West's Gambrall commits to Hawks
By K.J. Pilcher
Grant Gambrall's wrestling career has been centered around Carver-Hawkeye Arena, working out there as a member of the Hawkeye Kids Club or watching the University of Iowa take the mat.
Things aren't expected to change in college. Gambrall committed Monday afternoon to continue his wrestling career for Hawkeyes coach Tom Brands.
``It had a lot of influence on my final decision,'' the Iowa City West senior said. ``It's pretty fun knowing that I finally got there after wanting to be a Hawk for so long. It's definitely something to look forward to.''
As a junior, Gambrall posted a 47-1 record, winning the Class 3A 171-pound state title. Gambrall, a three-time state qualifier, was a state runner-up as a sophomore for Iowa City High before transferring to West. He has a career mark of 116-16.
This summer, Gambrall was a double all-American at the Junior National tournament in Fargo, N.D., placing fifth in freestyle and third in the Greco-Roman competition. He also won a crown in April's Folkstyle National tournament at Cedar Falls.
Gambrall said he will receive a scholarship, but declined to share details. He plans to red-shirt his first year then make an immediate impact.
``I think I'll be around 174 or 184 (pounds),'' Gambrall said. ``I plan on starting all four years and doing real well.
``I think I have the work ethic to do it. I'm confident.''
Iowa won out over Iowa State and Nebraska. The Hawkeyes tradition, which has influenced him during his career, was a deciding factor.
``I think they draw the biggest crowds to their wrestling meets and the fans get into it,'' said Gambrall, noting he'd reunite with former Hawkeye Kids Club mates and current West teammate Nate Moore, who committed to the Hawkeyes earlier this year. ``I like that part of it.''
West Coach Mark Reiland said Gambrall joining the Hawkeyes is a good fit.
``He's not afraid of hard work. That's the No. 1 aspect you need to be successful,'' Reiland said. ``He's not flashy. He's always finding a way to be successful. That's something that will carry over to the next level