The obvious question was where did Wednesday Walton get her first name.
The Post Falls standout hurdler was actually supposed to have the name Tuesday. Her mom saw it in a book as a child and vowed to name her first daughter after the third day of the week.
Natalie Hinz had a change of heart, though, when Wednesday was born on a Tuesday.
“I love my name,” Walton said. “It sounds cuter than Thursday or Monday. Wednesday and Sunday are the prettiest sounding names. Sunday sounds like a girly girl and I’m definitely not a girly girl.”
No, you’re not going to find a girly girl fighting through bruises acquired from knocking down hurdles from time to time.
“My friends tease me about my name all the time,” Wednesday said. “They’ll say, ‘Hey Thursday,’ ‘Hey Friday,’ or ‘Hey Yesterday,’ or ‘Hey tomorrow.’ All sorts of goofy things.”
It’d be easy to say that Walton is making a name for herself. But that’s already happened.
On the track, though, Walton is vastly improved compared with a year ago. The improvement can be measured in time – more than a second in the 300-meter hurdles and half a second in the 100 hurdles. She owns the school records in both.
Walton ran her season best in the 300 (44.95) at the Pasco Invitational and took first. Her season best in the 100 (14.84) came last weekend at the Rasmussen Invitational at Coeur d’Alene.
She’s ranked first in the state in the 300 and third in the 100.
Walton took fourth in state in the 300 and sixth in the 100 last year.
She’s already exceeded her goal of lowering her times this year. She chalks much of that up to winter training and conditioning.
And to her coaches.
“Everybody has played a huge role,” she said. “I wouldn’t be where I’m at without them.”
Walton is like many girls who decide to hurdle. She comes from a gymnastics background.
“I did gymnastics for nine years,” she said. “It really helped me a lot. You have to have really good hip flexibility to be a hurdler. I was pretty much a Gumby. It made me stronger than a lot of girls my age.”
Her best event is the 300.
“For me it’s a lot easier to improve in the 300s than the 100s,” she said. “I don’t have the natural sprinting gene. I’m constantly having to work on my speed for the 100s.”
Walton finds herself facing a decision. She orally commited to attend the University of Massachussets and considered offers from New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Johns Hopkins, College of Idaho and Whitworth. In the last week, though, Idaho has entered the picture. She plans to visit Moscow next week.
In college, her primary event will be the 400 hurdles. It should suit her physical makeup well.
“Mentally, she’s a tough kid,” Post Falls coach Wade Quesnell said. “She does all the little things necessary to do well. Hopefully she’s got lower times still in her. I’d love to see what she could do on a 70-degree day.”
The relays-style meet is a breath of fresh air for athletes. It falls at about the midway mark of the season and gives them a break from the usual invitational format.
Here are other highlights that didn’t make our Sunday results story: Isaiah Troutt of Ferris leaped 44 feet, 9½ to finish behind Zac Dwyer of Clarkston (45-3½) in the triple jump; Samantha Baker of Mead won the javelin (129-10); Jessica Chrisp of Riverside took first in the high jump (5-4); Jade Wilson of Deer Park was first in the 110-meter hurdles (14.87); and Jack Bamis of Gonzaga Prep won the long jump (22-11).
There were meets all over the area on Saturday. At the Rasmussen Invitational in CdA, Lake City sprinter Chris Baker won the 100 (11.00) and 200 (22.61). CdA’s boys and girls won titles. Samuel Lee of CdA won the 110 hurdles (14.77) to go along with wins in the 300 hurdles and high jump. In the girls, Maddison Ward of LC doubled in the 100 (12.58) and 200 (25.93). Makayla Strand of CdA went 11-2 to win the pole vault.