NEWARK -- College Park High's Anthony Urbina is trying to continue a legacy, following in the footsteps of former teammate and three-time North Coast Section wrestling champion Brian Sergi.
Now he is two matches away from an NCS title, after steamrollering through the 145-pound weight class on the first day of the NCS championships.
There are two big obstacles in Urbina's way. The senior, seeded second, will face third-seeded Nicolas Lang of Livermore in a semifinal match Saturday morning at Newark Memorial High, with the winner most likely to face top-seeded Peyton Russum of De La Salle in the championship match.
"I tried to wrestle my best, and I think I succeeded," Urbina said after he pinned Ukiah's Dray Payne in 35 seconds in the quarterfinal match. That followed a second-round pin of James Logan's Roland Bautista and a 38-second pin of Liberty's Jake Gonzalez. "I came in with the second seed and want to be No. 1."
Russum beat Urbina on a technical fall in their only meeting this year. He wrestled that match with a torn ligament in his left ring finger -- sustained in his previous match -- and still wears a plastic cast.
Urbina said he picked up a few things from Sergi last year about handling himself in competition. The main thing, he said, is what he has tried to do at NCS -- come in, work hard and do his best.
Russum is one of six Spartans in the semifinals, as De La Salle tries to win its fifth straight championship. It's a far cry from last year when the Spartans had an insurmountable lead after one day. The Spartans are in first place with 158 points, while James Logan (139.5), Liberty (139) and Windsor (138.5) are in a dogfight for second.
"That was a lot less stress last year," Spartans coach Mark Halvorson said.
Joining Russum in the semifinals for the Spartans are Devin Guerrero (106 pounds), David Conte (113), Nathan Cervantes (120), Aaron Pease (170) and Devon Aiello (182).
Top-seeded Joey Vigil of Heritage (113), Austin Solari of Liberty (132), Tyler Rardon of Livermore (152), Kyle Campiotti of Granada (160) and Dylan Walsh of Las Lomas (285) all advanced easily to the semifinal round. Eureka's Jesus Moreno put second-seeded Ricky Coster of Freedom (120) on his back in the first round, but Coster came back for a second-pound pin in their quarterfinal.
Also at No. 2, Amador Valley's Tommy Yozzo had no trouble with Maria Carrillo's Evan Bluestone en route to a 9-7 victory in their 126-pound quarterfinal.
Granada's Angel Beltran (138), Trey Brazil of Las Lomas (160), Liberty's Tanner Blank (170) and Zach Hanson (182) also reached the semis as No. 2 seeds.