Canon-McMillan steals the show in PIAA Class AAA finals
Canon-McMillan's Cody Wiercioch, center, celeberates his piece of history Saturday night in Hershey, Pa. with coach Chris Mary, right, and assistant Jason Cardillo, left.
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HERSHEY, Pa. -- As the last of Canon-McMillan's four PIAA Class AAA finalists to take the mat Saturday night at Giant Center, Cody Wiercioch waited and watched as teammates Connor Schram and Solomon Chishko won gold medals.
That made it even more special for Wiercioch when he did the same.
Wiercioch became the 51st wrestler since 1936 to win at least three PIAA titles by beating Penncrest senior Joe Gartland, 7-2, in the 170-pound championship.
"I don't know how to explain it," Wiercioch said. "Two of my best friends and teammates winning tonight and [Canon-McMillan junior] Dalton Macri in the finals, too, it's just incredible."
Wiercioch (44-1) wrestled at Charleroi for his freshman and sophomore seasons, winning the 152-pound Class AA state title in 2010 and taking second at 160 pounds in his final year with the Cougars.
Since transferring to Canon-McMillan before last season, the Pitt recruit has won the PIAA Class AAA title twice at 170 pounds and has not given up a single takedown while racking up a 90-1 record.
"Cody is going to go down as one of the greatest wrestlers to ever put a singlet on in Pennsylvania," said Canon-McMillan coach Chris Mary.
Schram (45-3) took home his second title by defeating Franklin Regional sophomore Michael Kemerer, 5-3, in the 126-pound final.
The Stanford recruit won the 103-pound title as a freshman, but finished as a state runner-up in 2011 and 2012.
"It feels great to go out with a win, another state title," Schram said. "End it the same way I started it."
For the junior Chishko (11-0), it was a long road to get to the top of the podium for the first time. After suffering an elbow injury in the preseason, Chishko didn't wrestle until the section tournament Feb. 23.
But he won every match after his return, including an 8-0 victory against Chris Vassar of Cedar Cliff in the 145-pound title match.
"I probably worked harder training in this last month than I have my last two years in high school," Chishko said.
Hempfield sophomore Sam Krivus (40-3) kept the Big Macs from going undefeated in the finals, beating Macri (45-7), 3-1, in the 120-pound final.
With three winners and one second-place finisher, the Big Macs finished atop the team standings, beating second-place Central Dauphin by 24 points.
Latrobe freshman Luke Pletcher (41-2) got the district's first gold medal by beating Solanco's Connor Sheehan, 8-2, in the 106-pound championship.
The WPIAL won four of the first five championship matches after Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith (45-4) took the title at 132 pounds with a 5-3 victory against Cumberland Valley's Patrick Duggan.
The final gold of the night by a WPIAL wrestler came in one of the more anticipated matches, at 195 pounds.
Hampton's Jake Hart, the 195-pound runner-up last season, took on defending 182-pound state champion Matt McCutcheon of Kiski Area.
Tied, 1-1, heading into the third period, Hart was awarded one point when McCutcheon was called for stalling as he scurried out of bounds to avoid a takedown.
Then Hart (44-1), an Edinboro recruit who handed McCutcheon (37-2) his first loss of the season in the WPIAL title match last week, sealed the win with a takedown with less than 20 seconds remaining in the match.
"The last two weeks, everything's come together perfectly and I've been feeling at the top of my game," Hart said. "Just wrestling like I should and being confident in myself, that's what I needed to do. I got the job done and my high school career has finally ended on top."
First Published March 10, 2013 12:00 am