Monday, August 11, 2014

Teshya Alo

It’s always fun each summer to follow up on how some of our previously featured athletes are doing. Many athletes head off to tournaments and championships on the Mainland or around the world.

Case in point, the amazing Teshya Alo of Liliha, whom we have showcased several times in this column (2012 and 2013) as she’s continued to grow and succeed. The 16-year-old wrestling sensation, who is already a two-time state high school champion from Kamehameha, did it again this summer. She won her third straight national title at the ASICS/Vaughn Junior & Cadet National Championships this past week in Fargo, N.D. Alo also was named the Outstanding Wrestler of an event that bills itself as the largest wrestling tournament in the world. She also earned a spot on the ASICS Girls High School All-American Wrestling First Team for the second year in a row.

If that’s not enough, earlier in the month, Alo won a world championship title halfway around the world — in Spina, Slovakia — thus becoming the first wrestler from Hawaii to win a Cadet world championship, as well as the first wrestler from the United States to win in the 56 kilogram weight bracket. The U.S national coach, Erin Tomeo, was very impressed, as Alo finished undefeated in a bracket that is noted for being the largest — and arguably the toughest — field in the tournament.

“We are all proud and very excited for our world champion, Teshya Alo. She showed a lot of heart and determination,” the coach says.

Alo will be a junior at Kamehameha in the fall and previously has stated her goal of eventually becoming an Olympic athlete. She appears well on her way. And, as mentioned in an earlier column, Alo is also the subject of a feature documentary film done by Honolulu filmmaker Kimberlee Bassford, titled A Winning Girl, that is expected to premiere this fall at Hawaii International Film Festival.

*** [4/5/16]

Clarissa Chun and Teshya Alo are 16 years apart, but the paths that bring them to the U.S. Olympic Wrestling Trials speak to a spirit and determination that is as remarkable as it is shared.

The 34-year-old Chun, a two-time Olympian from Roosevelt High, and Alo, an 18-year-old Kamehameha Schools senior chasing her first Olympiad, represent the disparate ends of the spectrum at the University of Iowa this weekend, where the U.S. team is to be selected for this summer’s games in Rio de Janeiro.

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