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Brea Olinda's Gutierrez battles through the pain

STAFF WRITER

Wrestling has been the perfect outlet for Brea Olinda’s Ryan Gutierrez.

As a sophomore, he suffered a loss greater than any wrestling match with the death of his father.

Faced with adversity, Gutierrez said he did what he was taught to do.

“I had to flip the switch,” he said. “I couldn’t worry about anything when I’m wrestling.”

Gutierrez (113 pounds) dedicated himself during the offseason, attending 14-day and 28-day sessions of the highly regarded J Robinson Intensive Camps. Fast forward to today and Gutierrez finds himself as one of the top wrestlers in the Southern Section, having qualified for the CIF State Wrestling Tournament

“You basically train five times a day,” he said. “What you learn there is how to train when you’re tired and had little amount of rest.”

He’s the only wrestler from the county at his weight that will compete this weekend. He’s the first Brea Olinda state qualifier since 2008. Gutierrez will open the tournament against David Rheingold of Palisades. Rheingold is the L.A. City Section champion.

Gutierrez is one of 31 county wrestlers competing this weekend at the state tournament. Wrestling begins today at 9 a.m. at the Rabobank Arena. The finals will be held Saturday night.

“He’s dedicated himself to the craft,” Brea Olinda coach Fergus McTeggart said.

Gutierrez opened the season with a fourth-place finish at the El Dorado Invitational and was steady throughout the season. He picked up a third-place medal at the Andrew Pena Classic, a second at the Ed Springs Classic, went 3-2 at Five Counties and finished second at the CIT at Morro Bay.

“He has improved every week,” McTeggart said.

Gutierrez won the Century Conference title, a CIF title and placed third at Masters.

“My main objective has been to get better than I was yesterday,” Gutierrez said. “I started training hard every day and I became more confident on the mat.”

He hopes to carry over the confidence this weekend, and will attempt to become the first state medalist for Brea Olinda since 1981 (Mike Greenlead, 200).

“He’s already a champion in life,” McTeggart said. “The way he is training right now and with his mindset, it is clear that wants to win a state championship. He’s an amazing kid. He lost two pillars in his life (his father and grandfather) and he’s been able to maintain and keep his focus on everything.”


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