Central Ohio High School Sports Awards: Finalists announced for Super 6 girls wrestling

From staff reports
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Central Ohio High School Sports Awards

According to their coaches, the members of ThisWeek’s Super 6 girls wrestling team stood out as athletes and as leaders.

All the honorees are finalists to be named Captain – our girls wrestling Athlete of the Year. That honor will be announced during the Central Ohio High School Sports Awards online show at 8 p.m. June 30.

Finalists should register at sportsawards.usatoday.com/centralohio. Bios for previous honorees are available by clicking on the H.S. Sports Awards link at ThisWeekSPORTS.com.

Next week, we’ll announce the honorees for girls basketball.

Below is the Super 6 for girls wrestling:

Maia Crumb

Maia Crumb, Olentangy Berlin

The senior was runner-up at 160 pounds in the state tournament, going 3-1 at state to finish 14-2 for the season.

“Maya’s biggest weapon is her strength,” coach Josh Heffernan said. “She loves to lift and is simply the strongest female athlete I have ever known.

“She can execute a match strategy and can keep herself out of bad positions. Maybe most importantly, she’s awesome at practice. She out-prepares her opponents. She trains hard, she trains often and she trains right.”

Crumb, who has committed to wrestle at Indiana Tech, was second at state last year at 150 and finished 21-2.

“Maia’s a little quiet, but she turned into a great leader,” Heffernan said. “She's an athlete who comes each day with a great attitude and keeps her nose to the grindstone.”

Isa DiBenedetto

Isa DiBenedetto, Upper Arlington

This senior placed third at 116 in the state tournament for the second consecutive year.

DiBenedetto, who also wrestled at 120 against boys competition, finished first in the inaugural girls district tournament. She plans to enter the Air Force after graduation and eventually study aviation at Ohio State.

“Isabella’s work ethic, toughness and commitment were matched by few on our team,” coach Matt Stout said. “She was the lone girl on an all boys team all four years, but that never fazed her. Isabella changed my perspective on girls wrestling and opened my eyes to everything it has to offer. She is a trailblazer at Upper Arlington High School and for our wrestling program.”

Cali Lang

Cali Lang, Big Walnut

Lang, the lone senior in the Big Walnut program, reached the state podium for the second consecutive season by finishing fourth at 101.

Lang, who was third at last year’s inaugural state tournament, also finished second in this year’s inaugural district tournament.

“Cali is a fierce competitor who also happens to be the nicest person to ever come through our wrestling program,” coach Aaron Renner said. “She will be missed.”

Lang also competed on the boys team and earned first-team all-OCC-Capital Division honors while going 21-11 overall. She went 2-2 at state and ended her varsity career with a 22-8 record against girls.

Taryn Martin

Taryn Martin, Olentangy Orange

Martin capped an unbeaten two-year run with her second state title, finishing 23-0 by pinning Rocky River Lutheran West’s Amy Zell in 33 seconds in the 171 final.

The senior had 21 pins this season, with the other wins by forfeit. She did not have a match go past the first period and did not surrender a point.

“Taryn is so unique in ability and her skill sets,” coach Brian Nicola said. “She will be irreplaceable. She set the pace for the culture and the expectations for the program.

“Girls come into the program wanting to win a state title and now they know what that takes. They can ask themselves, ‘Am I doing what Taryn did to win her state titles?’ She’s the person showing them the way.”

The Tiffin signee won the title at 137 last season, finishing 21-0.

Mercedes Motton

Mercedes Motton, Watterson

Considering she had contributed to the girls volleyball team’s run to a Division I state semifinal last fall, wrestling coach Felix Catheline wasn’t surprised when Motton picked up the sport quickly this winter.

In her first season, the sophomore won the district championship at 160.

Then at state, Motton won her first two matches, lost to eventual champion Alleana Long of Logan in a semifinal and went on to finish fourth to finish the season 14-3.

“She had never wrestled before, but she is one of the best athletes in the school,” Catheline said. “She has an amazing work ethic, and she picks things up quickly. Her work ethic and the awesome work of my assistant coaches (helped her succeed).”

Rebekah Oladokun

Rebekah Oladokun, DeSales

Oladokun, a sophomore, won the district championship at 137 and placed fourth in the state tournament after finishing sixth at 143 as a freshman.

Oladokun came in highly touted, having finished first at 145 as an eighth-grader in the Ohio Athletic Committee Junior High State Championships in 2019. She also was an offensive lineman for the Walnut Springs Middle School football team for two years.

“All around, she is an awesome student-athlete. She shows up to practice every day and puts forth her best effort,” assistant coach Ryan Munday said. “Keep in mind that she is the only girl in a room full of male athletes, some of (whom) are hammers. It’s extremely hard to practice every day with some of these guys and take a beating and keep on going.”

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