On Monday, Kysen Terukina became the 1st member of his highly decorated family named to the HHSAA Hall of Honor.
“It means a lot. It just means that I did it and I’m done,” the Kamehameha graduate said, “I feel accomplished. It just made me feel so proud of this weekend, celebrating my graduation and having family with me the whole time. I was so happy.”
The Terukina wrestling dominance began with Kysen’s father Darryl winning back to back state championships in 1983 & 84. Uncle Ben grabbed two more, then the four brothers came. Shayden, Blaysen, and Zayren combined for 7, but youngest brother, Kysen, out did them all by winning back-to-back-to-back-to-back titles as a Warrior.
“I’m just part of something bigger that we’re trying to do. We all work hard together. We all have high expectations for one another and we know what we are capable of. We go out there and compete hard, knowing that there are a lot of expectations.”
So who has bragging right in the Terukina household?
“They can’t say anything anymore,” Kysen laughed, “but my brother just won a national title in college. They still brag to me about that.”
Once a little brother always the little brother. It doesn’t matter how much hardware you fill the cabinets with. Kysen embraces the brotherly jokes. He knows he wouldn’t be a 4-time champ without the tough love.
“No, there is no way. I needed them to do all of this. To push me, give me that extra push. Imagine, I would have to keep up with people 3-4 years older than me. I had to. It was the expectation. You have to train.”
Kysen’s Hall of Honors Kamehameha career landed him a scholarship to big 12 wrestling power Iowa State. There he joins former Ewa Wrestling Club teammate and Saint Louis grad, Corey Cabanban, while following in his brother Shayden’s footsteps.
“It’s a whole new coaching staff to when he was there, so that wasn’t really a pull, but having Corey up there. He was telling me how it was and how it’s going to be. Having that extra person to help, persuaded me too. When I had to make the decision, it wasn’t a tough one.”
Despite being one of the best Hawai’i high school wrestlers of all-time, Kysen is headed to Ames with a humble, ready to prove himself attitude.
“Going in there I know I’m going to run into some hammers. I know if I get beat up it’s all part of the process. If I get beat up every practice it’s all part of getting better. I know I need to ready and be ready to catch cracks too.”
There are few sports that depict life better than wrestling. You literally must fight to your feet when you’re taken down. A life lesson that the Terukina’s family legacy is built on.
“It teaches you so much. It teaches you a lot of endurance. You give out a lot but not all the time it comes back. That is a good life lesson – to endure being uncomfortable.”