From Kingsburg High School to King University, Marina and Regina Doi have had many accomplishments on the wrestling mat, but they believe there’s still work to be done during their senior season.
Before the twins graduate college, the Doi sister’s wrestling goals for the rest of the season includes helping King University — an NCAA Div. II school in Bristol, Tennessee — win a fifth-straight championship at the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) National Duels on Jan. 4-5. A five-peat has never been done before in the Div. II level and it could potentially be the twin's fourth-straight time winning the NWCA title with King University.
“If our team could come together and win that in January, that’ll be an amazing accomplishment,” Marina said.
After the NWCA National Duels, the Doi sisters will compete in the Women’s Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) National Championships in Oklahoma City Feb. 9-10.
“That’s our ultimate goal right there,” Marina said about the WCWA tournament. “That’s probably going to be our last tournament competing. It’s not too much longer that we have in competing as far as tournaments go.”
Currently, Marina is ranked No. 1 and Regina is ranked No. 2 in the 101-weight class in the WCWA December rankings. So far, Marina is 9-0 and Regina is 7-0 this season.
Throughout their collegiate careers, Marina is a two-time WCWA national champion and three-time WCWA All-American. Regina is a three-time all-American herself. The twins wrestled for the WCWA championship last February and Marina won in a 5-0 decision. It was the first time the two siblings wrestled for a championship in the tournament.
“It [was] like wrestling yourself,” Marina said. “I use this analogy a lot because mentally preparing to wrestle with someone that you wrestled with your whole life is hard, it is tough.”
Marina’s career collegiate record is 74-6 and Regina’s is 45-11.
Many of the twins’ accomplishments include competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Trials at Hawkeye Arena in Iowa. Even though they didn’t win a match, it was an experience they will never forget.
“I just remember going into Iowa State’s wrestling room and just seeing Olympic champions here and NCAA champions there [on the wall].” Regina said. “I didn’t want to leave, the environment was great.”
The twins have traveled around the world including Venezuela, Colombia and Cuba where they represented the United States at the Junior Pan-American Games in Havana.
During their time as Kingsburg wrestlers, the Doi twins won numerous titles including becoming the first sisters to medal at the Cadet World Championships in 2013. Regina took second at 40 kilos (88 pounds) and Marina was third at 38 kilos (84 pounds) in that tournament. They also became the first sisters to win gold at the Pan American Games in Colombia later that year.
Marina and Regina are also California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) State girls champions. Marina won twice in 2012 and 2013. Regina won the title in 2011.
“I’m very thankful that wrestling has helped us by not only just being able to travel to compete, but also to pay for our schooling cause our dad says the important thing is education,” Regina said.
The twins started wrestling at age 4 and would watched their older brothers, Sonny Garcia, Sam Garcia and Eugene Doi Jr., wrestle in high school before the sisters started competing themselves.
Their oldest brother, Sonny, who also wrestled in college, was influential on the Doi sisters' lives.
“He always drove us to use wrestling as a tool for getting into college,” Regina said. “It helped tremendously by paying for college because without the athletic scholarship, it would have been so hard for us to go to King since it’s a private school.”
Not only were the Doi twins successful on the mat, but they have had success in the classroom as well.
They’ve been straight A students in college and have many classes together since they’re both biology majors.
“We definitely push each other every single day,” Regina said. “It does help a lot that we have each other there at school to do things with because we always have that training partner, that study partner.”
The twin's mother, Cee Doi, said she’s proud of how they maintain their excellence with academics and wrestling.
“They put all their time into wrestling, practicing and school” said Cee Doi. “I’m really proud of their grades and to keep a 4.0 and weightlifting and wrestling and being so far away from home, they’ve done very well.”
After college, the twins want to be involved in wrestling, but want to focus more on getting into the medical field as physician assistants. The twins shadowed physician assistants and doctors over the summer at Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera and got to see two open-heart surgeries being conducted. Marina said that was “amazing” to see.
Even though the twins have spent most of their days with each other including practicing, training, studying and rooming together throughout college, the Doi sisters are going their separate ways after graduating. Regina said she has started the process of joining the Air Force. Marina plans on getting a job and moving back home.
“It’s definitely going to be a lot different once we graduate and go our separate ways,” Regina said. “We knew it was going to happen eventually, we weren’t going to do the same thing our whole life. But I think it’s something that we’ll figure out and get through it.”