Hawkeyes Ready to 'Run with It'

Nov. 13, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa head wrestling coach Tom Brands says the results of the team’s annual wrestle offs are cut and dry, and he urges his Hawkeyes to run with it.

“We say let’s take the bulls by the horns and not look back,” Brands said on Tuesday inside the Dan Gable Wrestling Complex. “That’s where it can be cut and dry and pretty simple.”

The Hawkeyes get the 2012-13 season underway Friday in Chattanooga, Tenn. The Hawkeyes will compete in three duals, facing Cumberland (Tenn.), Virginia and host Tennessee-Chattanooga.

At the team’s wrestle offs, Brands saw competitive weight classes at 141 and 149 pounds, where a senior and redshirt freshman were victorious. At 141, senior Mark Ballweg downed sophomore Josh Dziewa, 3-1, while redshirt freshman Brody Grothus came out on top at 149 pounds, unseating last year’s starter Michael Kelly.

“Kelly wants to get in there, but we’ll tell a guy like Grothus to take it and run,” said Brands. “It’s about performance. Do your job, compete ferociously and widen the gap and score points, and we’re happy campers… all of us.”

Brands said senior Grant Gambrall is feeling good about his move to 174 pounds. Gambrall began his junior season at 197 before cutting to 184 late in the season. He was an All-American at 184 pounds as a sophomore.

“It’s about performance. Do your job, compete ferociously and widen the gap and score points, and we’re happy campers… all of us.”
UI head coach Tom Brands

“Things work themselves out,” said Brands. “He feels like he can move well down there (at 174), and likes how he feels. Now it’s just keeping moving forward with it. It’s not a let’s see if this works out (type of thing). He did it, and let’s keep moving forward.”

Brands says senior Matt McDonough’s 3-2 victory over Cory Clark in the 125-pound final of the wrestle-offs was a good wake-up call for the two-time NCAA champion.

“We have a senior that got a good reality check with his frame of mind,” said Brands. “It’s not about how old somebody is. When you have a good opponent, you have to be focused on dismantling them and wrestling like it is anybody else.”

The performance of Clark and fellow freshman Thomas Gilman left Brands feeling good about the team at the weight class. Clark edged Gilman, 3-1, in sudden victory to earn the opportunity to face McDonough.

“We like this (the competition),” said Brands. “We need to keep moving forward with all three of those guys.”

Sophomore heavyweight Bobby Telford was Iowa’s most dominant competitor at the wrestle offs, posting a pair of first period pins over sophomore Josh Haug and freshman Artie Bress. Brands says Telford is eager to build off his freshman season.

“He’s really ready to make it real,” said Brands. “He is ready to show how far he has come in a `let’s get it on’ mentality.”