CLOVIS, Calif. –
Sasha Wallace has a wide smile, a friendly nature and big personality.
But she never talks smack.
The Holy Names (Oakland)
junior made a very loud and clear statement Friday in the California State Track and Field trials at Buchanan High School, but it was all on the track.
The national leader in the triple jump turned some heads and raised a lot of eyebrows by blowing past previous state leader Traci Hicks
in the 100 meter hurdles, recording a personal best of 13.40 seconds, the second best mark in the nation this year.
Under triple-digit heat, Wallace took just one triple jump (41-7½) to head into Saturday's finals as the event leader in two events.
Afterward, she was all smiles but didn't appear glib, satisfied or cocky in the least.
"I'm just really excited for (Saturday)," she said. "I just wanted to stay clean and get out really smooth and fast."
She needed to in order to knock off Hicks, who has the national all-conditions lead in the event at 13.22 done during a windy Mt. Sac Invitational in April.
Wallace was in that race and remembers how fast Hicks can be. Hicks was the second fastest qualifier Friday at 13.75.
"She's really a good athlete and fast," Wallace said. "But they all are at this level. I wasn't really thinking about making a statement to her. I just wanted to run my best. … I think I did but I want to go even lower (Saturday)."
Wallace's training partner is defending 100 hurdles champion Trinity Wilson, who won the USA Junior Outdoor championships last summer in 13.15 but missed most of the season with a toe injury.
Wilson won last year's state finals in 13.41, so Wallace beat that, a major hurdle if you will.
"I wish she was here competing, but I can do only what I can do," Wallace said.
Here are nine more newsworthy performances or items from Friday's trials.
* Long Beach Poly's
stranglehold on girls' titles is in jeopardy after the Jackrabbits were disqualified in the 1,600 relay for interference.
To that point, Poly, after its fifth straight title, looked in good shape led by Hicks, sprinter Ariana Washington
– the favorite in the 100 and 200 – and a day-best performance in the 400 relay.
But there was a big collision on the second leg and though the Jackrabbits won the heat, they were later disqualified.
* That opens the door for El Camino (Oceanside)
, which got a huge performance from all-around star Jasmine Gibbs, who qualified first in the 100 with a San Diego Section-record 11.43 seconds performance. She broke the mark of Gail Devers.
Gibbs also qualified seventh in the 200 (24.06) and No. 2 in the long jump (19-4½). Her head-to-head battles with Washington and Serra senior sprinter and jumper Alexis Faulknor will likely determine the girls' title.
* Kennedy (Richmond)
senior Kenneth Walker had a mixed day, looking unbeatable while PRing in the 110 hurdles (13.81). The next fastest time was 14.19.
But Walker, who is headed to UCLA on a football scholarship, fell on the last hurdle of the 300s and was disqualified. He came into the meet ranked tied for second even though he'd only picked up the event in the last month.
"I was trying to win both (hurdle races), but at least I got something," Walker told the Oakland Tribune. "I'm just focused on my race, my race only. I'm just here to do what I've trained for -- to win. I've been waiting for this for so long."
* It was another great day for sleeper Kennedy, which won the North Coast Section Meet of Champions for the first time in school history last week. Kennedy's 400 relay team qualified sixth and anchor Takkarist McKinley, a first-year track athlete, qualified fourth in the 100.
* Newport Harbor (Newport Beach)
senior Ethan Cochran
looks in good shape to double after taking the state lead in the shot
put at 64-6 ½. He already ranks No. 2 nationally in the discus (209-8)
and was the top qualifier Friday at 190-0. He took just two throws.
* Along sprint lines, the clear leader there among the boys is
Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks)
senior Khalfani Muhammad who bettered his state-leading mark to 10.44 seconds. He also qualified first in the 200 (21.16) and anchored Notre Dame's No. 2 ranked 400 relay team (41.36). Rio Mesa looked superb at 41.14.
* The two relays could hold the key to the boys championship. Notre Dame is in the hunt along with Serra (Gardena)
, which qualified first in the 1,600 relay with a state-leading 3:14.60 mark. Serra also won its 400 relay heat at 41.36, which is third best heading into Saturday.
* Another Serra athlete – 400 runner Renetia James – made a big splash, taking the state lead, according to dyestatcal.com, in the 400 at 54.26.
* Hart (Newhall)
triple jumper Tim White took the state lead and is No. 3 in the nation with a mark of 50-2¾. He was the first California leaper to go over 50-0 this season.
* Though defending champion and national record-holder Amy Weissenbach of Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood)
figures to breeze to victory in the 800, the leader for one day is from Northern Section's Kody Atkins, of Chico
, who went 2:08.54. Weissenbach cruised to a time of 2:09.87 while winning her heat, which was slower than Heat 2 winner Chelsea Kruthers
of San Juan Hills (San Juan Capistrano)
who went 2:09.29.See all trials and championship results. E-mail Mitch Stephens at email@example.com.