Friday, March 7, 2014
YORK - Wrestlers often move up in weight class.
Alex Mercurio is trying to go in the other direction.
The reigning 285-pound Class B state champ from York got his senior season off to a good start in his new 220-pound division. His third-period pin against Marc Suprenant of Wells led host York to a 48-33 win in the championship round at the 11th annual Ken Sullivan Memorial York Wrestling Duals.
"It's a lot easier taking a 50-pound bag off your back," said Mercurio, who weighed in at 218 after wrestling most of last season at 260 to 270. The final five pounds came off during Friday's practice. That extra effort spurred Mercurio in the third period.
"It motivates you. When (Suprenant) chose to put me in the bottom position to start the third period, I thought about that," Mercurio said. "This is why you you're there, why you took those five pounds off, why winning is so important."
As a heavyweight, Mercurio was known for his quickness. He plays defensive end in football and catcher in baseball. He showed he still has the relative fast-twitch ability by executing a move called the Granby Roll to quickly escape at the start of the third period. The move required Mercurio to clear his hips out from under Suprenant, and then swiftly roll up and over his own shoulders to swing his body into a head-to-head mirror position with Suprenant.
"He's got great mat speed. His agility is fantastic," York Coach Bryan Thompson said. "He did that flip off the bottom, and to be able to do that with 220 pounds on top of you is pretty impressive."
York won the championship match because it could fill every weight class, while Wells forfeited seven matches. Of the seven contested matches, Wells won six -- five by pin.
"We're going to be a much better tournament team than a dual meet team," Wells Coach Scott Lewia said. "We only have 13 kids, but I have some quality out of those 13. I have four returners who placed at states and four others who qualified for states."
Sophomore 170-pounder Michael Curtis was especially impressive for Wells. He wrapped up York's Connor Elsemore for an emphatic first-period pin in the championship round. Earlier, he pinned Kennebunk's Evan Fecko, the returning Class A runner-up.
Also earning pins for Wells in the finals were Charlie Durfee (106), Isaac Desrochers (120), Sam LaPointe (132) and Colin Sevigney (138).
Wells advanced to the championship round by beating Gardiner, Lincoln Academy and Kennebunk. The latter two wins were by 37-36 scores, with the winning point awarded based on tiebreaking criteria.
"Giving up that many weight classes, we surpassed what I expected," Lewia said.
York defeated Portland, Windham and Morse in its route to the final.
Windham took third place by beating Gardiner, 42-36.
Zach Handley at 195 pounds and Adelle Goyetche at 113 joined Mercurio by going undefeated for York. Both Goyetche and Mercurio won two matches by forfeit.
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be reached at 749-6413 or at: