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Walnut Hills state champion wrestler Erin Martin has created a legacy at the school

First female wrestler at school to win state title
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Posted at 10:11 AM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 10:11:30-05

CINCINNATI — Walnut Hills High School senior Erin Martin can't stop smiling more than a week after winning a state wrestling title.

She was already being fitted for her championship ring on Monday afternoon and considering her options for potentially competing in college.

Martin is the first female wrestler to win a state title at Walnut Hills, according to the school. She captured the 155-pound state championship in the Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association girls state tournament on Feb. 20 at Hilliard Davidson High School near Columbus.

"When it first happened I didn't really think about how big of a deal it was, how big state is" Martin said. "I'm the best 155 in the state for women's wrestling - that's pretty great."

After placing fifth as a junior, Martin was determined to win a state title this winter. Martin competed against mostly male wrestlers this season and went undefeated against female competitors including the state tournament.

"The accomplishment is amazing and I'm super proud of her," Walnut Hills High School wrestling coach Michael Francis said. "I've seen her wrestle from her freshman year all the way up until her senior year going for a state title. Last year she came up short and it was just a sweet thing to see her win it all this year."

Wrestling isn't the only sport Martin enjoys at the school. She has played linebacker and special teams for the varsity football team the past two seasons. She also plans to compete in discus and shot put during track and field this spring.

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Walnut Hills senior Erin Martin became the school's first female wrestler to win a state championship, according to the school. Martin also competes in football and track and field at the school.

Being a multi-sport athlete is something that is synonymous with Martin as a student-athlete. Martin sought out football on her own after being told by a family member years ago that she wasn't allowed to play.

"I spent a lot of time in the weight room for football," Martin said. "So I feel like I got a lot stronger and football is a mentally tough sport. They try every day to break you. And so I felt like that helped me push through walls during wrestling matches that I wouldn't be able to push through if I didn't play football."

Martin, 18, also takes College Credit Plus (CCP) online courses through the University of Cincinnati where she has focused on sociology this semester and criminal justice earlier this school year.

"I'm just trying to get a different feel and since the school is paying for it I feel now is the time to experiment with what I want to do," Martin said.

Music is also a passion for Martin, who was part of the school's marching band her sophomore year and has taken lessons with drums, clarinet and the bassoon. Martin said she just wants to stay active with a variety of activities.

"I really want to get into backpacking," Martin said. "Just like putting everything I can in my backpack and going. I love being outside. I actually have thought about mountain climbing. I've been thinking maybe one day I want to climb Mount Everest - be one of the people who have done that."

Walnut Hills football coach James Crook III has no doubt that Martin will succeed in whatever path she decides in college.

"Erin is just a great person," Crook said. "She can light up a room when she walks into it. I believe that she can build a relationship with anybody that she comes in contact with. I think that will be great for her as she moves on and becomes an adult."

Francis said Martin will leave a "bright legacy" at the school. Martin has already had an impact on other female student-athletes who are considering to wrestle due to the state championship.

"I have a little sister so I always wanted my little sister to look and know she can do anything she wants to," Martin said. "And I feel like this (state title) is going to be able to show her that she is able to do anything ever."

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