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HALF MOON BAY — A Napa pumpkin hobbyist has won first place at the 46th annual Safeway World Championship Pumpkin Weigh Off, setting a record for the largest in California.

Leonardo Urena won $15,000 Monday when his pumpkin logged 2,175 pounds. He told an interviewer he would put the money toward his children’s education fund.

Weigh-off spokesman Timothy Beeman says Urena’s pumpkin is the second largest in the contest’s history.

A pumpkin from Washington state weighed nearly 2,400 pounds and won in Half Moon Bay in 2017.

The 51-year-old says he took up the hobby in 2000 and says he enjoys the pumpkin growing community.

He also won the Half Moon Bay contest in 2011.

A week ago, Urena won the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival Weigh-Off and its top prize of $7,000. His pumpkin weighed in at 1,938 pounds, beating his personal record by one pound.

Urena is the production manager at the Hudson Ranch on the Carneros Highway in south Napa where he has been raising mega-pumpkins for years.

He has been competing in the Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off for 20 years. He also took the title in 2005 and 2011.

John Hawkley of Napa won fourth place at Half Moon Bay. He previous won fourth place at Elk Grove as well.

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City Editor

Kevin has been city editor since September 2010. He joined the Register in 1973 as a reporter. He covered Napa City Hall and assorted other beats over the years. Kevin has been writing his Napa Journal column on Sundays since 1989.