Dow gains Gold

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Mel Dow and his son Tyler hold the team trophy Tyler helped the United States Cadet Team win at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on July 3. Tyler is also sporting his gold medal. (Photo courtesy of Mel Dow)


Former Prairie du Chien Youth 

Program wrestler wins gold at Pan Am Games

By Ted Pennekamp


A former Prairie du Chien athlete has had a great summer of wrestling. Tyler Dow, 16, won the gold medal at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru on July 3 in the 152-pound weight class. 

Tyler easily defeated his four opponents to help the United States Cadet Team finish with nine medals, including five gold, two silver and two bronze, to take home the team championship.

“The experience was really fun,” said Tyler. “You got to meet new people and see new wrestling styles. You observe and might be able to later add some of their styles to yours.”

Tyler won the Cadet (15-17 age group) Freestyle championship by scoring three technical falls and then won with a pin over Sergio Godoy Vite of Ecuador in 2:15 in the title match. Prior to the title match, Tyler defeated Felipe Santana of Brazil by technical fall, 10-0. He then beat Jhoniez Guzman of Colombia by technical fall, 10-0. In Tyler’s third match, he defeated Adam Scott of Canada by technical fall, 12-0.

Tyler’s father, Stoughton High School Athletic Director Mel Dow, said the title match was the culmination of a perfect day. Tyler was obviously firing on all cylinders. His first three matches were each won in less than a minute, and the championship match pin was just 15 seconds into the second period. In the title match, Tyler said his coaches noticed something that his opponent was doing on his shot attempts where his arms were extended. Tyler adjusted and took his opponent down.

Tyler admitted to a few “butterflies” before his first match, but after that he settled down.

“After that I was confident and knew I had a good chance to win,” said Tyler. “It was smooth sailing from there. Overall, the whole experience was great and it was great to represent the USA.”

On July 1, Tyler took fifth in the Greco-Roman competition. The Pan Am Games were Tyler’s third international tournament. Mel said his son had previously finished second in the Ukraine for Freestyle and second in Sweden for Greco-Roman. 

Following the Pan Am Games, Tyler went to Cleveland, Ohio and trained with the World Team at a 2020 U.S. Developmental Camp. He will then head to a National Team Camp for Team Wisconsin before going to Fargo, N.D. for a week for the Freestyle and Greco-Roman Nationals for Cadets and Juniors.

“He’s got some more work to do,” said Mel, who noted that one of Tyler’s goals is to go to at least one Olympic Games following college. “This is not a sprint. He needs to go a long way and to keep developing. It’s all part of his ongoing growth.”

Mel said Tyler wrestled in June in attempt to become a member of the World Team but came up just short. He did, however, have the best results when his Freestyle and Greco-Roman efforts were combined. Tyler’s combined results in the two styles are what got him on the U.S. Cadet Team that went to the Pan Am Games. 

Mel explained that the Cadet Team and the World Team are at the Developmental Level. The Senior Level consists of wrestlers who have finished their college careers. 

Tyler will be junior at Stoughton High School this fall. He was the 2016 WIAA Division 1 State runner-up at 152 pounds.

The Dows, Mel and his wife Kristen, along with Tyler and twins Trenton and Trista, moved from Prairie du Chien to Stoughton six years ago. 

Trenton, 12, is also a top-notch wrestler. He earned All American honors at the U.S. Nationals.

Mel credits Prairie du Chien’s Youth Wrestling Program with giving his sons a big boost in the sport. 

“Prairie’s Youth Wrestling is where their foundation in the sport began,” he said. “Prairie has a great program and we’ve stayed well connected with Prairie du Chien.” Mel noted that the Prairie du Chien High School wrestling team practices before each season with the Stoughton High School wrestling team. Also, Prairie’s new head coach, Jason Thiry, was an assistant coach at Stoughton. Current Prairie du Chien assistant Mike Rogge was also an assistant when Mel was head coach at Prairie du Chien.

Tyler’s grandparents live in the Prairie du Chien area. Grandmother Evelyn Dow resides in Prairie du Chien, while Jim and LeAnne Lessard live in Eastman.

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