McKinley's Tomishima three-peats
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By Leila Wai
Advertiser Staff Writer
By Leila Wai
McKinley junior Lianne Tomishima is quick to point out how thankful she is.
She won her third title at the HHSAA Judo Girls State Championships at the University of Hawai'i's Stan Sheriff Center last night, and is the first to have a chance to be a four-time champion.
"It's an accomplishment, but I'm really thankful to my teammates," Tomishima said. "It's truly incredible, but it all goes back to them."
Farrington won its first outright team championship after sharing the team title with Kahuku in 2004. The Governors scored 72 points, followed by McKinley with 60 and Iolani with 53.
"Some of them are rookies, and some are really talented people, like (state champion Tani Ader)," Farrington coach Brandon Teshima said. "We just had a really incredible season this year. This group is really tight."
Tomishima was the individual star of the girls competition, winning the 129-pound division by beating Kahuku's Cianah Hee four seconds into the match.
Tomishima won with her favorite "sore," or lifting sleeve throw also known as sore-tsurikomi goshi.
"I was just relying on it, it was an open opportunity," Tomishima said. "I was surprised. She's a really tough competitor. I didn't know what to expect."
Tomishima is the second female judoka to win three consecutive state titles, joining Maryknoll's Tabitha Lum from 2003 to 2005. As a freshman, Tomishima captured the 115-pound class, then moved up to 139 last year.
"I'm just thankful for the chance (to win four)," Tomishima said. "Not a lot of people get the opportunity."
The Farrington girls had three individual champions in Ader (115), Taylor Ibera (98) and Samantha Batoon (109). Four others placed in the top six, with three earning points toward the team total. Individuals earned 16 points for first, 12 for second, nine for third, seven for fourth, five for fifth and three for sixth place. If two judoka from the same team are in the same division, only the higher finisher earns points.
"It's awesome," Ader said. "Our goal this year was to win states, cause we didn't win last year. It feels like an accomplishment."
Farrington's Ader and Kahuku junior Kanoe Tani (220) claimed their second consecutive state titles.
Ader, who won at 114 pounds last year, defeated Hawai'i Baptist's Risha Mishima.
"Before my matches I get nervous," Ader said. "The hardest thing to do is defend your title."
Tani, who won at 172 last year, defeated Iolani's Akemi Holmes.
"It feels great, but it was a team effort; without partners you can't succeed," Tani said. "I just took whatever my coach told me: to watch the team, it is my last match of the season."
Hilo's Relle Sato, competing in the 154-pound division, became only the second female from a Neighbor Island to win a state judo title. Kealakehe's Kelianne Chong won in 2003.Advertiser staff member Kalani Takase contributed to this report.
Reach Leila Wai at email@example.com.