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Hawk Simon wins pair of WAC titles
Alvarez clears 11-6 while taking first in PV
Central Valley junior Gilberto Alvarez finished first in the pole vault at the WAC Championships this past week in Merced. - photo by Courier file photo

Mahogany Simon started carving her own path as a standout on Central Valley High School's varsity girls track and field team last spring.

Just a freshman, Simon took second in the 300 hurdles (49.29) and fourth in the 100 hurdles (18.34) at the Western Athletic Conference Championships.

Mahogany swept the 100 hurdles (16.71) and 300 hurdles (49.30), and finished second in the 200 (26.95) at the 2016 WAC Finals on Thursday at Golden Valley High School in Merced.

"She did not exceed our expectations," Hawks coach Nate Diamantine said. "She lived up to them. Mahogany is a talented, hard-working, dedicated athlete. We put a lot of emphasis on setting and achieving goals and she is doing a great job of it again this year."

Older sister Heaven Simon, a 2015 Central Valley grad, ranks among Central Valley's all-time greatest athletes.

Heaven claimed four individual titles at the WAC Championships last spring. She placed first in the 100 (13.09), 200 (27.05), 400 (59.59) and 300 hurdles (46.85).

She won the 300 hurdles (48.53) and 400 (1:04.68) at the conference finals in 2014. She also ran a leg on Central Valley's winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams.

She took first in the 400 (1:03.35), and second in the 200 (26.60) and 300 hurdles (51.56) her sophomore year.

Heaven finished first in the 400 (1:05.81), third in the 100 (13.35) and fifth in the 200 (28.36) as a freshman.

"We don't put any pressure on Mahogany and she doesn't put pressure on herself either," Diamantine said. "She doesn't seem to be fazed by much, which is a great quality to have in such technical events. If something goes wrong in a race, we talk about it, work on fixing those race mechanics, and move on to the next race. That type of mindset and work ethic will allow Mahogany to forge her own path."

Simon will represent Central Valley at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V Championships this week at Stanislaus State thanks to her top-three finishes at the WAC finals.

The Hawks totaled 32 points on their way to a fifth-place finish in the team standings.

Central Valley's Gilberto Alvarez placed first in the pole vault during the WAC Varsity Boys Track & Field Championships last week in Merced.

Alvarez, who cleared 11 feet, six inches, missed part of the season with an undisclosed injury.

"Gilberto didn't surprise me," Hawks coach Veronica Moreno said. "An injury to an athlete is always unfortunate, but Gilberto did not let it hinder his goals and training. He is an amazing athlete that sees every situation, whether it is positive or negative, and takes it as a learning experience to improve his athletic performance."

Lisandro Gallardo placed second in the 300 hurdles (44.01), fourth in the 110 hurdles (17.68) and 10th in the 100 (12.43).

The Hawks earned just four points while finishing seventh at the WAC Championships.