Punahou School senior Bryson
Fukushima won the 115-pound weight class championship Sunday at the Brute
Adidas Nationals wrestling tournament at the Kansas City (Mo.) Convention
Center. Wrestlers from 38 states, most of them state medalists, competed
in the three-day event.
Fukushima was the Hawai'i High School Athletic Association
runner-up at 103 pounds as a freshman and the state champ at that weight class
as a sophomore. He was the HHSAA runner-up at 112 pounds last year, but
was injured this past season and did not compete in the state tournament.
"He injured his lower back and shoulder and by the time he came back, we had
our lineup set and he didn't get to wrestle in the state tournament, so that
was a bummer," Punahou coach Matt Oney said. "But now he's fully recovered, so
for him to win this tournament was really nice." Fukushima was one of
eight Punahou wrestlers in the tournament, seven of whom medaled to earn
Daniel Chow, a senior and three-time state champion, took
second place in the highly competitive 148-pound weight class, defeating three
other state champs before losing to the Pennsylvania state champion in the
finals. "His weight class was amazing," Oney said.
Juniors Reid Oshiro (122 pounds) and Maika Nagata (128),
sophomore Jordan Ng (106) and eighth-grader Bryant Fukushima (98), Bryson's
brother, each took third place in their divisions.
Junior Alex Wachi took sixth place; sophomore Brian "Happy"
Dang (122) also competed in the tournament. Oney
called the Punahou contingent's overall performance a "remarkable testimony to
the focus and skills of these boys." "This year the tournament used an
unseeded format, which made for very difficult matches all along the path to
the finals," Oney added. "It was a long trip for the kids to make and they
wrestled well, beating a lot of very good wrestlers who, frankly, are not used
to losing. I couldn't be prouder of what they've accomplished as ambassadors
for Punahou and Hawai'i wrestling."