Nia Ali ran a season-best 12.74 despite a 1.2-meters-per-second headwind Friday to advance to the semifinals in the 100-meter hurdles at the USATF National Championships in Sacramento.
Ali, a graduate of Pleasantville High School and the Olympic silver medalist last year, won the second of four heats in the trials. Her time was third-fastest of the 16 hurdlers who advanced to Saturday’s semifinals.
Her time is No. 13 in the world this year.
Ali’s personal-best is a 12.48 in 2013. She ran 12.59 in winning the silver medal in Rio de Janeiro last summer.
The only women to race faster than Ali in Friday’s trials were world record holder Kendra Harrison (2017 world No. 1 12.54) and Oregon’s Alaysha Johnson (12.71), the Pac 12 champion.
“I can’t complain about anything,” Ali said. “It was a negative wind, but I am just happy to come out with the win. I have not won a race all year. It is perfect timing for me. I am happy I was able to execute in a comfortable fashion.”
The semifinals are scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Saturday, with the finals following at 5:54 p.m.
“I just want to approach with the same mentality and stay even-minded and at pace,” she said. “I need to focus on my own lane and focus on what my coaches tell me to do.”