehara said.

Ikehara said that she gives credit to her teammates and her past two years of club judo for her success this season. Although she’s excited for the state championships, she said that she’s worried that they’re going to “kick her butt,” so she said that her goal is to place there.

Other than Lindsey and Ikehara, there are three other judo members heading to the Hawaiʻi Judo 2016 State Championships on Saturday, May 7: Emily Kane (172-lb), Healani Tolentino (154-lb), and Malie Nahoolewa (129-lb).

The KS Maui girls’ judo team placed second overall at the Maui Interscholastic League Championships, and the boys team came in fifth.

Although there aren’t any state-qualifying male members of the judo team, senior team captain Kainalu Taniguchi said that the boys’ team was “solid throughout the season.”

After getting a concussion the previous weekend, Taniguchi was unable to compete at the MIL championships, but at the request of Sensei Ron Hiyakumoto, Taniguchi coached the members before they hit the mat to compete.

“My goal was to have everyone do their best, win or lose,” he said.

Taniguchi said that even though the girls team started the season off without knowing much, he said that “they were very victorious” by the end of the season.

“I think the season was really great, because we started very small, and we improved to something very huge,” Taniguchi said.

A senior member of the girls team is Mckenna Chaney, who placed third in her 129-lb weight class. She said that the reason for the girls’ success was their commitment.

“We just kept going,” Chaney said. “And I’m proud of our team because we got second out of five teams, and that never happened for a while.”

Chaney said that she wishes the best for future judo teams at KS Maui.

“Just keep working hard and stay committed to the sport because it’s a really hard sport to keep going with. And if you keep working hard, you’ll do good at your matches,” she said.