King Kekaulike wins judo titles
WAILUKU – After finishing third in the Maui Interscholastic League his freshman year and second as a sophomore, Hollis Atkinson sought to complete his ascension.
Standing in the King Kekaulike High School junior’s way, however, was three-time defending league champion Jan Raphael Carino of Maui High.
“He was the top dog,” Atkinson said. “I’ve only beaten him once before this and the rest of the time he pretty much licked me, but today we were going and we played the best game.
“I found an opening and went for it.”
Atkinson threw Carino over his shoulder and won by ippon – a full point – in the 121-pound final during Saturday’s MIL judo championships at the Baldwin gym.
“It’s pretty cherry,” Atkinson said. “It’s his senior year and he’s going to go all out, so I might as well go all out too. I went into the match thinking I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do I’m pretty stoked.”
Na Alii won both team titles. Two girls champions helped King Kekaulike earn 106 points – one better than Baldwin, with Maui High third at 103. The boys team had four gold medalists and 136 points, while the Bears were second with 110.
Na Alii’s De Andre Takahashi was another first-time champion after beating Baldwin’s Sean Domingo by ippon in the 178 final.
Takahashi, a senior, did not compete last year, and suffered a shoulder injury earlier this season. He was an MIL runner-up as a sophomore, however, and was confident about claiming a title.
“I envisioned it,” he said. “I made it one of my goals and I got it.”
Joseph Metz (220) and Phillip Malano (275) were Na Alii’s other boys champions.
At 145, Baldwin’s Jordan Patao captured his third title with a victory over teammate Keian Inouye.
“It feels really good,” Patao said after his victory by ippon. “I came into the competition feeling really nervous I lost to these guys before, and I kind of kept thinking about that, but I just had to focus on the match and pull through.”
Maui High had three boys champions – Mark Christian Realin (114), Jonathan Garcia (161) and Nainoa Jorg (198). Ryan Hanscam (108) of Baldwin and Kamehameha Maui’s Pololu Nakanelua (132) won titles as well.
King Kekaulike’s Noelani Fevella took the girls 129 title with a victory over Baldwin’s Julia Kinoshita.
Fevella did not win an MIL tournament this year until the fourth event of the season.
“In the past two weeks, I actually got first and I was like, ‘Hey, I’m pretty good, I want to win,’ ” she said.
“I feel amazing. I never believed it actually happened until I stepped off the mat and everybody was like, ‘Yeah.’ “
King Kekaulike’s Aelyssa Grace Sabado-Macana was the 103 champ.
Maui High had three winners – Kateleen Caye Bio (98), Alyssa Queral (109) and Clarice Anne Carino (122).
Queral beat defending champion Lilia Lorenzo of Kamehameha Maui in the final.
“It was really hard going against her because I knew she wanted it as much as I,” Queral said. “It was a tough match.”
Crystal Yokoyama (115), Brookelyn Borges (139) and Kawehilani Dumaran (172) of Baldwin earned titles, as did Kamehameha Maui’s Neula Aarona (154).
“It’s so exciting,” Yokoyama said about her back-to-back titles and trips to state competition. “The first time I won one match, so I’m expecting to have improved for this year. I’m hoping for the best.”
* Chris Sugidono is at firstname.lastname@example.org