“Finally, all the hard work paid off,” Orona said. “I just went out there and wrestled my best. “I just went into the quarterfinals confident. I knew what I could do, and I went out and did it.” • Audio: Whittier – CIF wrestling finals BAKERSFIELD – at Rabobank Arena, wrestled his way into today’s semifinals in the 119-pound weight class. Orona scored a technical fall over Vista’s Chris Escobar in the second round and survived an overtime thriller in the third round before scoring a major decision with an easy 13-1 victory over Del Oro’s Corey Johnson in the quarterfinals. The win over Gilroy’s Martin Gonzalez in the second round, which he earned with a takedown in overtime for a 3-1 victory, was all about will. “I just went in there thinking that I didn’t want to lose,” Orona said. “I just kept on wrestling the whole match.” But it wasn’t easy. Gonzalez got the edge late in the second period with an escape for a 1-0 lead. But Orona countered with his own escape with 1:33 left in regulation before getting the takedown and the win with five seconds left in overtime. “I just tried to finish,” Orona said. “I knew I couldn’t stop, otherwise I lose. I’m just thinking, `Keep on going, keep on going.’ I kept on (wrestling), and I got the escape and then (later the win).” He now faces No. 1-ranked Nikko Triggas of Campolino in the semifinals this morning. It’s a match Orona is looking forward to. “I’m happy to see (him) in the semifinals,” Orona said. “He’s No. 1 in the nation. It should be a very exciting match.” Williams, who advanced to the finals at 103 pounds last season, is happy to get another shot at today’s semifinals and finals. “I feel good,” said Williams, ranked No. 1 in the state at 112 pounds. “I felt bad after losing (at CIF-SS divisionals), but I’m beyond that. I’m in the semis, and I have a really tough match, so I’m looking towards that.” Williams advanced with a pair of technical falls in the second and third rounds before scoring a 5-2 win over San Leandro’s Markjay Acosta. He faces Bakersfield’s Nextoe Demison in the semifinals. “I just have to take them one at a time and focus on winning the semifinals,” Williams said. The first day of the CIF State Wrestling Championships was especially gratifying for Santa Fe High School’s Marcus Orona on Friday. Orona, who brought a No. 2 state ranking into this weekend’s event. Other wrestlers of note who advanced to the semifinals include South Hills’ Thomas Williams (112), San Dimas’ Angel Garcia (119) and Rosemead’s Anthony Gonzalez (heavyweight). All three have clinched at least a sixth-place finish. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3061 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!