Dalton Brady so thoroughly dominated the Arizona high school wrestling scene in the winter that there’s really nothing left for him to accomplish here.
Fittingly, he’s moving on to bigger and better things.
The Chandler sophomore went 41-0 on the season, beating a pair of eventual state champions on his way to a second straight title, this one in the 112-pound weight division.
Brady only had two close matches all season as he regularly dispatched wrestlers one or two years older than him.
His dominance on the mat earned him the Tribune’s Male Athlete of the Year award, and it’s also made him a wanted commodity.
Last Tuesday, the Olympic Training Committee in Colorado Springs extended Brady an invitation to join its residence developmental team, an honor reserved for a dozen of the best wrestlers in the country.
Just three days later, Brady packed his bags and made the move.
He plans to get home-schooled and train with the country’s elite wrestlers, with an eye toward competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
“I love Chandler, but no matter what high school you are at, you just can’t give up this opportunity,” Brady said. “Not a lot of kids get this privilege.”
Dalton’s mom, Laurie, said the family first planned to discuss the option when the committee began making its overture.
Once the official invitation came, though, there was no second-guessing.
“We decided to go for it,” Laurie Brady said. “Everyone dreams of getting an Olympic medal. It’s an awesome opportunity.”
Dalton’s father, Brian, has moved with him to Colorado and will stay there for a year. Next season, Dalton plans to move into the dorms at the training center and his dad will return to Arizona.
Brady has finished up a week of sessions with his new training partners, and he seems in awe.
“In high school, I was kind of the team captain,” Brady said. “When you look around here, everyone is drilling harder and better. It’s a lot different. If you don’t know how to do a move that well, you just look to your left and see how (2009 NCAA champion) Troy Nickerson does it.”
Brady’s success didn’t stop after winning the state title.
In late April, he defeated Phillip Lax of Iowa to win the 110-pound division at the ASICS/FILA Cadet & University National Championships in Akron, Ohio. He will wrestle at that weight class at the 2011 FILA Cadet World Championships from Aug. 23-28 in Budapest, Hungary.
Normally, that would be right around the time his junior year would be starting at Chandler. Instead, he will return to Colorado Springs afterward and continue his training.
Brady said making the move was tough, but something he couldn’t turn down.
“It was hard leaving my team, my mom, my family,” Brady said. “All of a sudden you pack your bags. But there’s this whole atmosphere about being around national champions. I’ve always wanted to do this.”