PRESCOTT VALLEY - As the tournament of champions came out of the tunnel at Tim's Toyota Center for the Division I and Division II state tournament, an unassuming diminutive guy wear a USA jacket walked to the side of Arizona's best wrestlers.
There might not be a better place for an Olympic gold medalist to be hanging out.
Henry Cejudo, who wrestled at Maryvale before heading to the Olympic Training Center, was there to present the awards to the individual champions at the start of the meet.
"A gold medal only takes you so far," he said. "Inspiring kids is what I care about."
One of those kids is Chandler 106-pound state champion Tristan Moran, who had Cejudo warming him up before stepped on his mat.
All wrestlers should be as lucky.
Not that he needed any on the way to the title on Saturday. He did that all on his own in a convincing manner.
It's his training partner - Cejudo, the 2008 Olympic gold medalist who hopes to represent his country again in 2012 - that makes him lucky and good.
"I've been working with him all season (at a facility in Scottsdale)," Moran said after the win. "I would have had a good shot (at winning state) but he took me to another level."
It just goes to show once again that in wrestling it is not always who you beat but who beats you.
A smidge short
For the first time in Arizona wrestling history Sunnyside didn't finish inside the top three of the team standings, dating back to 1977.
The Blue Devils still managed to finish in a tie for fourth. Not bad for so-called down year with a new coach in Anthony Leon.
"I am going to take the team picture of whoever wins it (ended up being Chandler) and put in our practice room," Leon said.
Hamilton placer Jordan Velasquez is a newcomer to the program after moving from his mom's residence in New Mexico to his dad's in Chandler.
It took some time for him to get settled in, but once the freshman did he got rolling and ended up finishing fourth at 132 pounds to finished 13-5 on the year.
"We let him take his time and make sure his grades were fine," Hamilton coach Pat Quinn said. "We are excited about his future."
The East Valley had 20 of the 28 finalists in Division I, but only three in Division II. ... Yet again there is no senior all-star match scheduled. .... The Canyon State wrestling program once again stuck around and helped the workers at Tim's Toyota Center break down the arena after everyone else was long gone.