RENO, Nev. — Brock Gutches proved once again that his prowess isn't limited to the NAIA level with a second-place showing at the Reno Tournament of Champions for the second straight year on Sunday.
The Southern Oregon University junior plowed through his first four matches before dropping a 3-1 decision to top-seeded Robert Kokesh of Nebraska in the 174-pound championship. His overall record this year is now 12-1.
Gutches, seeded second, received a bye in the first round and started with a major decision over Wyoming's Brent Havlik (8-0) and a decision against Nebraska's McCoy Newberg (8-2). He pinned his way through the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds — finishing off Simpson's Brady Beamon in 5:15 and Grand Canyon's Martin Fabbian in 4:24.
It took Kokesh, the fourth-ranked 174-pounder at the NCAA Division I level, to hand Gutches his first loss of the season.
Seventh-ranked SOU also got team points out of Trevor Hancock (133 pounds), Johnathon Gay (141), Travis Patrick (157) and Tucker Van Matre (184), who came away with one win apiece. Hanock pinned Boise State's Ben DeMuelle in 3:30 in the third consolation round, and Van Matre pinned Southwest Oregon's Trevor Davis in 4:54 in the second consolation round.
The Raiders placed 15th out of 25 schools represented. Nebraska was first, Wyoming second and North Carolina third.
A handful of Raiders will next hit the mats at the prestigious Midlands Championship on Dec. 29-30 in Evanston, Ill.