NIIGATA, Niigata (March 28) – Kasumigaura avenged a loss to Hanasaki Tokuharu in last year's national championships to claim its 19th overall team title at the national high school invitational wrestling tournament with a 5-2 triumph in the team final.
Kasumigaura of Ibaraki, paced by Asia cadet champion Rei Higuchi at 55kg, won the first four eight categories to ensure victory early at Niigata municipal gymnasium and its first invitational title since 2010.
Earlier in the tourney, Kasumigaura notched a pair of 7-0 wins on its way to the semifinals where they defeated Inabe Sogo Gakuin of Mie, 5-2. Mie was making its debut in the invitational team competition.
Meanwhile, Saitama's Hanasaki Tokuharu limped into the semifinals with a 5-2 win over Shiga's Hino high school, but could not overcome a rash of injuries plaguing the team in the final.
Inabe Sogo Gakuin and Hino both received third-place trophies, reaching the awards podium in the team competition for the first time in the history of their wrestling clubs.