CLOVIS -- Shanique Walker and Cydney Leath may be teammates at Mt. Pleasant, but they're also each other's competition.
We really push each other, Leath said, giving Walker a playful shove before Walker responded in kind.
The girls took their friendly rivalry to new heights in preliminaries Friday at the CIF state track and field championships. Each qualified for Saturday's finals in three events.
Walker and Leath both qualified in the triple jump and 4x100 relay. Walker's mark of 40 feet, 113/4 inches in the triple jump was the second-best of the day; Leath had the fourth-best mark at 40-21/2.
I was just focused on holding my phases and being aggressive at the board, Walker said. Instead of pushing down and riding the jump out, I just took it one phase at a time.
Standing in the way of their triple-jump title hopes is Ciarra Brewer of Union City's Logan High, the national leader in the event at 43-31/4. Brewer came close to her top jump Friday with a leap of 43-2.
With Ciarra here, I'll have to push myself, Walker said. It should be fun. I'm excited.
Walker also qualified for the final in the 100-meter hurdles with the day's sixth-fastest time (14.11 seconds). Leath came up short in that event, but outleapt Walker in the long jump, finishing with the ninth-best mark at 18-21/2.
In the relay, Walker and Leath teamed with Shayla McPhearson and Kayla Munoz to help Mt. Advertisement Pleasant squeak into the finals with the ninth-fastest time. Only the top nine teams qualified.
The Cardinals will do battle on Saturday with Piedmont Hills' foursome of Ellisa Bryant, Alexandria Diaz, Tekeya Todd and Vivian Nguyen. The Pirates edged Mt. Pleasant in a heat that also included national powerhouse Long Beach Poly, clocking the sixth-fastest overall time at 47.05.
Long Beach Poly is the fastest team in America, and it was a joy to run with them and make the finals, Piedmont Hills sophomore Alexandria Diaz said.
Mt. Pleasant and Piedmont Hills won't be the only CCS teams renewing a rivalry in the 4x100 relay. On the boys' side, Bellarmine's George Armistead, Andre Chapman, Justin Montgomery and Joey Colucci broke the school record with a time of 41.74, becoming the first 4x100 relay team in Bells history to make the state finals.
Bellarmine was the eighth-fastest team in the event. Gilroy, which benefitted from a botched handoff by the Bells to win last week's CCS finals, was seventh in 41.66.
We wanted to get this right and make the finals, Chapman said. We knew we should have beaten Gilroy in the CCS final, and there's been a lot of talk all week about who should have beaten who. Now we have a chance to redeem ourselves.
Like Bellarmine, Gilroy's foursome of Jourdan Soares, Julian Travis, Romeo Travis and David Gunther turned in a personal-best time. But Soares thinks the Mustangs can do even better.
I definitely think we can drop a lot off it come the finals, Soares said. I think we can easily accomplish a top-three finish.
Also advancing to the finals:
Mountain View junior Allison Sturges, whose girls' 1,600 time of 4:50.29 was the fifth-fastest in the preliminaries.
Mountain View junior Samantha Sinclair, who had the eighth-best mark in the shot put at 40-83/4.
Wilcox junior Iesha Hardiman, whose time of 56.10 in the girls' 400 was the eighth-fastest in that event.
Presentation freshman Taylore Jaques, one of several athletes to clear the bar at 11-9 and tie for first place in the girls pole vault.
Prospect sophomore Kamara Biawogi, who placed ninth in the boys' 300 hurdles with a time of 38.28.
Palo Alto's Maurice Williams, who had the day's seventh-fastest time in the 100 in 10.71.