Just a few short weeks back, Christian Landin's wrestling future wasn't looking so bright.
A two-time state qualifier, Landin, currently a senior at Frontier High School, was starting to grow worried that his time in the sport was coming to a premature end.
Though he has found alternative ways to get on the mat, traveling to compete in tournaments in Arizona, Idaho, North Carolina and Nevada over the last year, Landin has felt a sizable void thanks to COVID-19, which has prevented him from having a senior year with the Titans.
Not only is he losing his last high school season, Landin's also missed out on the chance to impress college coaches, and a persistent worry began to creep in as he entered 2021 without a single collegiate offer.
"This COVID thing really kind of messed everything up," he said. "I didn't have a season and I was very unsure of where I would go. I wanted to wrestle at the next level but I didn't know where."
Then, literally overnight, his fortunes changed.
Though unable to produce new film for coaches, Landin had an influential support system two-plus hours away at Cal Poly, where former Frontier teammates Max Aguirre and Trent Tracy currently wrestle.
With the Mustangs needing to add depth at 184 pounds, Tracy played a key role in getting Landin on the team's radar. And in mid-January, Tracy texted his friend to tell him he should expect a call from the team's coaches the following day.
Landin had previously visited the school's San Luis Obispo campus, enjoying its layout and location. This made him all the more excited when the aforementioned call produced a scholarship offer.
"In one day I knew I wanted to go there," said Landin, who signed a national letter of intent with Poly on Feb. 3. "I got off the phone and talked it over with my dad, and we just said 'Hell yeah, let's go.'"
Frontier coach Carlo Franciotti says securing a Division-I scholarship is a perfect reward for Landin, who maintained a strict training regimen even as the likelihood of there being a high school season continued to shrink.
"I really liked his grit and determination ... coming back this year, just watching him train every day like the season was going to happen," Franciotti said. "And Poly's a good fit. He's a good student, he has (former) teammates on the team so she's going to be able to fit right in."
Feeling they're trending in the right direction, Landin is hopeful he can help the Mustangs rise through the ranks of the Pac-12 in the coming years. He's also hoping to establish a strong rivalry with hometown Cal State Bakersfield, in part to gain bragging rights over his brother Jose, a freshman 133/141-pound wrestler for the Roadrunners.
After his future seemed bleak just weeks ago, Landin continued to hold out hope that things would break in his favor, and is happy to see his patience pay off.
"We find ways to adapt and find way to make things work out," he said. "There's no better place to be than Poly. I'm excited and I'm ready."