Reclassifying might have been a weighty problem for Chris Mauriello, but the Hauppauge wrestler accepted the challenge.
"I've been cutting weight for a lot of years and that got old," said Mauriello, who was named Most Outstanding Wrestler yesterday at the Massapequa Holiday Tournament.
Mauriello, a junior, defeated Great Neck South's Elias Kokalis, 18-4, in the 160-pound title bout.
That's quite a jump for the wrestler who won the 132-pound state championship last year.
"This year I weighed 165, 166 and I was like I'm not going to cut weight," he said. "I don't care who's at 160. I'm just going to wrestle."
He said the adjustment process included training sessions with his father, Nick, and innumerable trips to the weight room. "He was really good when he was in high school," Chris said of his father.
In addition to bulking up, Mauriello said he has reworked his strategies on the mat. He's a different wrestler these days. "I had to not waste a lot of energy, like no throws, because I'm not a big 160-pounder," he said. "Just wrestle smart."
Several months after he decided to change weight classes, Mauriello feels comfortable. "I think it's kind of the same," he said. "Over the summer I wrestled 160, and my body wasn't used to the weight yet. It was a lot harder, but now my body adjusted and I feel great."
Mauriello was one of four Hauppauge wrestlers to win in the finals, joined by Jake Silverstein (106), John Donahue (152) and Francisco Bisono (170).
Connetquot made a solid showing at the tournament but couldn't catch up to Monroe Woodbury. The Thunderbirds finished second with 246.5 points, behind Monroe's 289. Long Beach placed third (203.50) and Hauppauge fourth (199.50).
Three Connetquot wrestlers -- Danny Colondonna (106 pounds), Eddie Hart (145) and Anthony Avgi (195) -- made the finals in their respective weight classes. None won, but the team's depth and success in the consolation round helped the Thunderbirds hold off their chasers.
Tom Repalone (138), Gino Titone (160) and John Lepak (170) each won their third-place match.
"You always want first, but Monroe Woodbury's very tough," Connetquot coach Bill Santoro said. "I guess you could say, 'Look at it this way: We finished ahead of the other Nassau and Suffolk teams.' But it's all prep anyway. All these invitationals are all prep for stuff down the road."
Added Hart: "We're still pulling it together, but our team looked good today."
South Side's Kyle Mosher (99), Massapequa's Shane Gibbons (113), Division's Ricky Stamm (138), Bethpage's Jake Einbinder (145) and Long Beach's Tyreek Bromley (182) won their respective final bouts.
Massapequa (199 points), Division (112), Nashoba Regional (77), Bethpage (69.50), South Side (49) and Great Neck South (30) rounded out the team scoring.