Moanalua captured the OIA Cheerleading Championship with 308.5 points, followed closely by Mililani with 304. Brien Ing | SL
In a stunning upset, Moanalua won its first O'ahu Interscholastic Association cheerleading championship since 2003 on Saturday, breaking Radford's four-year title streak on the Rams' home floor.
Na Menehune scored 308.5 points, edging runner-up Mililani by a mere 4.5 points. Radford, which has won the past four Medium Division State Championships, finished third with 301.
"Honestly, anybody could have won today," said Jennifer Wilson, Moanalua's first-year head coach. "Whoever hit their routine and could sell it best ... fortunately, we did it."
Na Menehune, with only two seniors, were the surprise victors especially considering they did not even win the OIA's Eastern Division title two weeks ago.
But Wilson, who was Kapolei's JV coach last year, and assistant Tobi Miyashiro - who coached 'Aiea's JV in 2009 - knew there was potential at Moanalua.
"That's why we applied for the job when it opened," said Wilson, who was a teammate of Miyashiro's during their high school days at 'Aiea. "We always knew they could be one of the top teams, because they have a lot of pride in their school."
Radford put its pride and championship streak on the line Saturday with a trademark fast-paced routine aimed at executing difficult stunts. There was one obvious slip during a lift, but it turned out the Rams were deducted 12 points overall.
"It's disappointing, because we had a really good warm-up - we nailed it," Radford coach Bo Frank said. "We had the most difficult routine by far, and we can water it down, but that's not Radford cheerleading. I'm going to challenge the team this week, and we'll see how they respond."
Frank said this season has already been challenging, with only three seniors.
"It's a young team, a rebuilding year," Frank said. "There's been a lot of ups and downs, especially mentally. Now they have to face adversity again."
Leilehua (284.5 points) finished fourth, followed by Kaiser (284), Kapolei (262), 'Aiea (254), Pearl City (242) and Kalaheo (231).
The top nine teams will advance to the Zippy's/Hawai'i High School Athletic Association State Championships on Dec. 5 at the Stan Sheriff Center. Mililani, Kapolei, Pearl City and Kapolei will compete in the Large Division, while Moanalua, Radford, Leilehua, Kaiser and 'Aiea will compete in the Medium Division.