Chishko overcomes much to win second title

March 8, 2014

HERSHEY – The circumstances have changed but the goal has not for Solomon Chishko.

The senior from Canon-McMillan won his second straight gold medal in the PIAA Class AAA Wrestling Championships Saturday night with a 7-2 decision over Joe Galasso of Father Judge in the 145-pound finals at the Giant Center.

Not only does Chishko get a second gold medal but he also won a bet with teammate Dalton Macri over who would score the most points in the PIAA Class AAA Wrestling Championships Saturday.

Don’t ask what the penalty will be.

“I’ll decide,” Chishko said, a smile spreading over his face. “I’ll think of something.”

Chishko has many reasons to smile now. He is a two-time state champion headed to Virginia Tech on scholarship next season. He beat a defending champion in Galasso, the 138-pound winner last year, and he overcame two major injuries to accomplish those things.

“Last year was pretty cool because I was hurt all year,” said Chishko, who finished the season with a 31-1 record and 131-8 career mark. “This year, it feels so good. And Dalton deserved his, too. I’m glad we both got in there and got it.”

Chishko missed the regular season with an elbow injury sustained in the Super 32 tournament. He came back in time for the postseason and went 11-0.

This year, Chishko reinjured his knee in the Ironman Tournament in December and it required surgery right before Christmas. He returned right at the end of the regular season.

“The Ironman was not my best tournament,” he said. “I got beat up pretty good and people thought I lost my touch. That just made me work all the harder.”

Chishko dominated Galasso, taking a 2-0 lead after one period with a takedown with 28 seconds left. The lead grew to 3-1 with an escape in the second and Chishko closed it out with two third-period takedowns.

For the past two seasons, Chishko was a part of arguably the greatest teams Canon-McMillan has had in its program.

Not only was an individual title at stake in those state tournaments, but the Big Macs also were trying to win the team titles from this tournament and did so three consecutive times.

Franklin Regional, with a powerful showing over the weekend, unseated the Big Macs by winning the team title.

“It’s a good feeling,” Chishko said. “We accomplished a lot.”

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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