LAHAINA - Lahainaluna High School wrestling continues on its high road to the development of an elite program with expanded summer involvement in three top level camps: the Excel Steve Knight Camp here on the West Side; the Owen's Team Camp in Spokane, Washington; and Excel Team Camp at Estes Park, Colorado.
Led by coaches Todd Hayase, Zane Monteleone and Shane Cunanan, the Luna contingent, as well as young athletes from all corners of Maui County, will participate first in the Steve Knight Camp at Lahainaluna on June 15-18.
Next, the team of 16 wrestlers will travel to the Mainland to participate in the highly competitive Owen's Team Camp and Excel Team Camp in Washington and Colorado, respectively.
Luna wrestlers are heading to elite camps this summer.
"This is an opportunity for these kids to grow in experience not only in the sport, but also in life," explained Coach Todd from his counseling office at Lahaina Intermediate School last week.
"We'll be traveling to Coach Shane Cunanan's hometown of Spokane to participate in the Owen's Camp from June 25-28, and then on to Estes Park - a beautiful camp setting in Colorado - for the Excel Team event June 29 to July 2.
"Along the way, these kids will wrestle in about 40 matches - 15 to 20 per camp - which is more than they would compete in during an entire season," added Hayase.
"They'll be learning high levels of technique while experiencing intense competition individually and as a team in dual match situations. This will be a great experience for these kids, and I'm sure they'll gain... memories for life outside of wrestling from this trip."
Head Coach Hayase has guided the Lunas to seven straight boys championships and three consecutive girls titles, as well as top-three finishes at the state competition in the last five years.
He has seen a growing interest - along with a burgeoning roster - for more off-season training, and therefore decided to pursue the idea of participating in the Mainland camps.
"It's intense to prepare and fundraise for a trip like this, and we've received tremendous support from the Lahaina community and an awesome job by Coach Conrad (Bolor) and Coach Kim (Ball) in growing the program here on the West Side. We're hoping to compete for the state title next season," he commented.
The Lahainaluna team includes five MIL champions from 2012 and state placers - Robert Campos, Gary Long, Gio Perez, Thomas Rosen-St. John and Justin Taylor - as well as state bronze medal winner Jina Miyamoto, Mark Alamon, Christian Balagso, Joshua Coston, Bubba Jaramillo, Connor "Steeler" Mowat, Jansen Domingo-Panlasigui, Reily Pasion, Connor Rosen-St. John, Kahi Tihada, Josten Saribay, Zach Wigzell and Wyatt Chism.
The Luna team will hold a fundraising pasta dinner (sponsored by Leilani's on the Beach), movie and silent auction on June 8 in the Lahaina Intermediate School cafeteria to help defer costs for the trip.
Call Coach Todd at (808) 385-5154 for further information on supporting Lahainaluna wrestling.