The pressure of being a senior at the PIAA wrestling tournament and not having a state medal on your resume can work on your conscience.
Pleasant Valley senior Michael Dahlstrom (126) wasn't shy to illustrate that fact following an up and down Friday afternoon at the Giant Center.
Dahlstrom lost his quarterfinal bout to Franklin Regional's Josh Maruca 3-0, but bounced back in the consolation round with a 5-3 decision over Evan Harkins of West Chester Rustin.
Dahlstrom's victory in the consolation round guarantees his first medal at Hershey, as well as brings a sense of relief.
"I definitely feel like I can just let it all hang out now," said Dahlstrom. "Being a senior coming out here and never medaling, it really works on your mind. I put a lot of pressure on myself coming into this tournament to become a state champion.
"Losing in the quarters definitely was a tough pill to swallow, but I knew I had to bounce back."
Dahlstrom used a second period reversal and then earned three back points with a move that was similar to a spladle to build a 5-0 advantage that proved to hold up.
"It's nice for Michael and he really deserves it," said Pleasant Valley head coach Mark Getz about Dahlstrom clinching a medal. "Now he can just come out and wrestle loose and hopefully try to get third place."
Dahlstrom will have to battle the wrestling mountain with a banged up right shoulder. He sustained the injury last week during the regional finals against Blue Mountain's Corey Keener when he landed on his elbow the wrong way.
Now, he gets a sense of numbness throughout his arm when it gets extended, which effects his wrists.
"Most injuries I've had in the past, the pain goes away once the match starts," he said. "With this one, every time I extend my arm, I can feel it and I can't close my wrists."
Sean Bianco (113) bowed out of the tournament on Friday with back-to-back losses in the quarters and consolations.
Bianco fell to Dalton Macri of Canon McMillan 8-5 in his quarterfinal bout and then lost a testy 8-3 affair to Hempfield's Sam Krivus in the consolation round.
Both Macri and Krivus were two of the toughest wrestlers in the 113-pound bracket and things got flared in the Krivus bout, as both wrestlers were docked a technical point each for throwing hands to the face.
Getz knew it was a tough exit for Bianco, but also hopes it'll drive his desire next year.
"It's just the way the bracket works sometimes and Sean got some real tough kids at this weight," Getz said. "It's hard to lose a quarterfinal bout and then come back and wrestle a really tough kid. If he was somewhere else in the bracket, he'd probably medal here, but it is what it is and he has another shot next year."
Dahlstrom battles Colt Shorts of Cannon McMillan in Saturday's consolation round. Dahlstrom needs two straight victories to reach the third place medal round.