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Central Valley, Ceres High athletes compete at Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Meet
Simon sets personal record in 300 hurdles
Hawk sophomore Heaven Simon placed 16th in the 300 hurdles and 18th in the 400 at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Track & Field Championships on Thursday at Elk Grove High School.

Unable to attend the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Track & Field Championships last week, Central Valley High School head coach Mike Reynolds exchanged text messages with assistant Anthony Castro and visited for live results.

"I planned to go," he said. "My wife gave birth to our second child (Kase) the day before."

Central Valley's Heaven Simon and Ja'Quan Gardner, and Ceres High's Bryce Ford and Gykisha Smith had their seasons cut short during the trials portion of the Masters Meet on Thursday at Elk Grove High School.
Simon set a personal record en route to a 16th-place finish with a time of 47.51 seconds in the 300 hurdles.

She took 18th in the 400 (1:00.30).

The top nine finishers in each event advanced to the finals.

"Just being able to get to Masters as a sophomore in two events is a pretty good accomplishment," Reynolds said. "It was a great experience for her. She's going to be one of the best athletes to come out of Central Valley."

Gardner, a star running back in football, placed seventh in Heat 2 and 18th overall in the 100 (11.40).

He completed the event in a personal-best 11.17 seconds two weeks earlier.

"This is the first time he's been to Masters as an individual," Reynolds said. "He didn't run horrible. I don't think it was a mental issue. He's one of the most unfazed kids I've seen on the football field and track. There are just so many different factors when it comes to the 100. Each year, he keeps getting better and better. He's made a name for himself. He has the potential to go to state next year. He's just got to keep working hard."
Bryce competed for the final time as a Bulldog.

Ford, a senior, finished fourth in Heat 3 and 11th overall in the 100 hurdles (15.49).

Bryce failed to clear the opening height of 5-1 in the high jump.

Ford placed first six times and second twice at the Western Athletic Conference Championships the past two seasons.

Gykisha, a first-year competitor, took seventh in Heat 2 and 20th overall in the 100 hurdles (16.07).