Name: Dalton Macri
Macri’s week: Macri wiped away a year’s worth of waiting when he avenged a lost in the finals last year and won the 126-pound weight class in the PIAA Class AAA Wrestling Championships Saturday at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Macri was one of two Big Mac wrestlers to win gold medals. Solomon Chishko repeated as the 145-pound champion with a 7-2 decision over Joe Galasso of Father Judge in a battle of defending state champions.
Macri won a 5-1 decision over Zach Valley of Northampton, moving up one rung from last year when he lost a 3-1 decision to Sam Krivus of Hempfield in the 120-pound finals.
“It’s way more fun to win,” said Macri, headed to Cornell this summer. “Last year is what drove me. I told my dad and the coaches that I’m tired of finishing second or third or fourth anymore.”
Macri opened the tournament with a pair of technical falls, 25-10 over Connor Meyer of Wilson and 26-11 over D.J. Felhman of Warren. He made it to the finals with a 5-3 decision over A.C. Headlee, the third win over the Waynesburg junior this season.
Significant win: Not only will Macri savor the victory because it was his first gold medal in varsity wrestling, but because it also will be remembered as the one that set Canon-McMillan apart from all other schools in the PIAA.
Macri gave the program its 41st state champion, one more than Clearfield and more than any other school in PIAA history. Later, Chishko made it 42.
“I found out right after,” said Macri, who was 40-2 this season and 133-15 in his career. “That was a special thing.”
C-M head coach Jason Cardillo said it was brought to their attention by a PIAA official, but wasn’t sure Macri or Chishko were around to hear.
“I think they were in the back warming up,” Cardillo said. “I don’t think we told them, because I didn’t want to put pressure on them. It was pretty cool. I told them after, and they were pretty happy about it.”
A good pair: One of the side stories to the state tournament was how much closer Macri and Chishko became this season. The leaders in the room – Macri the vocal one and Chishko the quiet, lead-by-example one – shared each step of the postseason.
“We talked a lot,” Macri said. “I figured the two of us would be there. We kept giving each other positive reinforcement. That helped us both, I think.”
Compiled by Joe Tuscano