South Xtra: Big Macs champ back from injury
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Solomon Chishko is back, and just in the nick of time.
Chishko, a junior on the Canon-McMillan wrestling team, has been cleared to wrestle in Saturday's Class AAA Section 4 tournament, which will take place at Moon Area High School.
Chishko is a two-time WPIAL champion and two-time PIAA bronze-medalist who has been recovering from an elbow injury sustained at the Super 32, a preseason national open tournament for high school wrestlers.
"We are obviously pleased to get Solomon back in the lineup," Canon-McMillan coach Chris Mary said. "We had hoped to get him back for the team tournaments, but he needed more time to heal. We're hoping that he can pick up where he left off last season."
Chishko posted a 90-7 record the past two seasons while competing at 130 and 138. He enters the Section 4 tournament at 145 pounds as a two-time champion with a record of 0-0 this season.
"Stepping into the postseason tournaments without any mat time will make it tough for Solomon, but he's certainly not a rookie," Mary said. "He's been through this before and won a couple WPIAL titles.
"His conditioning has improved significantly over the past month, so we think he's ready to go. He just has to take it one match at a time and don't overlook anybody."
It was also bad news for Trinity senior Don McWreath (12-3), a WPIAL qualifier last year at 195 pounds.
"Don has been bothered by a back injury," Trinity coach Mark Powell said. "He tried to wrestle but it was too painful."
Chishko is one of six Canon-McMillan entries who have won a previous section title. In fact, the Big Macs have a pair of three-time section champs, Connor Schram (34-3 at 126) and Cody Wiercioch (34-1 at 170). Both are two-time WPIAL champions and three-time PIAA finalists.
Dalton Macri (35-5 at 120), Alex Campbell (29-6 at 220) and William Pihiou (11-11 at 152) are also returning section champs for Canon-McMillan.
Macri has moved up after winning at 113 last season. Campbell is the defending champ at 220. Pihiou won his title in 2010, but hasn't been back to the finals since.
Five Section 2 champs return
The Section 2 tournament at Baldwin features five returning champions, including three-time winner Ethan Kenney (23-6) of Connellsville. He's won previous titles at 103 and 119, and is the defending champion at 132.
Belle Vernon has a pair of returning champs, Adam Nickelson (31-1) and Nathan Russo (28-4). Nickelson has moved to 182 after winning a section crown at 170 last season. Russo won at 103 in 2011, placed second at 113 last season and is now competing at 126.
The other two returning Section 2 champs are Elizabeth Forward's Lukas Etzel (22-7) and Ringgold's Devin Fallenstein (30-3). Etzel is the defending champ at 120. Fallenstein won at 152 and is now at 160.
West Mifflin's James Harrison (26-1) is a two-time section runner-up at 103 and 106. He is competing this season at 113 pounds.
First Published February 21, 2013 12:00 am