Hannah earns two gold medals at Junior Pan American Games

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Tyler (Truck) Hannah stands on the top of the podium after earning gold in the 87KG Greco Roman weight class at the Junior Pan American Championship in Oaxtepec, Mexico. (Photo submitted)

By Ted Pennekamp

 

Tyler (Truck) Hannah, a 2020 Prairie du Chien High School graduate, had a great week at the Junior Pan American Championship in Oaxtepec, Mexico from June 7-14.

Truck took the gold medal in the 87KG (191.8 pounds) in Greco Roman wrestling, and then topped off his week by filling in for a United States wrestler who had passport difficulties to win the Freestyle Championship a weight class higher at 92KG (202.8 pounds).

“It was fun,” said Truck. “These are the best wrestlers from North America and South America.”

Truck, who wrestled as a freshman for Loras College last season, said the meet, which was held about two hours from Mexico City, was very eye-opening.

“I’m very thankful for what we have here. I’m thankful to live in the community (Prairie du Chien) and country I live in,” he said. 

Truck said he had an amazing experience, and made some new acquaintances from other countries. He noted that he and other United States wrestlers traded shirts with their competitors. “They (the wrestlers from other countries) wear the U.S.A. shirts with pride,” said Truck who saw one wrestler wear his newly acquired U.S.A. shirt for several days in a row.

“It makes me feel grateful,” Truck said.

Truck said he took second at the World Team trials to qualify for the Junior Pan American Games. 

Even though he earned gold medals in two weight classes and two styles of wrestling, Truck said he continues to learn.  The Junior Pan American Games was the fifth international wrestling event Truck has competed in.

“I’m continuing to learn a lot,” said Truck. “I’m picking up some technique. We don’t wrestle these styles in high school. The United States is the only country that wrestles Folk Style. The wrestlers from other countries train in Greco Roman and Free Style.”

Truck said he is looking forward to continuing to train and improve. He trains at the Combat Wrestling Club in Blue River, Wis., with coach Lucas Steldt.

“My goal is to eventually make the Olympic Team and represent my country and community to the best of my abilities,” said Truck. “I’d like to thank my family, friends, community and coaches for all of their support. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do this.”

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