Posted on: Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Local 5 are pioneers in North Dakota
By Kalani Takase
Advertiser Staff Writer
A quintet of freshman wrestlers from Hawai'i are blazing a new trail at a small, liberal arts college in North Dakota.
Jamestown College, a private Presbyterian school with about 1,100 students, began a women's wrestling program this year with 20 freshmen, including five from the 50th state.
Chaelyn Tan (Kapolei '08), Tani Ader (Farrington '08 of Kalihi), Raquel Pa'aluhi (Wai'anae '08), Ku'uipo Badayos (Mililani '08) and Pi'ikea Kalalau (Baldwin '08 of Wailuku) took a chance on the NAIA Division II school that was recognized in the "Best Colleges 2009" edition of the U.S. News and World Report.
Jamestown, located about halfway between Fargo (the largest city) and Bismarck (the state capital), is most famous for being known as the Buffalo City. It is home to the world's largest Buffalo, the National Buffalo Museum and North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame.
Jamestown head coach Cisco Cole recruited each member of the group during several national tournaments, including last year's Junior Nationals in Fargo.
"It was partly through the national rankings (that I learned of them). I went to the High School Nationals in Oklahoma City and met four of them there last March and then they came (to the campus) for a visit when they were in Fargo," Cole said.
Despite the all-freshman roster, the Jimmies have fared well this season — thanks in part to the group from Hawai'i.
"They've all started for us at least one point in time this season. They all have good work ethnic and they demonstrate a passion for it," Cole said. "We thought if we could get a couple of those girls with experience and also a desire to wrestle in college, with the success that they've had, it will breed more success."
Jamestown went 2-0-1 in dual matches during the short season, but numerous individuals captured tournament titles as well, including Kalalau at the Saskatchewan Husky Tournament in December. Kalalau was first in the 138-pound division after winning all three matches by pin fall.
Ader made it to the final of the 121-pound division, but could not compete due to injury. Badayos (138), Tan (121) and Pa'aluhi (130) also placed at the tournament.
"I think they've all improved tremendously, but they were all talented to begin with," Cole said.
Ader won three state championships in both wrestling and judo as a Governor, Badayos and Kalalau won state wrestling crowns as seniors, and Pa'aluhi and Tan also earned medals at February's state tournament.
"All five of them have demonstrated that they can wrestle and win at this level," Cole said. "I really believe that all five of them can have tremendous amounts of success at this level."
The Jimmies leave tomorrow for National Duals in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The two-day, eight-team tournament starts Saturday.
Dana (Neb.) freshman wrestler Travis Okano (Lahainaluna '08) went 2-2 in the 125-pound division at Saturday's Dana Open in Blair, Neb. Okano defeated Travis Evans of Grand View, 10-5, in the first round before dropping a 3-2 decision to Zach Adam of Nebraska-Omaha in the quarterfinals. Also, junior Ryan "Bulla" Tuzon (Baldwin '05 of Wailuku) went 2-2 in the 165-pound division and freshman Tyler Lauifi (Pearl City '08) dropped both of his matches at 285.
Southern California senior linebacker Kaluka Maiava (Baldwin '04 of Wailuku) was named the top defensive player in Thursday's 38-24 win over Penn State in the Rose Bowl. Maiava, the third USC linebacker in three years to win the award, had four solo tackles and broke up two passes
Utah junior linebacker Kepa Gaison (Kamehameha '05 of Kane'ohe) made six tackles, including five solo stops, two sacks and had one quarterback hurry in Friday's 31-17 win over Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Oregon State freshman linebacker David Pa'aluhi (Wai'anae '07) had three tackles and senior safety Al Afalava (Kahuku '04 of La'ie) made two stops, including one for a loss, and he broke up a pass in last Wednesday's 3-0 win over Pittsburgh in the Sun Bowl.
Kentucky junior linebacker Mikhail Mabry (Mililani '04) was in on a tackle in the third quarter of Friday's 25-19 win over East Carolina in the Liberty Bowl.
Colorado School of Mines senior guard Kyle Pape ('Iolani '05 of Honolulu) scored 17 points with three rebounds, three steals, two assists and one block in an 83-72 loss to Westminster (Utah) Friday. He had eight points with four rebounds, seven assists, one steal and a block in Saturday's 97-59 win over Bethel (Kan.).
Holy Names (Calif.) senior guard Aaron Kanno (Mililani '04) was named California Pacific Conference Player of the Week after averaging 16 points, five assists and four steals in wins over Bethany (Kan.) and Academy of Art (Calif.) last week.
Pepperdine senior wing Taylor Smith (Kalaheo '05 of Kailua) had 18 points, 10 rebounds and three steals in a 65-52 win over Hawai'i Friday. Smith went for two points, five boards, one assist and one steal in Saturday's 63-55 loss to Colorado.
Cal State Northridge sophomore forward Analee Viena-Lota (Kamehameha '07 of Honolulu) scored two points with five rebounds and two steals in a 63-58 loss to Pacific Friday. In Sunday's 86-66 loss to UC Davis, Viena-Lota had 12 points, five rebounds and a steal for the Matadors.
Concordia (Calif.) sophomore guard Nicole Fu (Maryknoll '07 of Honolulu) scored 13 points with two rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 75-72 loss to Azusa Pacific Saturday.
Puget Sound junior forward Natasha Ludwig (Waiakea '05 of Hilo) scored five points with seven rebounds, two blocks, two steals and one assist in Friday's 64-47 win over Lewis & Clark Friday. She had five points with 10 rebounds and three assists in a 52-29 win over Linfield Saturday.
Washington University (Mo.) senior guard Shanna-Lei Dacanay (Punahou '05 of Honolulu) scored nine points with five rebounds, seven assists and one block in Monday's 78-46 win over Webster (Mo.).
Willamette (Ore.) freshman guard Tiana Abbley (Kamehameha '08 of Honolulu) scored nine points and grabbed two rebounds in a 62-52 loss to Pacific Lutheran Friday.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology freshman Nigel Kojimoto (Punahou '08 of Honolulu) scored 550 in smallbore and 556 in air rifle to help MIT in wins over Wentworth Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Maritime Academy and Virginia Military Institute last month.
Reach Kalani Takase at firstname.lastname@example.org.