Four days removed from saying he's the best wrestler in the state for the third time in as many years, Christian Walden is still coming down from the high of winning another state title. Reality has set in, and it's his perfect send-off.
"It's great to get an exclamation point in my last match like that, getting a pin in the finals. It's a great feeling doing it in front of my family and friends," Walden said.
Perhaps the most crucial family member involved in all this is his father, John, who has seen Christian's story unfold every step of the way. If you ask him, his first chapter as a champion stands out more than the rest.
"That one was unexpected, surprising and probably the most special," John said.
Both he and Christian will be the first to tell you that they're all special at day's end. Special enough that it's thrust him into the conversation as the greatest Airline Viking athlete of all time. It's a surreal realization for this father and son.
"It's pretty humbling, to say the least, that he would be in that conversation as one of the best, if not the best, athletes to come through here," John said.
"I'm certainly grateful. I just wanna thank god, my coaches, my parents and my teammates for helping me be where I am," Christian said.
That legacy, needless to say, will never be forgotten.