Female Wrestler Advances To State For First Time In School History

Senior+Mia+Martell+shows+off+her+participant+stamp+at+the+UIL+State+Wresting+Meet.+

Courtesy of head wrestling coach Elma Garnett

Senior Mia Martell shows off her participant stamp at the UIL State Wresting Meet.

Chris Ybarra, Editor-In-Chief

Senior Mia Martell competed at the UIL State Wrestling Meet in Cypress this past weekend, going 0-2 in her matches. Martell is the first female wrestler to advance to state in school history. 

“I think it [the state meet] went really good,” head wrestling coach Elma Garnett said. “I think it was a fun experience for all of us. Even though she went 0 and 2, she went all three rounds with each of her opponents, so she did great. I think the whole season, Mia knew where she wanted to go; she knew she wanted to go to state with it being her senior year. She’s always had this fire to just do what she wanted, and she did it, so we’re just happy she made it to state.”

Martell said she was excited to be able to break new grounds as the first girl wrestler from Lampasas to compete at state.

“To be the first girl to go to State in wrestling for Lampasas is amazing,” Martell said. “It amped up the team and I think it was a real motivator for some people.”

Although several other Lampasas wrestlers, both boys and girls, qualified for regionals, Martell was the only one to qualify for state at 2nd place in her respective weight class. As a part of the UIL’s COVID-wrestling precaution plan, only the top two from each weight class  advanced to state this year to limit the number of competitors.

“I had to work a lot of bottom moves and hand fighting [this season],” Martell said. “That ultimately helped me the most during my regional matches. The match that qualified me for state was won off a bottom move.”

With last year’s wrestling season being erased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this season was Martell’s last chance to advance to state, and it was shortened by a limited number of tournaments, practices and conditioning opportunities.

“I don’t think [the shortened wrestling season] affected her at state,” Garnett said. “She’s an experienced wrestler. I do think it affected the new kids, because they didn’t have enough time to prepare and get better and learn this season.”

In comparison to other sports, wrestling is relatively new at the high school. However, Garnett expects the program to not only grow at the school, but that it will also become increasingly harder for future wrestlers.

“I hope wrestling starts to get the attention it’s been needing for some time,” Martell said. “I also hope more people join and have fun with it. I’d love to see more people, especially my girls, qualifying in the near future.”

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