Wrestling wraps up with 3rd, 4th, 5th at HHSAA


Photo by courtesy of Ms. Donna Genobia

KSM wrestlers and their coaches after the 2020 Texaco/HHSAA Wrestling State Championships held on Feb. 21-22, 2020, at the Neal Blaisdell Arena. Three wrestlers placed in the top five.

Juniors Zachary Genobia and Kanoa Aruda-Starwood and Senior Ashlee Palimoʻo earned the title for MIL champion, and many KSM wrestlers also ended their season by placing in the 2020 MIL Wrestling Championships and qualifying for the Texaco/HHSAA Wrestling State Championships.

In addition to the champions, junior Kahiau Kaniho and sophomore Carynn Helm placed 2nd, and senior Ezekiel Matutino and sophomores Kainoa Monkres, Justin Keliʻikupakako and Kellysa-Michiko Pauʻole placed 3rd at the 2020 MIL Wresting Championships, advancing onto the HHSAA State Championships that took place on Feb. 21-22, 2020, at the Neal Blaisdell Arena on Oʻahu.

“I’m really proud of my small team, we really did pack a punch during our overall season in the MIL league and in the state tournament,” Genobia said.

Senior Ashlee Palimoʻo placed 3rd in the 122 lbs. girls weight division at this year’s state championships.

“It was a crazy season full of many ups and down. I ended up getting injured towards the end of the season, but with rehab and my desire to be at practice, I got back on the mat, the week of MIL’s,” she said.

In addition to Palimo’o’s top three placement, Genobia placed 5th in the 182 lbs. boys weight division and Aruda-Starwood placed 4th in the 160 lbs. boys weight division at the state championships.

“I was more confident and mentally strong and just purely believed I could do it, even if I had to lie to myself because after awhile, I started to believe it, and it made me more powerful,” Genobia said.

All wrestlers worked hard this season, training Monday through Friday from 3:45 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“We prepared for states by making sure our cardio was good. We had really hard practices, especially the week before states,” Aruda-Starwood said.

As the 2020 high school wrestling season comes to the end, the KSM wrestlers look forward to the next season.

“I hope that they remember to always hustle in the circle and that they continue to get their names on the wall, no matter what place [they come in],” Palimoʻo said.