Canon-McMillan senior joins elite group at Class AAA regional

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Canon-McMillan senior Solomon Chishko joined the WPIAL's most elite club Saturday at the Class AAA WPIAL/Southwest Regional tournament on Saturday at Canon-McMillan High School, but he had to share the spotlight with teammate Dalton Macri.

Chishko (23-3) became the 24th wrestler in WPIAL history to win four titles with a 9-4 victory against Franklin Regional's Josh Maruca (36-5) in the 145-pound final.

He is the third Canon-McMillan wrestler to reach the milestone, while three others reached the milestone for Canonsburg prior to the merger.

"It's awesome to be only the 24th in WPIAL history," Chishko said. "I've looked up to wrestlers like [Franklin Regional graduate] Nico Megaludis and [Derry graduate] Jimmy Gulibon."

Chishko was also pumped up to see Macri claim the 126-pound title with a 4-3 upset of Hempfield's Sam Krivus, a two-time WPIAL champ. The victory avenged Macri's loss to Krivus in the 2012 finals.

"It didn't surprise me," Chishko said. "I see how hard he works each day in practice. My bets were on him to win."

Macri, a third-place finisher in last year's tournament, scored the winning takedown just before buzzer sounded.

"The only thing in my head was to keep attacking," said Macri. "I had both arms around him when I heard the ref say time [to signify the end of the match]." Macri and Krivus were two of four returning PIAA placewinners in the 126-pound weight class.

"It means even more to me to win such a strong weight class," said Macri, who was named Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament. "Everybody says it's the toughest weight class in the tournament."

Franklin Regional had six wrestlers advance to the finals, and three came away with gold medals: Devin Brown, Spencer Lee, and Josh Shields.

Brown (33-0), a PIAA Class AA champion at Saegertown last season, posted a 2-1 win against North Hills' Gage Curry (35-1) in a match-up of unbeaten wrestlers.

"I got a surprise during the match when I heard my sister screaming," Brown said. "She lives in Ohio and I had no idea she was coming. That really pumped me up. So I have to give her credit for the win."

Lee (45-0), a freshman who is also a Saegertown transfer, totally dominated the 113-pound weight class with three pins and a technical fall, including a pin in the title match against North Allegheny's Luke Landefeld (34-8).

"I want to win four WPIAL titles. That's everybody's dream," Lee said. "It's a great feeling to win my first. My next goal is to win a PIAA title."

Shields (37-4) made his third appearance in the finals and claimed his first title with a 9-4 win against Latrobe's Jake Shaffer (33-10) in the 152-pound final.

Latrobe, Central Catholic, and Kiski Area each had two champions. Zack Zavatsky and Luke Pletcher returned to the winners platform for Latrobe. Zavatsky (38-0) won his third title with a 5-1 win against Mt. Lebanon's Kellan Stout (33-3). Pletcher (39-0) won his second title with an 11-3 win in the 120-pound final against Belle Vernon's Brendan Hasson (34-8).

"I've always loved this tournament since I was a freshman," Zavatsky said.

Vincenzo Joseph and Kyle Coniker won titles for Central Catholic.

Joseph (36-3) made his third appearance in the finals and claimed his first title with a 5-2 win against Franklin Regional's Michael Kemerer (40-2) at 138 pounds. Coniker (27-3) won the 170-pound weight class with a 3-2 win against Chartiers Valley's Noah Wilps (30-2).

Central Catholic's Vincenzo Joseph on winning WPIAL title: "It's a pretty good feeling, but the job's not done yet. Still got next week to go."

Tyler Worthing and Shane Kuhn won titles for Kiski Area. Worthing (32-1) posted a 14-3 win in the 220-pound final against Latrobe's Dylan Davis (25-8). Kuhn (36-1) claimed his second heavyweight title with a 5-2 win against Mt. Lebanon's Zeynul Zaynullayev (33-4).

Also winning titles were: Penn-Trafford's Cameron Coy (35-5 at 132 pounds), Belle Vernon's Austin Bell (38-5 at 160), and Montour's Cole Macek (32-0 at 195).

The top three finishers in each weight class qualify for the PIAA Class AAA Tournament, which begin Thursday in Hershey.

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