Ja'Quan Gardner and his Central Valley High School varsity track and field teammates had plenty of momentum heading into the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Championships.
Their season came to an end during trials this past week at Elk Grove High School.
Gardner, Alex Vazquez, Angelo Bermudez, Kendel Johnson, Jose Uribe, Heaven Simon, Sherlyn Hernandez, Emerald Gutierrez, Mikayla Mabie and Kristie Del Valle needed to finish in the top eight in their respective events in prelims to advance to Friday's finals.
"When you come here, you have to run your best times ever," Hawks head coach Mike Reynolds said. "We didn't do that. I'm not disappointed. We had a great season."
Gardner placed 14th in the 100. He finished the race in 11.17 seconds.
Ja'Quan had the fifth-fastest time in the section (10.83) heading into Masters.
"Everybody's goal is to get to state," Reynolds said. "He had the talent to get there. He still ran well."
Gardner wrapped up his prep athletic career with the Hawks.
Ja'Quan earned nine varsity letters, including four in track and field, three in football and two in basketball.
"He's been a huge asset to our team," Reynolds said. "He brought credibility to our program. He'll be remembered as one of the most likable, humble kids and best athletes Central Valley and the city of Ceres has ever or will ever see. He's definitely going to be missed."
Central Valley's boys 4x100 relay team of Vazquez, Gardner, Bermudez and Johnson placed 15th (43.97). The Hawks posted their second-fastest time of the season.
Uribe, a senior, placed 13th in the discus with a toss of 136 feet during Friday's trials.
Participating at Masters for the third year in a row, Simon placed 11th in the 300 hurdles (45.84 seconds).
Heaven produced her second-fastest time ever.
"She ran a great race," Reynolds said. "It should make her hungry for next year."
Hernandez placed 24th in the 100 in 12.91 seconds.
She had to drop out of the 200 because she re-aggravated an ankle injury.
"It was hurting her really bad," Reynolds said.
Hernandez plans to continue to track career at Modesto Junior College.
"She never played a sport until last year," Reynolds said. "It was a learning process for her."
Hernandez will graduate with school records in the 100, 200, 4x100 relay and 4x400 relay.
"I'm not really surprised,' Reynolds said. "Each week, she got better. She was fun to watch. Latrisha (Jordan), Heaven and Sherlyn are by far the three best girls that have ever come through our track and field program."
Central Valley's girls 4x100 relay team of Gutierrez, Simon, Mabie and Hernandez placed 23rd in a personal-record time of 50.94 seconds.
Mabie pulled her groin during the race.
Short a runner due to Mikayla's injury, the Hawks' 4x400 relay team (Hernandez, Simon, Mabie and Del Valle) scratched.
"We knew going to state was going to be a long shot," Reynolds said. "At this level of competition, there's no room for error. You make one little mistake and that's all it takes. We didn't have a disappointing day. We were competitive. We ran good times. We didn't choke."