Milestone for Local Wrestling: Scholarships take two local athletes to college

2013 Faga’itua High School graduate Abraham Tiumalu and 2013 Samoana High School graduate David Martinez, who have both been accepted and will be attending Highline Community College in Des Moines Washington in the Fall for the sport of wrestling. They are the first to attend college for wrestling from Am. Samoa. See story inside. [courtesy photo]

High school wrestling, which has only been in the AS Department of Education’s American Samoa High School Athletic Association (ASHSAA) for three years, will be sending two of its very own off to college in the United States.
David Martinez, who wrestled at Samoana High School and Abraham Tiumalu, who wrestled at Faga’itua High School are both 2013 graduates, and will be the first local wrestlers to attend college for wrestling from American Samoa.
Both have been accepted and will be attending Highline Community College in Des Moines Washington this Fall. They signed their letters of intent during a Field House 100 American Samoa signing ceremony held last month.
Both athletes first started wrestling three years ago when wrestling was first introduced into the ASHSAA sports schedule. Tiumalu wrestled Varsity for three years for Faga’itua and took 2nd in the 152lb weight class during this year’s ASHSAA National Championships. He was also captain of the Vikings grapplers.
Martinez wrestled for the Samoana Sharks Varsity team for three years as well, where he took 1st place at the 220lbs weight class in this year’s national championships. He was also the captain of the Sharks grappling team. In speaking with Samoa News, Martinez acknowledged those that helped him prepare for college through his wrestling.
Samoa News also spoke to the president of the American Samoa Wrestling Association (ASWA), Ethan Lake regarding this past year’s ASHSAA wrestling season.
“It has been a banner season for wrestling. This year’s wrestling program saw its biggest turn out yet. With it being only in its 3rd season, the program has become the islands fastest growing sport, almost doubling its numbers each year,” said Lake.
“The consolidation of private schools with the public schools gave the public schools a boost this year. The weekly team champions were unpredictable during the season, alternating between Leone, Samoana and Tafuna High Schools. Faga’itua and Nu’uuli Voc-Tech also made runs for the top, making as far as 2nd place, but falling just short of the number one spot,” he explained.
In speaking about this year’s ASHSAA National Wrestling Championships, Lake said that it was the longest National Wrestling Tournament they ever had, with over 150 wrestlers participating in the one day Iron Man Championships event.
“There was not only a record number of wrestlers, fans witnessed the island’s top athletes at their best. A big thank you and recognition goes out to the many fans that attended, including many business leaders, ASG directors and government officials, showing great support and commitment,” the president of the ASWA stated.
Lake also said that he would like to wish the best of luck to both Martinez and Tiumalu in their quest to not only get a great education and degree, but luck in taking the next step up in the sport of wrestling.
This year’s 2013 ASHSAA National Wrestling Champions were 1st- Samoana, 2nd- Leone, 3rd- Tafuna, 4th- Nu’uuli Voc-Tech, 5th- Faga’itua. The girls champions were 1st- Leone, 2nd- Samoana. 


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