Already considered one of Central Valley High School's all-time greatest track and field performers, senior Heaven Simon has yet to reach her ultimate goal.
"I want to get to state," she said. "This is my final year. That's what motivates me. I can't hold back. I have to push myself a lot more this season."
Simon competed at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships for the third year in a row this past season. She placed 11th in the 300 hurdles (45.84). Simon and the Hawks' 4x100 relay team finished 23rd in a personal-record time (50.94). Heaven set a PR while taking first in the 300 hurdles at Divisionals. Central Valley's 4x100 relay team was fifth.
Simon won the 300 hurdles (48.53) and 400 (1:04.68) at the Western Athletic Conference Finals. She also ran a leg on the Hawks' winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.
"She's incredibly driven in the way she's focused with her athletics and academics," Central Valley head coach Veronica Moreno said. "She's a great role model for her peers. She's very humble, too."
Simon's hurdles coach is Latrisha Jordan, who was awarded a full-ride scholarship to Fresno State following a remarkable two-year career with the Hawks.
The 2008 Central Valley grad claimed a fifth-place medal in the 300-meter hurdles at the 90th annual CIF State Track and Field Championships during her senior year. She completed the race in a personal-best 42.40 seconds, which ranked 25th in the nation.
Latrisha also claimed Masters and Division III titles.
She swept the 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 400 and 200 at the Valley Oak League finals as well.
Latrisha finished 19th with a time of 45.94 in the 300 hurdles at the state meet as a junior. She took first at Masters, and collected four conference titles (100 hurdles, 300 hurdles, 200 and 100).
Jordan owns school records in seven individual and two relay events.
Latrisha placed eighth in the 400 hurdles at the NCAA Division-I Championships her freshman year, and captured three WAC individual titles.
"She's been there," Simon said. "She's preparing me for what's ahead. I love working with her."
Hawk teammates expected to contribute this year include Anthony Harrison (Sr.), Jesse Maciel (Sr.), Josh Sidhu (Sr.), Lisandro Gallardo (Jr.), Dana Miranda (Fr.) and Mahogany Simon (Fr.).
Harrison, Maciel, Sidhu and Gallardo are returners.
Miranda and Simon are newcomers.
Central Valley's boys (3-3) and girls (1-5) placed third and sixth, respectively, in the 2014 WAC dual-meet team standings.
"We lost a lot of talent to graduation," Moreno said. "We're so young. I'm trying to teach them the fundamentals and basics of track. We'll compete and improve."