Hawai'i wrestlers second in Worlds
By Wes Nakama
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Wes Nakama
Led by Kamehameha senior Gerritt Vincent's individual championship, a team of high school boys wrestlers from Hawai'i took second place last weekend at the Cliff Keen Reno Worlds, one of the nation's largest tournaments at Reno, Nev.
Vincent, a two-time state champion, won the 189-pound division by defeating Utah's two-time state champ. Ka'u senior Dylan Rush, a three-time state champion, finished second in the heavyweight class and Daniel Morita, a senior and two-time state champ from Kahuku, finished third at 135 pounds.
Kamehameha senior Bryson Vivas, the 160-pound state champion, took fourth place; Kamehameha junior Kazden Ikehara finished fifth at 215 and senior Clellan A'alona of Kahuku took sixth at 189.
In addition, Kamehameha sophomore Mykenna Ikehara took fourth at 215 pounds in the 16-and-under competition, meaning seven of Hawai'i's 10 wrestlers placed, compared to only one last year.
Kahuku assistant coach Jeff Parker said 47 states were represented at the tournament. The Hawai'i team actually tied for first place with a team from North Carolina, but the tiebreaker factored in individual champions.
"It's a great thing for wrestling in Hawai'i," said Kamehameha coach Chris West.
Kamehameha assistant Carl Barton said Hawai'i has been represented at the Reno Worlds the past four or five years, but this year "the rest of the nation has taken notice" because of the strong showing.
"Our boys did a lot better than people expected," Barton said.
The tournament was held at the Reno Livestock Center, where competition took place on 20 different mats. Vincent went 5-0 in the tournament.
"He took out a lot of nationally ranked wrestlers," West said. "He proved he's one of the best in the nation."
Rush also made it to the finals, but he lost in a double-overtime tiebreaker. Morita made it to the 135-pound finals, but ended up in third place because the tournament format includes a wrestle-off between the championship match loser and the wrestler who lost to the eventual champion in the semifinals.
The other three Hawai'i wrestlers in the tournament were Kahuku junior Richard Torres, Campbell sophomore Lowen Pynanes and Kamehameha junior Keli'i Palencia.
Torres and Pynanes each went 5-2, and Palencia went 2-2.
In addition to Parker and Barton, coaches included Reggie Torres, Judd Vincent, Carden Vincent, Les Vincent, Kapua Torres and Greg Rush.
Reach Wes Nakama at firstname.lastname@example.org.