Chukar Wrestler Honored by Board of Directors
One of only two wrestlers on the team according to the National Collegiate Wrestling Association website, Martinez maintained a record of 12-7 (63% winning average) on the mat this season, with seven of his wins being pins.
During his time at Blackfoot High School, Martinez placed in the Idaho state wrestling championships in 2022 according to Ben Merrill, Dean of Career and Technical Education. Martinez wrestles in the 125-pound division.
Among his successes this season, Martinez placed in the Mountaineer Open Tournament at Eastern Oregon University and the Clackamas Open Tournament, and won at the Big Bend Community College Tournament Scramble and was undefeated at the Washington State Duals.
“At the NCWA Northwest College Championship tournament, Avian wrestled really, really well,” said Merrill. “He defeated a wrestler for the University of Oregon the first round, he [beat] a man from Washington State University in the semi-finals, made it to the championship match [and] wrestled a junior from U of O — lost in that match, but he took second place [his] first year against a pretty talented guy from Eugene.”
As such, Martinez went to the national college tournament in Puerto Rico in March, where he placed 8th out of 64 participants.
“Avian, with that [placement], became TVCC’s first ever All-American wrestler.”
In an email to the Argus on April 19, Merrill praised the freshman student’s efforts as he took part on a young team.
"We are incredibly proud of the efforts and accomplishments that Avian achieved this year as we launched the new wrestling program into conference and national competition,” wrote Merrill. “He is an outstanding young man and will continue to achieve great things in the classroom and on the mat."
Merrill says Martinez plans to make the same division again next season.
“He won’t be eating a lot the next year,” he joked
Martinez is majoring in Pre-Nursing. His sister, Asia, will join Avian at the college during the 2023-24 and plans to play softball with the Lady Chukars.