The Fearless Warrior: Kacie Teruya

Peyton Yamamoto, Staff Writer

The fear of not being able to accomplish a task is something we all face. Whether it be a physical goal of reaching a certain weight or a mental goal of getting straight A’s, all of us come to face this struggle. However, freshman Kacie Teruya faces her struggles head-on. Like a fierce lioness, she plows through roadblocks facing her.

Teruya may seem like an average freshman, dancing, singing and doing anything the average girl would do; however, she exceeds expectations in a different field of life – athletics. Within 15 years of life, she has put a myriad of different athletic accomplishments onto her resume leading up to her being on TV.

Her beginnings in the athletic world started at a young age. “I started cross country in third grade but never got seriously into running until 2015,” says Teruya. “I was very slow even till this day. So I started to run races,” Teruya adds.

Her first race was the 2013 Great Aloha Run, an 8.15 mile run. With it, she found her love for sports and all things athletic. From 10,000 meter races (6.2 miles) to full marathons, Teruya has participated in over 10 different races in the last few years, including obstacle courses such as the 2019 Spartan Race.

Most notably, Teruya appeared in American Ninja Warrior Juniors in 2018, beating out thousands of other contestants in preliminary rounds to make it on national television. 

“It was fun.” Teruya says. “Being able to meet and compete against all these people was a great experience for me.”

Teruya became an all-season athlete, participating in the fall season sport cross country, placing 13th in the OIA JV championships, while running in the OIA varsity championships and states. For the winter season, Teruya joined wrestling, placing 1st for the girls OIA JV in the 97-pound division. Her love of wrestling came from a desire to do something different.

“[I] just [wanted] to do something different and do a sport that not a lot of girls do,” Teruya says.

In addition, she also participates in gymnastics, Taiko drums, and the Moanalua Dance Club, participating in the pep assembly earlier this year. “[She’s] fun, outgoing, energetic, and talented,” says close friend, senior Andre Marin.

Throughout her journey, Teruya’s biggest challenge was to overcome her mental state, her self doubt of being able to do things she wants to do. However, she faces her fears and competes no matter how hard the challenge is.

“I just do it.” Kacie states. 

Although it is a simple but effective way to overcome, it is one that works for her. Teruya’s efforts to overcome her own obstacles is something she hopes will inspire future generations as well.

“I want to be able to look back in life and be proud of how many things I have accomplished and show people that they can do it too,” Teruya says.

Teruya hopes to become either a professional athlete or a marine biologist in the near future. With her cheerful attitude, warrior spirit and crazy love for all things physical, she is a fearless warrior and nothing will stop her from achieving her goals.