On Wisconsin: Time for the Girls
Time for the Girls
There was a time when I would never have accepted the thought of women wrestling in a men’s program, and to some extent it is still true. As much as women including Alyssa Lampe have done for Wisconsin wrestling, having the ability to compete with the men, I can assure you there is another chapter to this story.
I’ve been fortunate to spend some winters in Hawaii visiting family. I usually try to return to Wisconsin for the WIAA State Tournament, however, several times I have stayed through March and had the opportunity to watch the Hawaii girls compete in duals, tournaments and the Hawaii State High School wrestling tournament.
Fifty high schools in the state of Hawaii officially sponsor girl’s wrestling teams with 250 girls competing, demonstrating all the desire the men tout. The men and women are usually coached and practice in the same room. I’ve learned from conversations with Hawaiian high school coaches it has always gone smoothly. The enthusiasm of the girls for wrestling is not short of anything that the boys possess, and the skill level is outstanding.
When the girls wrestle the excitement is intense. I’ve watched wrestling for more than 50 years and can assure you, women’s wrestling in Hawaii is the real thing. The state tournament has an alternating schedule of boys and girls sessions with the finals of both divisions on the final day.
As recently as 1986, there were very few girls in any wrestling program in the US. In 2014 there were 9,904 girls competing on 1,518 teams*. Nine states; California, Oregon, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Texas, Hawaii, Washington as well as Guam sponsor a state high school championship. The message here may be that other states, Wisconsin being one, have enough talented individuals to support a dedicated effort for girls to compete on their own and share the pride those states have in their accomplishments.
In 2015 the Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association established the Wisconsin Wrestling Challenge Series (WWCS), a progressive sub-varsity competition series with eight Regions (January 9) and a Finals (January 23) in Wausau.
For 2016 an all-girl final competition has been added to the WWCS finals competition on Saturday, January 23. This would be a wonderful opportunity for the girls to present their abilities and show the state the potential to compete in their own ‘league’. Be sure to read the guidelines at Challenge Series Guidelines .
All female wrestlers who wish to compete in the girls division final automatically may enter the all-girls final event to be held in Wausau on January 23. Wisconsin high school coaches have been provided details to enter the girls on their team in the WWCS all-girl final.
Girls may participate in the Region event as well, but it is not a requirement to enter the all-girl finals. Girls placing in the top three at a Region must choose to enter the regular final or the all-girl final event in Wausau, as they may enter only one event on January 23.
Check out these inspirational efforts by some of the great women in wrestling.
*NWCA Women’s Wrestling Facts and Resources
2015 HHSAA state wrestling: 132lb. girls final
Victoria Anthony vs. Alyssa Lampe
48 KG – Victoria Anthony vs. Clarissa Chun
Clarissa Chun vs. Sakamoto of Japan
United States Girls Wrestling Association
Author Jim Stephenson wrestled at UW Superior and coached wrestling at Waunakee High School as well as in his home state of Pennsylvania. Jim has received many teaching and coaching honors and is a member of the George Martin Wisconsin Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Example of Hawaiian girls wrestling coverage: Honolulu Star Advertiser Article
Manley rewarded at Pa‘ani Challenge
Molokai’s Candell Manley remembers wrestling as a youngster, hating it and saying she wouldn’t compete in high school.
Manley, now in her senior year with the Farmers, is quite glad she stuck it out.
Manley won the 168-pound weight division and was named one of two most outstanding wrestlers during the Pa‘ani Challenge on Tuesday at Punahou.
The other outstanding wrestler was Roosevelt sophomore Macy Higa.
“When I was little I used to cry at every match and tell my parents I hated wrestling,” said Manley, who started competing at age 6. “I always said I wouldn’t wrestle in high school, then I got to high school and I really developed this love for wrestling. It teaches so many life lessons and everything about wrestling reflects who I am as a person.”
She was quite surprised to be honored after the tournament.
“When they called my name, I was so like, I just couldn’t believe it,” Manley said. “I’ve been wrestling since I was really little and I haven’t always been the best, you know what I mean. It’s been a struggle. There are a lot of good girls here.”
Higa, a sophomore, won the 112-pound title.
“Doing as well as I did today helped show my coaches I really want to wrestle and I really have the heart to do as well as I want to,” Higa said.
The Pa‘ani Challenge is billed as the largest girls wrestling tournament in the nation. On Tuesday, there were 33 teams from throughout the state, including 12 from the Neighbor Islands, and nearly 400 participants. Team standings were not recorded and the tournament also featured novice divisions.
On Monday, there was a clinic with Olympic wrestler and Roosevelt graduate Carissa Chun, a college fair and motivational speakers.
“It’s preseason. A lot of girls aren’t wrestling in this tournament,” said Todd Hayase, coach of defending state champion Lahainaluna. “The Pa‘ani Challenge is more than championships or who won. What Punahou is doing in this Pa‘ani Challenge, it’s just an incredible thing for the girls and wrestling program in Hawaii.”
Roosevelt, Lahainaluna and Waianae each had three division winners Tuesday.
The Rough Riders’ victories came in three of the four lowest weight divisions: Manjam Tamang (97), Xiaolin Mai (102) and Higa.
“We’ve always had top girls in the lower weight classes. The upper weight classes are just basically in their first year,” said Rough Riders coach Ted Kaneda.
Winning for the Lunas were Iverly Navarro (107), Kaile Kon (117) and Daisha Kahoalii-Kalilikane (132).
Kahoalii-Kalilikane, a freshman, and Kahuku’s Viviana Barcina had the most exciting among the 14 finals.
Barcina led 3-2 in the final seconds of the match, but Kahoalii-Kalilikane scored a reversal near the boundary for a 4-3 victory.
“I was losing by one point and I really wanted to win, so for me to be able to win I needed to pull off that switch,” Kahoalii-Kalilikane said.
The Seariders’ Tehani Carlson (122), Anuhea Hamilton (127) and Mildred Keopuhiwa (225) all won by pin.
97 pounds—1: Manjam Tamang, Roos (D: 5-2). 2: Bailey Hoshino, Pun. 3: Ira Navarro, Lah (Fall 1:31). 4: Amanda Higa, Mon. 5: Sami Saribay, Lah (Fall :31). 6: Adriana Sanchez, Lan.
102—1: Xiaolin Mai, Roos (D: 5-4). 2: Tiare Ikei, Kais. 3: Alana Vivas, Kah (Fall 3:24). 4: Elexus Keophilavanah-Augustin – Waip. 5: Kaisa Ishikawa, Kau.
107—1: Iverly Navarro, Lah (TF: 16-0). 2: Jessica Sawai, Pun. 3: Brooke Kawamura, KSK (Fall :49). 4: Asialand Whiting, Cam. 5: Mikayla Abe, PC (TF: 19-3). 6: Hayley Evans, Moan.
112—1: Macy Higa, Roos (D: 8-3). 2: Taryn Ichimura, Pun. 3: Alexis Encinas, Lah (D: 3-0). 4: Charolotte Taylor, Keak. 5: Sydnee Aiwohi, Wain (Fall :49). 6: Jordyn Kahananui, Kau.
117—1: Kaile Kron, Lah (D: 4-0). 2: Yuting He, Roos. 3: Alexis Ford, PC (Fall 1:53). 4: Robyn Yim, IOL. 5: Kaua Albino Kaupu, KSH (FFT). 6: Allie Mahoe, Kap.
122—1: Tehani Carlson, Wain (Fall 2:31). 2: Jaelynn Miner, Nan. 3: Megan Mena, Roos (FFT). 4: Anika Pascua, Lah. 5: Kristina Mau, Lah (MD: 12-4). 6: Isabelle Tayo, Keak.
127—1: Anuhea Hamilton, Wain (Fall 1:41). 2: Annalyn Milner, Nan. 3: Laynee Pasion, Stf (FFT). 4: Faith Joy Okubo, Moan. 5: Kasey Pule, KSH (Fall 2:56). 6: Fabine Palipti, Cam.
132—1: Daisha Kahoalii-Kalilikane, Lah (D: 4-3). 2: Viviana Barcina, Kah. 3: Jenna Awana, Wain (Fall 2:54). 4: Natanya Kang, PC. 5: Hilawe Manoi, Keak (FFT). 6. Tayler Pelegrino-Hayase, Lah.
138—1: Asialyn Fernandes, PC (Fall :56). 2: Sierra (Sanoe) Kalama, Kau. 3: Deedra Fabella, KK. 4: N/A. 5: Kelsienna Kaseli, Waip.
145—1: Angela Peralta, Rad (D: 5-0). 2: Alexandria Simon, Mol. 3: Tara Labanon, Dam (D: 2-0). 4: Jacqueline Fuamatu, PC. 5: Cassandra Tongi, Kah (FFT). 6: Alysha Reinhardt, Bal.
155—1: Kayla Araki, KSH (Fall 1:59). 2: Kehlani Corbett, Leil. 3: Karina Arroyo-Haro, Lah (FFT). 4: Ester Torres-Umi, Mol. 5: Taj Vierra, KSK (Fall 2:30). 6: Shea Charles. Roos.
168—1: Cendell Manley, Mol (D: 4-0). 2: Jenny Fuamatu, PC. 3: Luana Kanongata, Kah (D: 8-7). 4: Tyzandria “Makamae” Wells, Nan. 5: Shivahn Akau, Kap (Fall :37). 6: Katelin Maarsingh, Hon.
184—1: Callan Medeiros, KSK (Fall: 22). 2: Michelle Tanuvasa, PC. 3: Alayandina Bushe, Kap (Fall 4:26). 4: Mariko English, Mol. 5: Krystal Kalima, Maui.
225—1: Mildred Keopuhiwa, Wain (Fall 3:45). 2: Sabrina Alo, Kah. 3: Aul’i Young, Stf (D: 4-2). 4: Hannah Miyamoto, Lah. 5: Kaylah Samia, Roos (FFT). 6: Tristen Borden, Bal.
Only registered users can comment.