In-section and intra-team battles have steeled Del Oro's Brie Simmons for the 94th annual State Track and Field Championships Friday and Saturday at Buchanan High School in Clovis.
Simmons has competed throughout the season against Fairfield's Daje Pugh and Vacaville's Daria Cook, two of the state's top hurdlers. In practice, she also runs against standout boys hurdler Casey Wheeler.
Wheeler will run the 110, while Simmons starts the race at the same time from the 100-meter mark, giving both an excellent challenge.
At last Friday's Sac-Joaquin Section Masters championships, Simmons placed third to Pugh and Cook in the 100 (14.25) and 300 hurdles (in a personal best 42.90); took second in the 100 meters (12.43) to Monterey Trail's Esther Higgwe and anchored the Del Oro girls 4x400 relay to a second place (4:07.95) finish.
Although she qualified for the state meet in four events, her best shot at reaching Saturday's finals is in the 300 hurdles. Her 42.90 is the fifth seeded time coming into the meet.
The top nine hurdlers from Friday's trials make the finals.
Simmons is headed to BYU.
Wheeler came close to matching his work-out partner's efforts. He qualified for the state meet in three events at the Masters finals held at Elk Grove High School.
Wheeler, who will compete next season for Sacramento State, won the 300 hurdles in a personal best 38.17, placed third in the 110 high hurdles (14.50) and ran the opening leg of the winning boys 4x400 relay team (3.19.71).