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Local wrestler Tyler Cowan was selected to travel this summer to Guatemala with the Athletes in Action (AIA) wrestling team, ultimately bringing home an international title. AIA is a faith-based organization that gives athletes the chance to travel the world while honing their competition skills and learning how to be a strong leader in their schools and communities.
Cowan, who has been involved with wrestling since the age of 4, was recommended for the program by coaches Dan Janowsky and Michael Martinez.
In a statement submitted by Cowan’s family, “Tyler took up the challenge and began a two-week journey that would deepen his faith, increase his knowledge of the world, his appreciation for other cultures and, ultimately, test his skills amongst wrestlers from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua.”
Before heading overseas, the wrestler spent three days undergoing intensive training in Chicago. After training and competing in the city (where he logged a win), Cowan headed to Guatemala, where he traveled throughout the country, competing against area wrestlers.
“The trip culminated in the 25th Annual Pat Shaw International Olympic Wrestling Tournament,” the family wrote. “Tyler wrestled a full bracket and earned the hard-fought title of International Freestyle Wrestling Champion.”
“He credits his faith, his parents, and his coaches Dan Janowsky, Keith Candelaria, Scott Spoede, two-time State Champion Michael Martinez, and World Champion Terry Brands, Doug Reece and Gene Davis for their influence and support,” the statement informed.
Cowan, who will be a junior in high school next year, intends to continue wrestling, stating that, “Wrestling is not just a sport, it’s a way of life that teaches work ethic and perseverance.”
Cowan and his family are grateful for the support of friends, family and fans that helped make his summer experience possible.