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Undefeated Nos. 1 And 2 p4p Maia Esera And Tristan Nitta Won All Matches By Fall


For two seasons in a row, Kahuku’s Maia Esera has been unstoppable.

Not only that, she beat every opponent by fall in 2023 and only three of those matches made it into the second period.

Those performances, including a second straight state championship at 225 pounds, landed Esera at the top of Bedrock Sports Hawaii’s pound-for-pound girls rankings (voted on by an 11-member panel). The boys rankings can be found here: Unbeaten Wrestlers Scotty Dikilato And Tyger Taam Are Nos. 1 And 2 In Season-Ending p4p List.

In the next three spots, there was not much separation at all. Mililani’s Tristan Nitta is at No. 2 after winning her first state title at 102 pounds. Like Esera, Nitta, a two-time state placer, went undefeated and won all of her matches by fall, giving her a slight edge over the next two on the list.

Two-time state champions and three-time state placers — Moanalua’s Isabelle Asuncion (117 pounds) and Kamehameha-Hawaii’s Lainey Eckart (138) — tied at the No. 3 spot.

Eckart finished the season unbeaten and one of her biggest wins was in an early season match when she wrestled up a weight class against Moanalua 155-pound state champ Nohilani Kukonu.

Asuncion, known for her technical prowess throughout a stellar career, had only one loss and it came while wrestling up a weight class against Lahainaluna 122 state champ Kivah Caballero.

Two more girls on the list finished undefeated — Kamehameha’s Jax Realin (127 state champ), who checks in at No. 5, and Hilo’s Malia Kukahiwa (145 state champ), who was chosen at No. 8. Both are two-time state placers.

Three-time state placer Naiomi Kulukulualani-Sales (107 state champ) of Lahainaluna and two-time state placer Jasmine Adiniwin (184 state champ) of Moanalua took the Nos. 6 and 7 spots. Kulukulualani-Sales’ only loss was when she wrestled up a division at 112, where she was beaten in a close contest early in the season by King Kekaulike’s Kanoelani Kekiwi-Jones, who eventually took third in states at 117.

Adiniwin’s only loss was also up a weight class — to No. 1 p4p Esera.

Two freshmen standouts made it onto the p4p list — Moanalua’s Adriana Daoang (97 state champ) at No. 9, and Kapolei’s Eloise Woolsey (132 state champ) in a tie at No. 10.

Daoang’s only loss was to No. 2 p4p Nitta, and Woolsey’s two defeats were against 127 state champ and No. 5 p4p Realin and 127 state runner-up Taydem Uyemura. Uyemura, by the way, was undefeated going into the state final against Realin.

Caballero, a two-time state placer, tied with Woolsey at No. 10. She scored with one second left to beat ‘Iolani’s Maya Rose DeAngelo in the 122 state final, 5-4.

Woolsey’s signature win was her overtime 5-3 sudden victory over the defending 132 state champ, Lahainaluna’s Teani Medeiros-Maielua.

You’ve heard it before and it must be said again: No rankings are perfect, so don’t read into the exact ranking too much. This is a way to honor the top wrestlers in the state, and we feel we have the right individuals on the list (and, as always, that point can be debated and so can the ranking order).

2023 Bedrock Sports Hawaii’s Final Girls Top 10 p4p

(If any of the W-L records below are not accurate, coaches can email [email protected] with a correction).

>> 1. Maia Esera, 28-0 (Kahuku), junior, 2023 225 state champion, 2022 225 state champion

>> 2. Tristan Nitta, 22-0 (Mililani), senior, 2023 102 state champion, 2022 102 state runner-up

>> 3. (tie) Lainey Eckart, 22-0 (Kamehameha-Hawaii), senior, 2023 138 state champion, 2022 127 state champion, 2020 127 state fourth place

>> 3. (tie) Isabelle Asuncion, 24-1 (Moanalua), senior, 2023 117 state champion, 2022 117 state champion, 2020 102 state third place

>> 5. Jax Realin, 22-0 (Kamehameha), sophomore, 2023 127 state champion, 2022 127 state runner-up

>> 6. Naiomi Kulukulualani-Sales, 15-1 (Lahainaluna), senior, 2023 107 state champion, 2022, 107 state runner-up, 2020 97 state fourth place

>> 7. Jasmine Adiniwin, 22-1 (Moanalua), senior, 2023 184 state champion, 2022 184 state runner-up

>> 8. Malia Kukahiwa, 22-0 (Hilo), junior, 2023 145 state champion, 2022 145 state runner-up

>> 9. Adriana Daoang, 33-1 (Moanalua), freshman, 2023 97 state champion

>> 10. (tie) Kivah Caballero, 20-3 (Lahainaluna), senior, 2023 122 state champion, 2020 112 state fifth place

>> 10. (tie) Eloise Woolsey, 28-2 (Kapolei), freshman, 2023 132 state champion

Others who received votes or honorable mentions: Caelin Balansag, 112 (Roosevelt senior); Nohilani Kukonu, 155 (Moanalua sophomore); Eden Baguio, 168 (Moanalua senior); Valynn Kwan, 138 (Mid-Pacific senior).

Voters’ Comments

Here’s what some of the voting members (who will remain anonymous) said about the girls p4p selections:

>> “Esera was dominant in every match.”

>> “Esera has been the most dominant female wrestler in the state of Hawaii over the last two seasons (41-0 record).”

>> “The perfect combination of skill and athleticism led Nitta to a Freak Show title in late 2022.”

>> “Nitta beat the 97-pound champ (Daoang, early in the season) and also beat the 107-pound champ (Kulukulualani-Sales) at the Freak Show in October.”

>> “Asuncion is probably the most skilled wrestler on the mat.”

>> “Asuncion is one of the most technical wrestlers in the state.”

>> “Eckart got the job done to finish out a great career.”

>> “Eckart has been consistent, to say the least. She was also sixth in last year’s Folkstyle Nationals, losing to the top-ranked wrestler in her weight class in the semifinals.”

>> “Realin has all the tools to be great.”

>> “Kulukulualani-Sales’ loss (to Kekiwi-Jones) kept her lower on the list (even though she went up a class to meet Kekiwi-Jones in the middle at 112).”

>> “Adiniwin avenged her finals loss last year by pinning (Lahainaluna’s Catherine) Asami twice this year. She also won the Walnut Invitational in California, where she was named outstanding wrestler.”

>> “Kukahiwa avenged her state final loss last year (to Baldwin’s Jahlia Miguel) at this year’s Officials tournament.”

>> “Caballero (wrestled down a weight class) and gave Asuncion (tied at No. 3 p4p) her only loss. Some early-season losses kept Caballero lower on the list.”

>> “Daoang and Woolsey have years ahead of them in the pound-for-pound rankings.”



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