RENO -- Nick Shine always looks forward to good challenges on a wrestling mat.
That explains why the Carson High School sophomore 189-pounder wanted to move up a weight class to face Wooster's nationally ranked Chad Espinoza last week. Shine lost that match, but he took up a new challenge on Thursday and didn't lose at all during the 26th Asics Sierra Nevada Classic at the Reno Livestock Events Center.
Shine pinned three straight opponents to advance to the quarterfinals of the 189-pound weight bracket of the 92-team tournament, which concludes today.
"We thought Nick would do well and so did the tournament committee because they seeded him fourth," Carson coach Tim McCarthy said. "He was third at zone last year, but I think they realized he's better than that."
Shine only needed a total of 3 minutes, 27 seconds to dispose of three opponents, the last a pin of Doug Heinl of Lincoln (Stockton) at 1:09. That was just fine as far as Shine was concerned.
"I don't want to waste any energy because I'm going to run into some stiffer competition tomorrow," Shine said. "I'll probably see somebody tough in the quarters and if I get past that one, then I'll probably see the No. 1 seed."
The No. 1 seed is Kurt Russell of Granite Bay in the Sacramento, who placed eighth in the 189-pound division at last season's California state tournament. Then again, Shine lost 19-4 against Wooster's undefeated Espinoza last week.
"That's my only loss, but it was good experience," said Shine, who is 9-1 this season. "I love challenges like that. They only make me better."
Daniel Lemos of Yerington is the only other Carson Country wrestler who advanced to the quarterfinals on Thursday, as he won three straight matches in the 152-pound weight bracket. Lemos (18-2) won his last match over Kayn Ramirez of Cupertino, Calif., 7-2. Lemos won his first two matches by pin in the first round.
"It was a good match just to give him a good workout," Yerington coach Rod Lemos said. "Daniel is a very physical wrestler. The longer the match goes, the better off he is."
Lemos placed 10th in the 140-pound weight class at last year's Sierra Nevada Classic and then went on to place third at the 3A state meet.
"He was 10th here last year and I think he's improved, but there's a lot of competition in this weight class," coach Lemos said.
The top seed on his side of the bracket is Virgin Valley's Scott Woods, a 3A state champion last season.
Two other Carson High wrestlers remain alive in the consolation bracket: Chris White at 130 pounds and Paul Carter at 140 pounds. Both compiled 4-1 records on Thursday.
Carter spent last season waiting in the wings while state champions Justin Sarnowski and Doug Brooks dominated the 135- and 140-pound slots for Carson.
"Paul hasn't had a lot of varsity experience because of those two guys, but he challenged Brooks every week in practice, and that says a lot," McCarthy said.
Yerington 145-pounder Kevin Brown and freshman 125-pounder Steve Gutierrez are also alive in the consolation bracket. Brown, a third-place finisher at state last season, won his first two matches, including a 5-0 triumph against Carson freshman Micah Whitcome in the opening round.
Gutierrez won his opener before he lost to Spring Creek's Brandon Barrett, a defending state champion. Gutierrez came back to win three matches in the consolation bracket, highlighted by a double overtime victory.