Kahuku’s Barcina ‘On Top’ In OIA Wrestling
Aarica Barcina already was regarded as a force to be reckoned with in prep wrestling, long before the 2013 season began. In the end, the Kahuku junior lived up to those lofty expectations, winning an individual state title in the 109-pound weight class in February. As expected, Barcina was also named OIA Eastern Division girls wrestling Player of the Year.
Barcina was one of the top individual stories at the state wrestling championships last month, having taken the hard route to winning her title. She found herself paired in the first round against Pearl City’s top-seeded Sarah Grace Alegria, with whom she had split a pair of matches earlier.
After overcoming an early 2-0 deficit, Barcina came back to post the win, becoming the only wrestler at the tournament to defeat a top seed. Barcina went on to defeat Mieko Liemsithisak (Campbell), Karley Kaulili (Molokai) and Nakia James (Leilehua) to win her division.
She had finished fifth at the 2012 state tournament following a first-round loss. Kahuku also placed Kelly Luangrath (113 pounds), Anela Wasson (121), Uilani Freitas Smith (137) and Sabrina Alo (220) on the East’s All-Conference team. Freitas Smith won an individual OIA title in the 137-pound class. (League All-Stars are chosen in a vote of league coaches at season’s end.) Kahuku’s Moke Galletes was named East Coach of the Year by his peers.
Castle’s Kayla Guillermo also made the East’s All-Star team after finishing first in the OIA in the 117-pound class. Kalaheo had a pair of wrestlers chosen to the All-Star team, including Likolehua Manuel (97) and Elizabeth Herrera (105). Cheynelle Kawaihae made the All-Star team from Kailua.
In the boys division, Kailua also placed Isaiah Kahoonei (125) on the East All-Conference team. Castle was well-represented with four wrestlers – Sonny Oana (152), Rodney Williams (160), Michael Duran (189) and Manowai Morgan Kobashigawa (215) – earning post-season honors. Kalaheo’s Jacob Solomon and Kahuku’s Robert Latuselu were named to the East’s All-Star team in the 145- and 285-pound weight classes, respectively.