Far East Wrestling Tournament – Osan, Korea
February 15, 2015
Individual Tournament Team Scores:
- St. Mary’s – 139.5 points
- Kinnick – 135 points
- Seoul American – 112.5 points
Dual Meet Tournament Results:
Semi-Finals: SMIS 34 – Kadena 28
Finals: Kinnick 29 – SMIS 26
Far East Champions:
108lb – Chang Young Lee
115lb – Lucas Shiraki
129lb – Alberto Orsara
135lb – Ryan Vasconcellos
148lb – Kazuho Kawashima
158lb – Riku Osawa
Far East Silver Medalists:
122lb – Ryo Osawa
141lb – Itsuki Shibahara
Far East Placers:
101lb – Eshan Singhi
168lb – Mitchell Krcelic
12 Titans came home from Osan, Korea on Sunday with another Far East Individual Champion banner; a back-to-back title from last year. “I don’t think this record will be broken for a long time” commented Coach Yabui as the Titans won their 12th Far East title with record breaking performance. St. Mary’s entered 12 wrestlers in the 13 weight class competition and eight wrestlers stood on the mat for their championship bouts. Chang Young Lee 108lb, Lucas Shiraki 115lb, Ryo Osawa 122lb, Alberto Orsara 129lb, Ryan Vasconcellos 135lb, Itsuki Shibahara 141lb, Kazuho Kawashima 148lb, and Riku Osawa 158lb all made it to the finals. The most St. Mary’s has ever had in the finals was seven wrestlers in 2011 (unofficial record); which they ended up winning double titles for the first time in the school history.
Not only the number of finalists was a record breaker, but out of the eight finalists, six of them won their gold medal. The most Far East champions in a tournament for St. Mary’s had been three, recorded in 1985, 1987, 1993, 1997, 2012 and 2014; the new record doubles that number. 2015 Far East champions were Chang Young Lee 108lb, Lucas Shiraki 115lb, Alberto Orsara 129lb, Ryan Vasconcellos 135lb, Kazuho Kawashima 148lb, and Riku Osawa 158lb.
From his win his freshmen year and a silver medal last year, this was Ryan Vasconcellos’ second Far East title. Sophomore, Chang Young Lee won his second straight Far East title and remained undefeated for another season since his high school debut last year. Chang Young and Ryan has become the 11th and 12th wrestlers in school history to win two Far East titles.
Sophmore, Ryo Osawa and junior, Itsuki Shibahara, faced two Outstanding Far East Wrestler candidates from Kadena and could not quite reach the color medal they wanted but showed outstanding performance throughout the tournament. 2014 Far East silver medalist, junior, Kazuho Kawashima, who was only 1 point away from a gold medal last season, proved worthy of a Far East champion by sweeping through the tournament for his first Far East title.
Another rare and happy record for the Titans (according to Coach Yabui) was that all seniors on the team made varsity and all won Far East gold. Riku Osawa 158lb (captain), Lucas Shiraki 115lb, and Alberto Orsara 129lb, finished their high school wrestling career in the best way possible.
Contributing greatly to the team points were sophomores Eshan Singhi 101lb and Mitchell Krcelic 168lb who finished fifth and fourth respectively at their Far East debut. They both surprised the team with performances beyond expectation.
Overall, the Titans defended their Far East Individual Championship title with 139.5 team points; just barely dodging their season rival, Kinnick, who finished right behind them with 135 points. “It was truly a team effort and everyone counted” reflects Coach Yabui on the results as if any wrestler had placed one place lower, the champion banner would have gone to Kinnick.
The Titans also made it to the finals of the dual meet tournament and had a very tough loss against Kinnick; score of 29 – 26. A three point difference is not a matter of the number of wins and losses; as Titans won 7 of the 13 weight classes in the match. But, such point difference comes down to a few wrestlers scoring or being scored a point in a match or not. In other words, it was so, so close.
Congratulations to the wrestling team for another great season!