Insight, News, and Opinion by Nick Abramo
  • May 14, 2021
Five Hawaii Girls Wrestlers Are Ranked Nationally

We still don’t know if Hawaii’s wrestling will happen in the 2020-21 school year. Right now, it’s tentatively scheduled to start in January, but could end up being canceled if there is not a significant drop in COVID-19 cases.

Certainly, it would be a shame if Hawaii’s wrestlers didn’t get to do their stuff on the mat.

If they do get to compete, Hawaii fans will get to see five girls who are ranked nationally.

Kalani’s Emily Paulino, left, is ranked No. 10 nationally in the 122-pound class.

The rankings, courtesy of the combined efforts of USA Wrestling, FloWrestling and the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, came out last Wednesday.

The five Hawaii girls are Mililani juniors Erin Hikiji and Victoria Lee, and seniors Emily Paulino of Kalani, Tiare Carlson of Waianae, and Shayna Kamaka of Baldwin.

All five are defending state champions and two-time state placers, except for Kamaka, who is a two-time state titlist and a three-time state placers.

Kamaka, who finished at No. 6 in Hawaii Prep World’s pound-pound-rankings, is ranked No. 8 nationally in the 164-pound weight class.

Hikiji — who is the daughter of Tatsuhiko Hikiji, Hawaii’s first three-time state boys champion in 1968, ’69 and ’70 — checked in at No. 10 at 100 pounds nationally.

Paulino, a defending state champ and a two-time state placers, is No. 10 nationally at 122 pounds.

Carlson (144 pounds) and Lee (117) are both ranked No. 16 nationally.

Lee is the sister of Angela Lee, the women’s atomweight world champion in One Championship, a martial arts organization.

Bedrock Sports Hawaii caught up with Paulino recently to check on her outlook for the season If it happens.

“My goals are to continue to improve my technique and to expand my repertoire of both offensive and defensive move,” said Paulino, who plans to wrestle in college. “Or in other words, strive to be the best wrestler I can be.”

She also had some positive words about the other Hawaii competitors who made the list of nationally ranked wrestlers.

“I’m good friends with Shayna and Tiare from traveling to Fargo (national tournament in North Dakota) together under Team Hawaii and briefly know Erin and Victoria,” she added. “I can say without a doubt that all of these girls are hammah wrestlers and outstanding competitors.”

Also at Sacred Hearts Cheerleader Cayla Cabanban May Lose Out On Dream Of Becoming A 4-Time State Champion

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