Perfect times three
HONOLULU – The last two years, Bubba Jaramillo was a spectator on the sidelines, watching teammates in his weight class move past him and into the state tournament.
But inside, he knew he could compete. This year, he made it his mission to finish on top at the Chevron State Wrestling Championships.
Jaramillo not only earned a state title in his tournament debut, he inspired his younger sister Kapu to win one, too.
Bubba Jaramillo beat Moanalua’s Nakoa Chun 11-2 in the boys 140-pound final and Kapu Jaramillo pinned Shannon Paaaina of Mid-Pacific in 5 minutes, 56 seconds for the girls 135 title Saturday at Blaisdell Arena.
Lalelei Mataafa won the girls 220 championship, giving the Lunas a trio of state titles.
All three went unbeaten this season – Bubba Jaramillo was 38-0, Kapu Jaramillo finished 23-0 and Mataafa won all 14 of her matches.
Their performances in the state tournament helped Lahainaluna place third in both the boys and girls team standings.
“I watched him (compete in the final) and it gave me the courage to push myself and know that I can do it,” Kapu Jaramillo, a sophomore, said of her brother, who won his title about an hour before she claimed hers.
Bubba Jaramillo, a junior, was ready to make up for not getting to compete in the state tournament until this weekend.
“I knew I was capable of placing,” he recalled. “This year I had only one goal – to be at the top of the podium and nothing else.”
The Lahainaluna boys totaled 134 points. Kamehameha Kapalama won the team title with 178 points and Campbell was second with 144.
Pearl City was the girls team champion with 158 points and Kamehameha Kapalama was second with 151.5. Lahainaluna had 141, Molokai was fifth with 91 and Baldwin was 10th with 53.
“I’m really proud,” said Lunas assistant coach Shane Cunanan. “We’ve got a lot of work to do but we’re really close and we’re going to win a state title some day.”
Bubba Jaramillo led Chun 2-0 after the first period. Chun got a point on an escape early in the second, but Jaramillo followed with a takedown and slowly began to seize control of the match.
“Early on, I was feeling him out, seeing his strengths,” Jaramillo said. “He was using his speed so I was trying to stay low.”
Jaramillo led 6-2 after the second period and widened the gap with a reversal and near fall in the third.
“Every minute, every second that went by, I just felt momentum shifting to my side and it was lifting me up, giving me more power and speed,” Jaramillo said.
Kapu Jaramillo was leading her title match 4-1 before ending it with a pin. Paaaina stormed off the mat after the loss and knocked over two chairs before leaving the arena.
“It feels good because she was the state champion last year,” Kapu Jaramillo said. “And it feels even better because I’m just a sophomore. It’s big for me.”
Bubba Jaramillo and another sister, Precious Jaramillo – who finished third at 121 – ran up and hugged Kapu Jaramillo after her win.
“I’m sure they’re proud,” Kapu Jaramillo said of her parents. “They really support us and I’m glad I joined this sport.”
Mataafa pinned McKinley’s Kydie Lynn Tehotu in 1:33 to win the girls 220 title.
“I head-snapped her, I got around and did the power half,” said Mataafa, a freshman.
She attributed her state title to the team’s preparation.
“Just conditioning with my team, we had unbelievable conditioning this year,” said Mataafa, who will now join the Lahainaluna water polo team.
Moments earlier, her brother Hercules Mataafa lost 8-2 in the boys 215 final to Kamehameha Kapalama’s Dane Pestano, who won a title for the second straight year.
Five boys and four girls from the Maui Interscholastic League won semifinal bouts Saturday morning.
“Friday was a tough round, we lost some really close matches, real heartbreaking matches,” said Lunas head coach Todd Hayase. “Today, the tide changed and can’t complain. I feel bad for some of the kids, especially the seniors who worked extremely hard and fell short of their goals.”
Molokai’s Kailaoe Cabating was pinned by Pearl City’s Breanne Takaesu in 3:42 in the girls 105 final.
“It was tough but it’s a good experience for next year,” said Cabating, the only Molokai wrestler to reach the finals. “I learned what to do. I’ll push harder, learn more techniques, try to block everything out and wrestle my match.”
Cabating pinned Punahou’s Miranda Oda in the final second of a semifinal match.
“It was pretty good, didn’t know I would’ve pinned her because she (beat) me last year and I was out my first year,” Cabating said.
Teshiya Alo of Kamehameha Kapalama pinned Lahainaluna’s Breanna Dudoit-Vasquez in 35 seconds to win the girls 130 title.
Kamehameha Kapalama’s Jonathan Kamaka defeated Lahainaluna’s Wyatt Chism 8-3 in the boys 135 final. Chism pinned Kailua’s Canaan Kawaihae in 3:26 in the semifinals while Kamaka advanced to the final by forfeit over younger brother, Tristin, of Leilehua.
“It’s a great life achievement, I’m proud of myself,” Chism said of competing in the championship match. “It was tough, it was really draining.”
Campbell’s Brandon Perez beat Lahainaluna’s Christian Balagso 8-6 in the boys 108 final. There was a moment of confusion at the end of the match when the referee raised Balagso’s arm in victory.
Pearl City’s Blake Cooper won his second state title by defeating Kamehameha Maui’s Andrew Kahalewai 11-2 in the boys 152 final.