Gutches makes history at Best of the West

CENTRAL POINT — Brock Gutches became the first high school wrestler to win a weight division while Seth Roy led a Raiders squad that placed well on Saturday at the sixth annual Best of the West Open wrestling tournament.

Gutches, a senior at Crater high school, won all of his matches at 157 with considerable ease and dominated his final match against Oregon State varsity starter Tim Patrick with a final score of 11-6.

"Right off the bat we got into a scramble, and I was able to get behind him," Gutches said of his final match. "I then shot him with a double leg move and was able to get him on his back. This kind of set the tone for the match, and I was able to ride him for most of the rest of the match."

Brock is ranked 73rd nationally and won the Class 5A state championship as a junior. He signed a letter of intent last week to wrestle at Boise State University after considering University of Minnesota and Southern Oregon University.

SOU wrestling coach Mike Ritchey was clearly impressed with Gutches performance in the tournament.

"Pretty amazing accomplishment for a kid," Ritchey said. "Basically, you're talking about a 17, 18-year old kid competing against fully developed college seniors. The fact that he also dominated throughout the tournament is a pretty incredible accomplishment."

Said Gutches: "I think right now I am a better college wrestler than I am a high school wrestler. I had nothing to lose because I was younger than all the other wrestlers. It's definitely tough wrestling guys who are a lot older and tougher, but you just got to go out and wrestle."

SOU's Seth Roy finished second at 149 pounds to lead five SOU wrestlers who placed in the top three of their respective divisions. Roy beat RJ Pena, who is ranked second in the nation, in his semifinal match before narrowly losing his finals match against Heinrich Barnes with a 4-2 decision.

Barnes is an Oregon State starter and also wrestled for South Africa during last summer's Olympic Games.

"Seth put in a great effort and gave everything he had," Ritchey said. "He lost partly because of a penalty point, but he was just being aggressive, and I like that of my wrestlers."

The tournament included more than 1,000 wrestlers and was represented well by Southern Oregon.

"It was a herculean effort from the wrestling community," Ritchey said. "I was really happy how it turned out. Our kids did really well."

Oregon State, who had four different wrestlers win their division and placed 11 wrestlers in the top three overall, will host SOU on Dec. 6.

Best of the West Open Results

125 lbs.

1. Ben Kjar, UVCS 3-1

2. Jake Gonzales, OSU

133 lbs.

1. Flint Ray, UVSU 3-0

2. Alberto Arriola West Hills

141 lbs.

1. Michael Mangrum OSU 3-2

2. Garrett Drucker OSU-U

149 lbs.

1. Heinrich Barnes 4-2

2. Seth Roy SOU

157 lbs.

1. Brock Gutches 11-6

2. Tim Patrick OSU -

165 lbs.

1. Keegan Davis OSU 9-5

2. Alec Ortiz

174 lbs.

1. Cady Vasconcellos Sierra 6-1

2. Brandon Perkins OSU

184 lbs.

1. Kyle Bressler OSU 13-2

2. Ty Vinson OSU-Un

197 lbs.

1. Adam Fager UVSU DFlt.

2. Chad Hanke

285 lbs.

1. Clayton Jack OSU Fall - Outstanding Wrestler

2. Steve Franklin SFSU

3. Jon Bates SOU

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