The Maui News 2018 MIL Wrestlers of the Year

Miguel, Estrella earn top honors

Jahnea Miguel of Baldwin High School won the girls 145-pound weight class en route to helping the Bears win the girls team title at the state tournament this season. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Kainalu Estrella has left a huge legacy on the Maui Interscholastic League wrestling mats. Jahnea Miguel is in the process of doing the same.

The pair of state champions are The Maui News MIL Wrestlers of the Year for boys and girls, respectively.

Estrella, a Lahainaluna High School senior, is a repeat selection after completing his career with four MIL titles, two state runner-up finishes and a state crown this year at 132 pounds.

“It’s super humbling, especially to be able to accomplish that two times,” Estrella said. “That’s pretty cool. That’s super cool.”

Estrella is an invited walk-on to the NCAA Division I program at Utah Valley University.

Lahainaluna’s Kainalu Estrella won the boys 132 state crown. MATT HIRATA photo

“It’s awesome to see all the hard work I’ve done pay off,” Estrella said of joining a short group of wrestlers who have garnered the honor. “It’s an honor to be on that list with those guys.”

And now, “I’m super excited to be a part of a Division I program,” Estrella said.

Lahainaluna coach Todd Hayase has watched Estrella grow up, from a Maui Style Wrestling youth wrestler to a four-year boarder at the West Maui school to an NCAA Division I wrestler.

“So deserving, what a relief for him, his family,” Hayase said. “Being a two-time state runner-up, he had a lot of pressure that I think he put on himself senior year. It couldn’t go to a better kid who is so passionate and such a hard worker at what he does.

“Just watching him win states, throw his mouthpiece and scream, we were so happy for him.”

Miguel’s decision to move up from the 127-pound weight class, where she won a state title last year as a Baldwin freshman, to 145 this year helped the Bears win their first state team crown in the sport.

“I worked really hard on getting to the top again, and my team worked really hard for the team championship at states,” Miguel said.

The Bears won the team title by 0.5 points over Kamehameha Kapalama. Lahainaluna, which won two of the previous three girls state team titles, was third, just 9.5 points behind Baldwin.

Miguel recorded crucial pins in each of her first three matches at state, adding to the team total. She won her final 7-3 over Castle’s Sadie Antoque.

“It was shocking that we pulled that off by that half a point,” Miguel said. “It pressured me, like, ‘I have to get my pins in order to help our team points.’ During my state matches if I didn’t get the pin, I was sort of frustrated because our team points were so close.”

Miguel emerged from a crowded list of girls wrestler of the year candidates that included unbeaten Lunas Ira Navarro and Nanea Estrella, and Bears teammate Waipuilani Estrella-Beauchamp.

Baldwin coach Malakai Panuve was happy he had Miguel working for his team.

“It was her idea to move up,” Panuve said. “A very determined girl, very passionate about the sport. Just her passion for the sport kind of gave her that decision for the team.”

* Robert Collias is at rcollias@mauinews.com.

MIL Champions and State Tournament Placers

MIL CHAMPIONS

Boys

108 pounds–Coby Ravida, Baldwin.

115–Ikua Tihada, Lahainaluna.

122–Kanoa Lanoza, Lahainaluna.

128–Zeff Dudoit, Lahainaluna.

134–Kainalu Estrella, Lahainaluna.

140–Kawehi Gillcoat, Lahainaluna.

147–Jesse Dudoit, Lahainaluna.

154–Caele Manley, Molokai.

162–Diego Deponte, Molokai.

172–Reeno Pascual, Lahainaluna.

184–Ty Bates, Lahainaluna.

197–Jonathan Aunese, Maui High.

222–Benjamin Tokanang, Baldwin.

287–Chance Rodrigues, Maui High.

Girls

99–Alea Davis, Molokai.

104–Ira Navarro, Lahainaluna.

109–Sami Saribay, Lahainaluna.

114–McKenzie Acob, Baldwin.

119–Emma Debrum, Lanai.

124–Nanea Estrella, Lahainaluna.

129–Waipuilani Estrella-Beauchamp, Baldwin.

134–Kauanoe Keahi, Lahainaluna.

140–Daisha Kahoalii-Kalilikane.

147–Jahnea Miguel, Baldwin.

157–Fayannie Rosario, Lahainaluna.

170–Shayna Kamaka, Baldwin.

186–Siera Vida, Baldwin.

227–Celine Gomes, Baldwin.

MIL STATE PLACERS

Boys

106–1. Coby Ravida, Baldwin; 5. Cael Yasutake, Lahainaluna.

113–4. Kolby Inouye, Baldwin; 6. Ikua Tihada, Lahainaluna.

120–4. Kanoa Lanoza, Lahainaluna; 6. Joy Kahilihiwa, Baldwin.

126–4. Zeff Dudoit, Lahainaluna.

132–1. Kainalu Estrella, Lahainaluna.

138–2. Kawehi Gillcoat, Lahainaluna.

145–4. Jesse Dudoit, Lahainaluna.

152–3. Caele Manley, Molokai; 5. Samuel Dunwell, Lanai.

182–3. Ty Bates, Lahainaluna.

195–4. Jonathan Aunese, Maui High.

220–4. Benjamin Tokanang, Baldwin.

Girls

102–1. Ira Navarro, Lahainaluna; 5. Tianna Fernandez, Baldwin.

107–1. Sami Saribay, Lahainaluna.

112–4. Michaelah Vasquez, Lahainaluna.

122–1. Nanea Estrella, Lahainaluna.

127–1. Waipuilani Estrella-Beauchamp, Baldwin.

132–3. Kauanoe Keahi, Lahainaluna.

138–3. Daisha Kahoalii-Kalilikane, Molokai.

145–1. Jahnea Miguel, Baldwin; 3. Tayler Pelegrino-Hayase, Lahainaluna.

168–3. Shayna Kamaka, Baldwin.

184–2. Siera Vida, Baldwin.

225–2. Celine Gomes, Baldwin; 4. Luhiehua Pedro, Molokai.

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