By Steve Keenan
For The Register-Herald
Oak Hill graduate Erin Compton will be inducted into the Marshall University Athletics Hall of Fame this weekend.
The induction ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at Memorial Student Center, and the inductees will be recognized during a pregame ceremony at Saturday’s football game between Marshall and Gardner-Webb. Kickoff in Huntington will be 6:30 p.m.
Compton was the Herd’s first female All-American, placing eighth in the discus at the 2003 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the highest finish in NCAA competition for a Thundering Herd track athlete. She set three school records (which still stand) in throws in 2003. She tossed the 20-pound indoor weight 59 feet, 1.25 inches, then followed up by setting MU records outdoors in the discus, with a throw of 171-0, and the hammer with a throw of 181-11. She was a two-time All-Mid-American Conference champion, winning the discus throw in 2001 and 2003 in the outdoor meet.
An Oak Hill native, Compton became the first Marshall student-athlete to win an event at the historic Penn Relays. Her 2003 season had a string of highlights that started at the Ohio Early Bird Invitational, as she broke a still-standing discus record for the facility. That season, she won seven of 10 discus championships in events for MU and took back her Mid-American Conference discus title. At the NCAA qualifier, her throw of 52.12 meters (171 feet) was only 3.02 meters behind the regional champion. She finished with 11 career discus victories and 17 overall victories.
Last week, Compton was inducted into the Red Devil Sports Hall of Fame. At Oak Hill, she was a member of the track and field team for four years and a member of the girls varsity soccer team for two years, including the inaugural season. She was also a member of the Red Devil marching band and color guard for four years. In addition, she participated in competitive gymnastics for 11 years at Beckley Gymnastics.
Coached in track and field by Sam Calloway and Daniel Davis, she excelled in the throwing ring, winning two state championships in the discus. The first win was in 1997 and the second in 1999. Her winning throw of 145 feet, 5 inches in 1999 is a still-standing state record and is the best mark in state meet history — all classes combined — in the event, according to www.runwv.com.
At the 1999 regional meet at Laidley Field, Compton hurled the disc 153-4, an all-time state best.
Also a third-place finisher in the high jump (5-2) at the 1999 state meet, Compton was the 1999 WV Track and Field Gatorade Circle of Champions Athlete of the Year.
Currently, she is involved with Special Olympics with Wayne County Schools and is working to start a track team for Fort Gay Pre-K-8. She attends Kenova Baptist Church and plays on the church’s team in the Huntington Church Athletic League.
She graduated from Marshall University with a B.A. in elementary education in 2005 and with a M.A. in multicategorical special education in 2013. She is currently employed as a special education teacher for Wayne County Schools at Fort Gay Pre-K-8. She is engaged to Dusty Hughes, of Ashland, Ky., and will be getting married in October. She lives in Ashland.