FAIRMONT, W.Va. – Championship Tuesday is starting to become something of a weekly tradition on the Fairmont State campus.
Last week, the MEC champion men’s basketball team was honored by the university, and today, an individual champion was recognized.
This celebration was the first of its kind.
Fairmont State sophomore, Lukas Martin, became the first Fighting Falcon wrestler to win an NCAA championship over the weekend, competing in the 149-pound weight class.
Martin, a three-time high school state champ at Parkersburg South High School, is also the first NCAA All-American in program history.
The sophomore won his historic national championship win by way of a 12-5 decision Saturday night, and spoke today about the feeling of being named a national champion.
“After the finals I was just kind of like ‘I did it.’ I just new I could do it the whole time,” said Martin. “Getting presented the trophy was surreal. I won three state titles in high school, and none of them compare to even a fraction of what I felt after I won NCAAs.”
Martin was also named the Most Outstanding Wrestler of this year’s D-II wrestling championship event.
The sophomore has at least two years left to pick up even more hardware with the Falcons. Both the program, and the university, are hoping his success helps propel the young program to new heights.
“You know, with being such a young team, this is just going to boost recruiting and boost everything,” said Fairmont State head coach, Colin Johnston. “It’s kind of unimaginable how big this is, especially being so new to the NCAA world. … I knew he was a goer, and I thought I could build a program around him, and it definitely paid off. He’s definitely someone we can build the program around.”
Johnston’s only been the job with the Fighting Falcons for a couple months, but in just the second year of the return of the wrestling program at Fairmont State, they have a national champion in Lukas Martin.
More comments from Martin and Johnston can be heard by clicking on the link below.