On Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, Harry S Truman senior Gunnar Fuss was recognized for committing to continue his wrestling career at Columbia University. To view photos of the event, please visit the Photo Gallery.
Gunnar Fuss – Columbia University (Wrestling)
Major: Undecided possibly Biology or Engineering
Final list of colleges: Columbia, Penn, Brown, Pitt
Reasons for choosing Columbia: “I was visiting Pitt when the Columbia coach called me and offered me a spot. It was kind of a crazy weekend. When I visited, I fell in love with the city. The coaches were great to me, and the guys were cool. It’s a great school – it’s one of the best schools in the world, so it’s a great opportunity.”
What was the progression that led you to competing in wrestling at the collegiate level? “I knew wrestling would be the key to get into school, but I knew I had to keep up my academics, so my parents pushed me to stick to wrestling and even more to stick to my grades. Last year, I started visiting Junior Days, and it really hit me that ‘Man, I’m actually going to college, and I might get into a good school.’”
Coach Jesse Dunn says: “One of the big selling points in his recruiting process was his ability to balance a strong academic schedule with being very, very competitive with his wrestling. It’s not an easy thing to do, and he’s kind of mastered that. He competes at the highest levels, and he performs at the highest levels in the classroom. Being able to balance those two put him in a really good place and set him up for these next couple of years. I know all the coaches he talked to throughout the recruiting process – they told me personally that was a big, big selling point for him.
“He’s so humble. He’s not the type of wrestler to throw up a big celebration or anything like that. He’s almost emotionless on the mat. He’s been solid from the time he was a little kid. A lot of it is a natural ability, but he puts a lot of work in. From an early age, his parents made sure he was all over the country wrestling in the bigger tournaments throughout the country, going to the elite clubs up and down the coast. It comes down to his work ethic. He’s never been an issue in the room. I think the fact that he buys into our system of understanding that to be the best you have to compete against the best, so we might go into a tournament or wrestle a dual meet where the other team has a better opponent at a higher weight. He knows going into that dual meet that he’s bumping up or whatever it might be – we want to try to get the better match with him, whether it means a loss or not. He’s had his eyes set on March every year. He’s well aware that anything before March are just learning points.”
Favorite food: Cheesesteaks
Favorite movie: Blaze of Glory
Favorite music: Classic Rock