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Driven to succeed in track and field
Jasveen Brar enjoyed a productive first season of varsity track and field at Central Valley High School last spring.

She owes a lot of her success to former teammate and current Fresno State freshman Latrisha Jordan, who graduated as the most decorated Hawk athlete in school history after bringing home a fifth-place medal from the CIF State Meet, and winning a pair of Sac-Joaquin Section Masters titles, one Division III crown and eight Valley Oak League championships during her two-year career.

"Without her, I wouldn't have gone as far as I did," said Jasveen, who excelled at league and divisionals on her way to advancing to masters as a sophomore. "She completely changed my habits (dieting, stretching, resting and work ethic). Now I got to maintain all that by myself."

Added Central Valley head coach Mike Reynolds: "Jazz saw how hard Latrisha worked and that motivated her."

Brar figures to be one of the top hurdlers/sprinters in the area once again in 2009.

She'll compete in multiple events, including the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 400 and 4x400 relay.

"My goal is to make it to state," Jasveen said. "I have a really good chance. It just depends on how hard I try."

"Everyone knows who she is," Reynolds said. "Whenever she races, everyone stops to watch."

Brar placed 17th in the 300 hurdles (49.44 seconds) and 20th in the 400 (1:05.68) at the 2008 masters competition. She also teamed up with Jordan, Danni Sandoval and Marissa Cabusas to place 22nd in the 4x400 relay (4:19.85).

Jasveen helped lead Central Valley to a sixth-place finish at the Division III meet last year. She took fifth in the 300 hurdles in a personal-record time of 47.76 seconds, seventh in the 400 (1:02.58) and ran the first leg on the Hawks' fifth-place 4x400 relay team (4:12.95).

Brar finished second in the 300 hurdles (49.17) and third in the 400 (1:04.34) at the VOL finals a season ago. Brar and her 4x400 relay teammates posted the second-best time (4:32.26).

"She (Latrisha) made me determined to try harder last year," Jasveen said.

Brar now finds herself in the same position as Jordan.

"Everyone looks up to me now," she said. "It's so weird hearing that."

"She's taken on that leadership role," Reynolds added. "She's definitely grown up."

• Bulldog enter season with plenty of promise

Alejandro Garcia qualified for the CIF State Cross Country Championships in the fall.

The Ceres High junior is eager to carry over that success onto the track this spring.

"I would be overwhelmed if that happened," he said.

Garcia will compete in the 800- 1,600- and 3,200-meter races.

"I'm just doing that (the half-mile run) to improve my speed," he said.

Alejandro took 14th in the mile (4:54.70) at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III Meet as a sophomore.

He finished in fifth place in both the 1,600 (4:56.26) and 3,200 (10:41.45) at the Valley Oak League finals.

Garcia will battle Weston Ranch's Roberto Alvarez, Sonora's John Glick and Sierra's John Bowers during conference action.

"They're going to be my competition this year," he said. "They motivate me. It's fun to run against them."

Alejandro started training for the 2009 track campaign at the beginning of the year.

Slowed by a lower left leg injury, Garcia stopped running for several weeks.

"I'm quite competitive," he said. "I don't think I'll sit out if it bothers me during the season. I'm still going to run no matter what."

Asked what he hoped to accomplish this season, Alejandro said: "I'm confident I can get to masters. I don't know if I can make it to state. I'm more of a longer-distance guy. I also want to break the mile record for the school. Another one of my goals is to get a much points as possible so I can get team MVP again."