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Big Island wrestlers eliminaed from national tournament

July 24, 2014 - 12:05am

Neither Big Island entrant in the Asics/Vaughan Cadet and Junior Nationals wrestling tournament will be bringing a medal back to Hawaii, but Zac Wigzell and Lokelani Ching each posted victories in the tournament in Fargo, N.D.

Wigzell, who lives in Kailua-Kona but attended Lahainaluna High School on Maui last year, went 3-2 in the cadet division of the Greco-Roman tournament and 1-2 in the freestyle competition.

Wigzell, a 120-pounder, lost by technical fall to New Jersey’s Requir Vandermerwe to open the Greco-Roman tournament but rebounded with three impressive victories. He pinned Indiana’s Miguel Prado in just 38 seconds, then scored an 11-0 victory over North Dakota’s Jonathan Fraase before scoring another technical fall — this one 10-0 — over Idaho’s Caleb Call. Wigzell’s run came to an end when he was pinned by Oklahoma’s Levi Youngwolfe.

Despite the strong showing, Wigzell would have needed to win four more matches in his bracket — which featured 82 wrestlers — to place in the top eight and be crowned an All-American.

Wigzell was pinned by Mario Vasquez of Texas in the opening match of the freestyle tournament. Wigzell scored a 12-2 technical fall over Reese Dalton of Georgia before Virginia’s Spencer Hurrell eliminated him with a fall.

Ching, who will be a junior at Hawaii Preparatory Academy, went 1-2 in the 130-pound class of the girls’ freestyle tournament. She opened the junior tournament with a fall over Savana Worthey of Texas but lost by technical fall to Michigan’s Hannah Jewell. A 13-10 loss to Lauren Gilbert of Texas ended Ching’s first appearance at the national tournament.

Hawaii did produce a champion at Ching’s weight, however, as Teshya Alo, who won a state title for Kamehameha-Kapalama in the spring, cruised to the title. Alo won each of her five matches by fall or technical fall.