Kamehameha athlete dominates in two sports - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Kamehameha athlete dominates in two sports

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For a girl that set a goal at an early age of winning eight state championships in two different sports, you could say Bree Rapoza dreams big.

"No one has really done it before for judo and wrestling so I wanted to be the first," said Rapoza, a recent inductee into the Hawaii High School Athletics Association Hall of Honor. "Ever since I was six years old, I would train for that main reason and that would always be the mindset that me and my dad shared that it was going to be eight and I was going to be the first one."

Rapoza didn't finish with eight, but her resume speaks for itself.

She ends here career at Kamehameha-Kapalama with four state judo championships and three wrestling titles all in different weight classes.

Rapoza has also been the country's top wrestler twice and won a judo national championship at eight years old.

She says she did it all for her family.

"The main thing for me was to make them proud and when I saw my dad cry and my mom when I won my last title in judo and in wrestling it just made me happy and that's what I wanted to do," Rapoza said.

Her hard work earned Rapoza a full-ride scholarship to Missouri Baptist University.

However, with Olympic wrestling on the chopping block for the 2020 games, Rapoza wants to go after a gold medal while she still can.

It's a goal her coach says she's ready for. 

"She's been trained early on that when she steps on the wrestling mat or when she steps on the judo mat, she's dealing with the high pressure, but also wanting to know that she's out there to try her best to win," Rapoza's coach Bill Venenciano said.

Rapoza said her determination stems from her father's training.

"My dad, he taught me to prepare like one step ahead," Rapoza said.  "You always have to be one step ahead. Even if you are only in middle school, you have to train like you are in high school. Even if you are in high school, you have to train like you are ready to become a collegiate national champ."

She hopes the next step she takes leads to another championship.

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