BERKELEY -- Mission San Jose High's Ariel Cheng was watching the pole vault bar far above her in the Edwards Stadium pole vault area.
She had just finished her third attempt at a North Coast Section Meet of Champions record of 12 feet, 10 inches in the girls pole vault, and the bar was bobbling.
"I really thought it was going to fall," said the UC Irvine-bound senior.
It didn't, and Cheng raised both her arms in celebration. Her winning mark of 12-10 is tied for the best mark in NCS history in any high school meet, according to the all-time track and field list on cifncs.org. Entering this weekend, only three girls athletes in the state had better marks in the event this season, according to PrepCalTrack.com.
"I was in complete shock. That was crazy. That was an eight-inch PR for me (from the start of the competition)," said Cheng about her record jump.
Cheng had previously set a personal record for the third straight week with a third-attempt clearance of 12-4. She had previously cleared five straight heights.
Cheng's meet record highlighted the girls field event finals Friday at Cal's Edwards Stadium. The final day of the meet is Saturday, with field event finals starting at 9 a.m. and track finals beginning at 1:30 p.m. The top three placers in each event automatically qualify for the California Interscholastic Federation state championships.
Castro Valley's Sasha Wallace had three of her four attempts over 41 feet in the girls triple jump, including her winning mark of 41-8 1/2 (wind-aided). Entering this weekend, only one other girls triple jumper in the state had a mark better than 41-0, according to PrepCalTrack.com.
"I stayed consistent, so I can't really be made at that," said Wallace, who has a national-best of 42-4 this season. "I didn't jump as far as I would like, but I can jump farther next week."
Wallace, the defending champion, opened with a mark of 40-6 3/4, then went 41-8 1/2, 41-1 1/2 and 41-5 1/4 before passing her final two jumps. Carondelet's Christina Chenault produced a personal record of 39-3 1/4 (wind-legal) to finish second.
Wallace was also impressive in her 100 hurdles heat, winning by approximately 10 meters with a mark of 13.75 seconds (wind-legal). Entering this weekend, she was also the state leaders in that event.
James Logan sophomore Morgan Jones set a personal record to win the girls shot put with a mark of 40-0 1/4.
"My release felt better than usual, so I knew it would go farther. (But) it didn't feel like a 40," Jones said.
Pittsburg's Tyra Lassair placed second (38-9).
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