KAHULUI --- Sean Farrington knows all about how deep the Lahainaluna High School boys wrestling team is.
Last season, as the school's top entry in the 152-pound class, Farrington lost to teammate Holden Mowat in the Maui Interscholastic League championship match. Mowat went on to the state tournament and Farrington didn't get to compete.
Saturday night at Maui High gym, Farrington joined the parade of Lahainaluna champions --- 11 in 14 weight classes, one better than last year when they went on to finish second in the state --- with a dramatic 2-1 win in the 160 final over Jonathan Pico of King Kekaulike.
The Maui News / AMANDA COWAN photo
Lahainaluna High School’s Sean Farrington embraces assistant coach Nick Nakata after winning the Maui Interscholastic League 160-pound title Saturday at the Maui High gym.
''That (Pico) kid is really strong, he is a scrapper,'' Farrington said. ''He just goes out there to compete and he is just good. That is the third time I have faced him this year. I faced him on Molokai and I won, the second time he beat me, and then tonight.''
Farrington did not let last season's disappointment get to him.
''I just had to wrestle smart, not play his game and try to use muscle, I just had to use technique,'' Farrington said.
Team results---1. Lahainaluna 265 points, 2. Baldwin 128, 3. Maui High 104, 4. King Kekaulike 69, 5. Molokai 59.5, 6. Lanai 42.5, 7. Kamehameha Maui 31, 8. St. Anthony 24.
108---Final: John Galinato, LL, def. Christian Ornong, KK, 12-3. Third: Eleomar Cabbat, Lanai, pinned Jarrin Cabo, Maui, 3:18.
114---Final: Edison Hidalgo, LL, pinned Ernest Sumabat, B, 1:20. Third: McDaven Gumboc, Maui, def. Kalen Inouye, Molo, 9-3.
120---Final: Elviro Atacvador, Lanai, def. Noe Domingo, Maui, 6-4. Third: Austin Bloch, KK, pinned Kelvin Cruz, LL, 3:11.
125---Final: George Chihara, LL, def. Justin Estabillo, Maui, 10-9. Third: Bryson Castillo, KK, def. Aasin Torricer, KSM, 17-2.
130---Final: Chance Uyeda, LL, def. Kevin Dudoit, Molo, 8-2. Third: Stevin Lloyd, B, def. Lono Cabanilla, LL, 8-4.
135---Final: David Arcangel, LL, def. Chrales Cruz, Maui, 6-5. Third: Nalu Scott, LL, def. Simon Blair, Molo, 3-0.
140---Final: Jared Panlasigui, LL, pinned Ty Estabillo, Maui, 5:17. Third: Nelson Agmata, LL, def. Michael Lacno, KK, 2-1.
145---Final: Blake Ball, LL, def. Brady Carone, B, 5-2. Third: Bryant Racadio, B, def. Alika Sanchez, KSM, 12-3.
152---Final: Holden Mowat, LL, def. Jostin Carbajal, LL, 11-5. Third: Jordan Saribay, KSM, pinned Darius Caparida, Molo, 5:36.
160---Final: Sean Farrington, LL, def. Jonathan Pico, KK, 2-1. Third: Rylan Echalar, Lanai, def. Chaz Kaahanui, Molo, 6-2.
171---Final: Cole Loewen, LL, def. Colton Manley, Molo, 12-9. Third: Justin Gambing, B, pinned Douglas Balinbin, B, 5-2.
189---Final: Keith Flores, B, pinned Imihana Ampong, LL, 1:32. Third: Jake Kunimitsu, Lanai, def. Lopaka Hera, Maui, 18-3.
215---Final: John Lotulelei, B, def. James Pamplin, Maui, 14-0. Third: Joshua Carrizosa, SA, def. Jaret Nahooikaika, LL, 3-2.
285---Final: Robert Kudlich, LL, pinned Garrett Newton, SA, 2:31. Third: Chase Kahula, B, won by default over Bodean Bates, LL.
Team results---1. Kamehameha Maui 109 points, 2. Lahainaluna 69, 3. Molokai 67, 4. King Kekaulike 54, 5. Maui High 46, 6. Baldwin 43, 7. Hana 36, 8. Lanai 14.
98---Final: Brittany Bermudez-Lynch, LL, pinned Nikki Davis, KSM, 5:10. Third: Miya Fukushima, Maui, def. Mikayla Pico, Molo, 6-0.
103---1. Malia Medeiros, KSM.
108---Final: Marissa Hartleb, KK, def. Kazias Lecker, LL, 12-7. Third: Fallyn Young, B, won by default over Kaiolu Kahoohalahala, KSM.
114---Final: Keaka Wallace, KSM, pinned Kenna Green, B, 5:09. Third: Carli Kubo-Chinen, KK, def. Ashley Bumatay, Maui, 2-0.
120---Final: Kayla Giannotto, B, pinned Louisa Torres-Umi, Molo, 4:32. Third: Brelynn Urpanil, KK, pinned Breanna Asuncion, KSM, 2:44.
125---Final: Makanalani Hussey, KSM, pinned Leanani Domen, KK, 5:01. Third: Kaulanarose Akaka, Molo, pinned Sam Morris, Maui, 2:17.
130---Final: Charisse Manley, Molo, pinned Virgie Carnate, Maui, 4:20. Third: Sarah Ishikawa, KSM.
140---Final: Eva Kaaa, KSM, def. Kayla Brown, Maui, 5-2. Third: Veronica Coston, LL.
155---Final: Ahnjahlee Akuna, Hana, pinned Chelsea Drazkowski, LL, 0:52. Third: Kahea Wojciaski, KSM.
175---Final: Leya-Justina Luafalemana, Molo, def. Gina Bella Mataafa, LL, 7-2. Third: Isabela Pinto, LL.
220---Final: Makamae Smith, Hana, pinned Shanthally Alboro, Lanai, 2:37. Third: Chelsea Taua, Hana.
Farrington helped the Lunas pile up a record 265 points as they advanced wrestlers to the state tournament in all 14 weight classes.
Baldwin was a distant second with 128 and Maui High finished third with 104.
Kamehameha Maui won its second straight girls crown with 109 points, 40 more than the Lunas. Molokai finished third, two points behind Lahainaluna.
For Farrington, who made it to state as a sophomore, this one was special.
''Definitely, this is my last chance,'' he said. ''MIL champ, finally.''
Farrington said that he was motivated all season by Mowat --- and last season's loss to him.
''That was a huge driving force for me,'' Farrington said. ''I came back from last year way stronger, learned from my mistakes, and just worked hard. Holden has made me the wrestler I am now.''
Lahainaluna coach Todd Hayase said before the meet that duplicating what the Lunas did last year, when they had 17 finalists, would be tough. They didn't get that number, settling for 13, but they did improve upon the title total.
''Really? More than last year?'' Hayase said. ''I am just real proud of the way they wrestled. The league as a whole is pretty young and inexperienced. You know, now it is focusing on states and that is where it is going to count. We have got a lot to work on in the next four days. A lot of little things, but at the moment, I am pretty stoked, pretty happy for these guys.''
Lahainaluna's nonscoring wrestlers would have finished sixth, with 54 points.
The Lunas didn't have it easy, going 11-2 in the finals, one of which pitted Mowat against Jostin Carbajal at 152 --- Mowat won 11-5, beating a teammate for a state spot for the third year in a row.
One of Lahainaluna's most dramatic wins came at 125 pounds, when George Chihara trailed Justin Estabillo of Maui High by four points in the first period and 7-4 going into the third. He won the match 10-9 on a takedown with 10 seconds remaining.
''He came out tough in the first two periods and I just kind of had to step it up in the third period and bring it back,'' Chihara said. ''I was a little scared. It was kind of a little desperation shot, but it worked out. It was a double-leg shot and takedowns are more my strength and that is what I do best. I was kind of nervous a little bit, but I just had to step it up and bring it back.''
In the next match, at 130, Lahainaluna's Chance Uyeda became the first freshman to win an MIL title since former Luna state champion Bailey Ball did it in 2003, at 112. Luna sophomore David Arcangel followed with the crown at 135, with a 6-5 win over Charles Cruz of Maui High.
''He is a strong kid and this week I was under a lot because I just came back from being sick,'' Arcangel said. ''I struggled getting back up to my weight. Cruz is stronger than me --- he is a super-strong kid --- so I just had to be fast. I watched George's match and I just wanted him to win. After it was so close, I needed to win my close one, too. Everyone on our team pushes each other. Some guys battle real hard, we bang heads every day.''
Baldwin's 189-pounder, Keith Flores, beat Imihana Ampong 11-5 in the final to stop Lahainaluna's string of eight straight champions and 10 of the first 11.
''It feels good, I have a lot of adrenaline right now,'' Flores said. ''I need a little bit more things to push and then I will be there for state. Imi has helped me a lot, made me think a lot about what I was doing wrong and how to fix it. He helped me a lot.''
Flores finished 22-1 and his loss was to Ampong.
''That loss made me push more, I don't like losing,'' Flores said. ''That is the only way you learn, is if you lose. The Lunas are pushing it. Everybody has to try to keep up. Just to know that you are going against a Luna, you have to have your mind set, don't do any mistakes, wrestle smart.''
In the girls ranks, one of the most impressive seasons was capped by Kayla Giannotto of Baldwin, who won her second straight MIL title at 120 pounds. She has a 23-1 record in her weight class this season and two close losses when she moved up in weight. She won her championship match with a pin of Louisa Torres-Umi of Molokai in 4 minutes, 32 seconds. All of Giannotto's wins this season have come via pin, and now a state title is the goal after she finished fifth there last year.
Most of her competition this season has come from Baldwin's Kenna Green, the runner-up at 114, in the Bears' wrestling room. The pair of Bears look remarkably alike, but are not related.
''Kenna, my twin, she helps me a lot,'' Giannotto said. ''I placed fifth at state last season, so I want to do better than that. My goal is to get above fifth, but I have pretty tough competition in my weight class this year. I am excited, it is my last year, so I'm ready.''
Kamehameha coach Nelson Saribay was pleased with his team's effort. The Warriors won four of the 11 girls titles.
''I thought it was going to be close with us and Lahaina,'' Saribay said. ''Lahaina has some good wrestlers, but my veteran wrestlers, they came though at the end. Malia Medeiros, Keaka Wallace, Makana Hussey and Eva Kaaa, they all won and that was the difference. We have been working all year for today and next week we go right back in the room and prepare for states.''