ASHLAND, Ore. — SOU’s Brock Gutches is putting together one of the most dominant wrestling careers in NAIA history. He’s a three-time national champion, with a 15-9 record against NCAA DI wrestlers. On November 1st, Gutches will get his chance to compete on one of the biggest stages in college wrestling.
Gutches was invited to be in the National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Star Classic, after Pitt’s Tyler Wilps withdrew because of an injury. The event features one match from each wight class. Seven of the ten matches feature a wrestler ranked number one in the NCAA in their weight class.
Gutches is the first NAIA wrestler to compete at this event since 2004, but he’ll get an opponent he’s familiar with. He’ll square off with Robert Kokesh of Nebraska, who beat Gutches in the finals of the Reno Tournament of Champions last season.
“I definitely expect it out of myself that I should be wrestling in all the big tournaments,” Gutches said. “NAIA, DI, DII, I mean they’re all just kind of labels. I like being the only NAIA guy to go to it but I’m going there to beat a specific guy. I’m not going because it’s a special dual or anything like that. I want to beat this guy and that’s why I really want to go to the dual is because I want to wrestle him and I want to have a little bit of payback.”