Tuttle went west and struck gold over the weekend. Not far from gold rush areas in northern California, the Tigers won the 2019 MidCals Tournament in Gilroy on Saturday.
Luke Surber (152), Dustin Plott (170) and Carson Berryhill (195) each won their weight class, and Tuttle recorded 305 points to win the tournament after finishing second in 2018.
“I was proud of our guys,” Tuttle coach Matt Surber said. “They had the right attitude heading the tournament, knowing they were prepared and ready to go. They also knew it was going to take each and every one of them wrestling tough for us to be in position to win the team title.
“It was a full team effort, placing 12 in the top eight.”
Plott wrestled six times during the tournament, and he recorded five wins by fall and one by technical fall. In the finals, he pinned Bakersfield’s Jarad Priest at 1:16 to repeat as a MidCals champion for the second straight season. In Plott’s five wins by fall, only one made it to the second period -- and it ended at 3:09.
“Dustin continues to be impressive and totally dominating the weight class,” Surber said of Plott, who’s ranked third nationally at 170, according to Intermat.com. “He’s such a hard worker and never settles with where he’s at in his development.”
Luke Surber’s matchup in the finals was against Poway’s Aaron Gandara, who is ranked 16th in the country at 152. Surber, ranked 15th, beat Gandara by major decision, 8-0, and was ultimately named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.
“Luke has been so tough on top all year, and that’s been his biggest asset,” said Matt Surber, Luke’s father. “Gandara has been nationally ranked all season, so he knew he’d have a tough finals matchup. Scoring the first takedown early in the match was key since that’s Gandara’s best position, and that allowed (Luke) to control him from the top position. He didn’t give up a single point all tournament, so that shows the kind of dominant weekend he had.”
Berryhill, the No. 2 seed at 195, knocked off Gilroy’s Ryan Reyes, the No. 1 seed, 2-0 in the finals.
Garrett Steidley (113) and Ryder Ramsey (132) both finished in second place, while Brady DeArmond (145) and Reese Davis (120) each won their respective consolation bracket to finish in third.
“It’s not the ideal time of year to travel and compete in a super tough tournament like this one, but I feel with this being our third year (in California), we handled the whole trip well. We made some adjustments with travel times and the upcoming schedule, so that our guys will be rested up and recovered from the trip. We try to wrestle the best competition we can find week in and week out, and this is a great tournament to attend.”
Tuttle, now ranked 10th in the country, also mixed in some fun on the trip. In 2018, the Tigers were able to sightsee around San Francisco, and this year they penciled in some spare time in Monterey.
“We arrived late Wednesday night in Gilroy, and the plan is for Thursday to be a prep day for the tournament,” Surber said. “This year, we got up and drove an hour south to Monterey. It was a great little trip. We spent four hours there just sightseeing, walking around the ocean front and of course everyone got to see some fresh seafood. It’s just another opportunity for our guys to hang out and spend time together.”