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Simon sisters qualify for Masters meet
Sisters Mahogany (pictured) and Heaven Simon of Central Valley High School both qualified to compete at the Sac-Joaquin Section Masters Track & Field Championships this week in Elk Grove. - photo by DALE BUTLER/The Courier

Heaven Simon, a four-year standout on Central Valley High School's varsity girls track and field team, was a double winner at the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV-V Championships this past week at Cal State Stanislaus.

Younger sister Mahogany also extended her season.

The top five placers in each event qualified for the Masters competition, to be held this Thursday and Friday at Elk Grove High School.

"They both have a passion for the sport," Hawks head coach Veronica Moreno said. "They both work very hard. Heaven's taken Mahogany under her wings."

Heaven, a senior, will compete at Masters for the third year in a row.

She set personal records while successfully defending her 300-hurdles title (45.77 seconds) and finishing first in the 400 (58.11) at Divisionals.

She placed third in the 400 and fourth in the 300 hurdles as a sophomore.

Heaven took eighth in the 400 her freshman year.

"I'm not surprised," Moreno said while talking about Heaven's run of success. "She has experience. She's very good at maintaining her composure at very competitive meets. She's a dedicated athlete. She's very humble."

Mahogany, a freshman, placed fifth in the 300 hurdles (47.63).

She set personal records during finals and trials.

"I was a little nervous moving her up to varsity earlier this season because she's so young," Moreno said. "She's excelled. She comes from a family of talented athletes but she also works very hard. Getting to Masters as a freshman is an incredible accomplishment. She's doing extremely well."

Latrisha Jordan, Central Valley's most-decorated track and field athlete and an assistant coach with the Hawks, has served as a mentor to both Heaven and Mahogany.

Jordan (class of 2008) was awarded a full-ride scholarship to Fresno State following a remarkable two-year career at the prep level.

Latrisha claimed a fifth-place medal in the 300-meter hurdles at 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 placed eighth in the 400 hurdles at the NCAA Division-I Championships her freshman year, and captured three WAC individual titles.

"Latrisha's a really good role model for Heaven and Mahogany," Moreno said. "She helps them calm their nerves and keeps them focused. They're very fortunate to have her."

Heaven and Mahogany need to finish in the top four in their respective events this week to advance to State. At-large automatic qualifying berths will also be awarded.

"I don't think it's impossible," Moreno said. "They'll be competing against athletes that are at the same level."

Central Valley varsity boys track and field member Gilberto Alvarez had his sophomore season cut short at Divisionals on Thursday.

Alvarez failed to clear the opening height of 11-8 in the pole vault.

"He's worked hard all year long," Moreno said. "He's still pretty young. He understands he has a few more years to improve and excel."