By: Willie Saylor, Editor The Open Mat
Brock Gutches, the outstanding Oregon middleweight captured his first national title on Tuesday. Find out what it means to him as The Open Mat sits down for an exclusive interview with the Boise-bound prospect.
Fargo, North Dakota – The Bio and the pedigree indicate the inevitable. But for Brock Gutches, an outstanding junior from Oregon, finally secure the coveted USA Wrestling Greco National Championship had its tangibility.Â
WS: You won 5 Fargo medals coming into these championships, but no titles. How did it feel to capture your first one?
BG: Honestly? Relief. I was close before. Iâ€™ve made it to the finals before. (As a FS Cadet in 2007). I had some All-American places coming in, but nothing compares to winning the title. It was good to get that monkey off my back.
WS: You were wrestling a very game opponent in Ronnie Balfour. He is a relative newcomer on the national scene, but he was unbeaten in National Duals and this tournament leading up to finals. How did you feel about facing him in the finals? Did you know anything about him?
BG: I know it sounds clichÃ©, and maybe lame, but I donâ€™t pay attention to other wrestlers I might face. I know some names and see certain kids around, but I can only control what I can control. People told me that he had been undefeated this Greco season, but other than that, I didnâ€™t know his tendencies at all.
WS: OK. The Money-Move. In the finals, you hit a 3 pointer at the edge of the mat with double overhooks in the second period. Can you take us through that?
BG: Balfour was trying to push me out. My first response was to circle in, but after realizing where I was on the mat, I was cut off. In the course of pummeling out, I grabbed double-overs. I usually donâ€™t like working with them, but it was there and my options were limited, so I went for the toss. It wasnâ€™t the most comfortable, but in the flow of the match, it felt right.
WS: You had 4 Technical Falls in 8 Greco matches, including the last match in your pool. To be blunt, it was really a dominating performance. What do you attribute to your success this summer?
BG: During spring break I was able to go to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. And then I went again for a few weeks this summer. It was nothing but eat-sleep-wrestle, which I loved. For a kid my age it was invaluable. Coaches Zadick and Slay and Antonelli really prepared me.
WS: What are your plans for the rest of the summer?
BG: I plan to just relax. After Fargo Iâ€™m just going to take it easy for a couple weeks till school starts. Itâ€™s been a long freestyle/Greco season and I just want to relax. Maybe two workouts a week.
WS: You signed to wrestle your collegiate years at Boise State. What are your looking forward to most about that program and making the transition to college wresting?
BG: To be honest, Iâ€™m looking for ward to the hard work. Thereâ€™s always barriers to break as a wrestler. Everyday really, youâ€™re getting over new hurdles. Iâ€™m looking forward to that; to working hard so I can be successful at the next level.