Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • July 26, 2021
4-Time State Champ ‘Peanut’ Terukina To Wrestle At Iowa State

It’s probably not advisable to call Kysen Terukina by his “Peanut” nickname. He is a wrestler and knows how to physically control people bigger than him.

Not that Terukina would be offended by it. It’s just better to not take a chance. During his run to a fourth state wrestling championship, he said off-the-cuff that mostly family members and good friends call him that.

His rise as a Kamehameha athlete to four state championships on Feb. 22 just made the COViD-19 cutoff. Had health measures been implemented earlier, Terukina would have been left with the lackluster (for him) three titles, leaving a hole in his heart forever. This pea .. um … mega-star (in Hawaii circles) had been working since little-kid days for that goal. He, along with Lahainaluna’s Nanea Estrella, who won four state chamionships on the girls side on the same day at Blaisdell Arena, were fortunate, indeed.

Terukina recently signed to Iowa State, yes that Iowa State, the Midwest wrestling factory. He’s going to give it a real go there, following in the footsteps of brother Shayden.

Under the guidance of his father Darryl, the Terukinas of Ewa Beach have made an indelible mark on Hawaii wrestling history.

Counting Kysen’s four, the family has 16 state titles — father Darryl (1983 and ’84), uncle Ben (’84, ’85, ’86), and brothers Shayden (’08, ’10, ’11), Blaysen (’15, ’16) and Zayren (’17, ’18). Ben’s two daughters Ino and Kili, who wrestle for Campbell and finished second and third, respectively, at states in 2020, have one more shot at adding to the legacy.

Blaysen is wrestling at Menlo College (Atherton, Calif.) and Zayren is competing at Wartburg College (Waverly, Iowa), which is about 115 miles from the Iowa State campus in Ames, Iowa.

Kamehameha coach Rob Hesia doesn’t think it will be long before Kysen makes his mark with the Cyclones.

“For me: Kysen has the potential to make an immediate impact on the college level,” Hesia wrote via a recent email. “His family has done a great job taking Kysen to highly competitive big tournaments on the mainland since he was young. So, he knows what type of competition to expect. He has competed against many of the top prospects and has more then held his own. Can’t wait to see how high his wrestling will become being in a great program at Iowa State. Looking forward to seeing him compete in college.”

Kysen was recently named as the Hawaii winner of the Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award. The award is in honor of Schultz, an Olympic and world champion who was murdered in January 1996. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a distinguished member in 1997 and as a member of the United World Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2016.

Corey Cabanban, another four-time Hawaii state champion, who went to Saint Louis School, also wrestles for Iowa State.

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