By Jeremy McDonald
SPRINGFIELD, Ore.—It’s weird to think about it when you first hear it. First-year wrestler going to State.
Scio’s Riana Martin did just that Saturday as she finished second in the 105-pound OSAA Southern Division State Qualifier at Thurston High School.
While most hope to place at a meet like that, Martin was one of them as she wasn’t certain about the competition entering the tournament.
But she made the most of her opportunity.
Unranked, she took down the third-ranked Leslie Torres from Central through a 11-8 decision. She slips by Cottage Grove’s Sabrina James 5-2 to reach the finals where she met her second ranked opponent in the second-ranked Kimmy Holgate from Dallas.
The Senior former Logger Libero Volleyball player pins the Dragons sophomore at the 4:55 mark of the match to not just qualify her for State, but to give her a crack at the District Title in her first year of wrestling.
“I wasn’t expecting it, it’s just an amazing feeling. It’s really cool,” said Martin.141
In front of her was Sweet Home’s Lexi Schilling for the District Title. Martin and Schilling were on the mat ready to go but had to wait for the match right next to them to finish before starting their match.
Martin and Schilling were pacing up and down the mat, trying to stay warm while they wait. Martin looked over to make sure that the girls next to her weren’t coming her way as she waited.
“I just tried to keep my nerves down and trying to think ‘whatever happens, happens. I’m going to give it my best and who knows’,” said Martin on the lead-up to her match.
When the match on the mat next to hers ended, it was go-time. It was about 2pm/2:05-ish and Martin hadn’t wrestled in nearly four hours as did Schilling when Saturday’s matches kicked off at 10am, and both spent a few seconds feeling each other out.
However, the length of Schilling took advantage of the smaller frame of Martin and would pick up the pin in the closing seconds of the match. Though the loss, Martin can reflect on it as she now prepares for the State Meet at Veterans Memorial Coliseum here in three weeks.
“I’m going to go back into the wrestling room and work on a whole bunch of avoiding the head-and-arm,” smiled Martin. “That’s definitely is something I need to work on.”