Pleasantville High graduate Nia Ali, twice the world indoor champion, easily advanced in the 100-meter hurdles Thursday night at the U.S. Olympic Trials, recording a 12.68 auto qualifier at Hayward Field in Eugene.
Ali raced in the third of five heats, with 21 advancing – the top three in each heat and the next six fastest.
She finished second in her heat behind Jasmin Stowers, who ran 12.65. Ali’s time is fourth-fastest overall heading into Friday’s semifinals.
Ali’s 12.68 is actually a season-best. She hasn’t raced much this summer. Her PR is 12.48 from 2013.
Her time, achieved with a legal wind of 0.9 meters per second, puts Ali No. 8 in the world according to the latest IAAF rankings.
The semifinals are scheduled for 6:58 p.m. Friday, with the finals at 8:54 p.m.
Ali, a Philadelphia native, began her high school career at West Catholic.