Merced's Urquizo takes Brown tourney title

SACRAMENTO -- It was one of the most highly anticipated matches of the day at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.

In one corner was Chris Urquizo, a state finalist two years ago looking to make it back. In the other was Vlad Dombrovskiy, a Natomas senior who won a state title last year.

"You always get pumped up for tournament championships," Urquizo said. "But for this one, I could feel the extra adrenaline."

That extra burst helped Urquizo, who pinned Dombrovskiy in the first period, one of the few pins in the finals of the Tim Brown Memorial Wrestling Tournament.

Saturday night's 152-pound championships will be the only time the two will face each other this season. While Urquizo was wrestling at his normal weight class, Dombrovskiy was moving up two weight classes for an extra challenge.

Urquizo looked much larger than Dombrovskiy on the mat, and the strength advantage would prove to be too much.

"I shot in and got a single (leg) for a takedown," Urquizo said. "And I started feeling pretty good."

Moments later, Urquizo wrapped Dombrovskiy up in a cradle, trapping his shoulders against the mat for the victory by pin. Urquizo was named the tournament's outstanding middleweight wrestler.

"It was there," Urquizo said. "I love the cradle. It's one of my favorite moves."

It was an intriguing matchup of Urquizo's strength and Dombrovskiy's experience and savvy.

"Coming in, I didn't know what was going to happen in that match," Merced coach Clayton Schneider said. "But Chris is tough on top. And he's wrestling well."

Urquizo improved to 29-3, with only one of his losses coming at 152 pounds. He's split matches with De La Salle's Tyler Sheridan this season.

"How this match ended was a little surprising," Urquizo said. "I didn't think I was going to be able to do that to a defending state champion."

Two other Stanislaus District wrestlers advanced to the finals of the prestigious tournament.

Central Catholic's David Ferry made it to the 125-pound finals, losing 5-2 to state No. 1 David Klingsheim of Liberty High of Brentwood.

And Oakdale's Charlie Gilstrap bulled his way into the 215-pound finals, where he took an early lead but lost 8-3 to Sutter's Austin Morehead.

Ferry, a sophomore, had a strong tournament, defeating Union Mine's Cody Tow 5-3 in the semifinals before battling Klingsheim in the finals.

"Klingsheim's really fast on his feet," Ferry said. "It's tough to score on him. I had a couple of shots, but they were on the edge of the mat and I didn't get the points."

Ferry wasn't unhappy with the loss, though. His victory over Tow was his first against a state-ranked wrestler.

"Tow's really tough, too," Ferry said. "To get a win like that is a big confidence booster. It's really the first time I've gone against a state-ranked guy; it tells me where I'm at."

And after the victory over Tow came a competitive match against Klingsheim.

"I don't think very many people expected our match to be close," Ferry said. "But I thought I hung in there.

"I'm pretty happy with how I wrestled."

Oakdale's Gilstrap also had a big highlight in the semifinals. He battled Rocklin's Brandon Barone -- ranked No. 1 in the Sac-Joaquin Section by The California Wrestler -- in a highly competitive match. Gilstrap got a takedown with about a minute left, then rode Barone out for the 7-6 victory and berth in the finals.

Morehead, however, was much quicker than Gilstrap. He was able to twist and turn for several takedowns in the 8-3 victory.

Bee staff writer Will DeBoard can be reached at or call 578-2300.