MOORPARK (News4usonline) – Roderick Pleasant stole the show at the CIF Southern Section Masters Meet at Moorpark High School. The Serra High School junior ran the fastest official time in the history of California in the boys’ 100 meters.
Running up against an elite fleet of sprinters on either side of him, Pleasant smoked the field with a stunning time of 10.14 seconds. Pleasant’s time erased the old state record of 10.25 seconds, set by Henry Thomas of Hawthorne High School way back in 1985.
Not only is Pleasant’s time the best in the state, but it also ties the national mark set by Mathew Boling in 2019. The strategy going into the 100 meters was just to do what he’s supposed to do, Pleasant said.
“Just executing the race, that was the biggest thing for me,” Pleasant remarked shortly after claiming the 200 meters in a time of 20.4.
Pleasant reiterated that theme as he described from start to finish what he was trying to do.
“Execute, execute, execute,” he said. “That was the biggest thing. That’s what we came to do: execute.”
Alexis Faulknor, the head track and field coach at Serra High, said there was no doubt that coming into the race Pleasant would run as fast as he did.
“Of course,” Faulknor said. “You saw last week he ran a 10.17 with a .27 wind. That’s about 10.24ish. We knew he was going to drop. It’s amazing what he did.”
In a meet that featured the best of the best in Southern California, Pleasant proved he is the Alpha. He has one more challenge to go, and that is to the state meet. Faulknor expects Pleasant to represent himself, the Serra track program and the school well.
“We’ve got one more week to show out,” she quipped.
As far as what type of strategy she had planned for her star runner, Faulknor echoed Pleasant’s sentiments about execution.
“All Rod had to do was execute,” Faulknor explained. “There was nothing else that he needed to do. He didn’t need to do anything else but execute, and that’s what he did. We still got some things that we can fix.”
Pleasant may have dominated the field in the 100 meters, but the competition against the Serra star when he returns for his senior season appears to be formidable. And really, you don’t have to wait until next year, especially in the Southern Section. Sophomore Jordan Washington from Long Beach Jordan (10.38) and freshman David Bragg (10.45) of Los Alamitos were just behind Pleasant in the 100.
All three runners will attend the state meet based on their performances. With Pleasant, Washington and Bragg all being underclassmen, this illustrates that the art of the sprint at the high school level is alive and well. That includes the girls’ side as well. Jordan Washington and Brazil Neal had quite a day for Serra.
The two sprinters went 1-2 in the girls’ 100 meters with Washington prevailing in a time of 11.6.
“To go 1-2 with my teammate means a lot to me,” Washington said. “It pushes me to go harder. It allows me to go faster, to be able to win it all [and] to win state. I’m just so proud of my teammate. I couldn’t do it without her.”
Washington said her intent was simply to go all out.
“Drive and finish all the way through,” Washington said. “Get my knees up, move my arms and win it all. You know, just go for it.”
Neal was just excited as Washington about the teammates taking first and second place in the 100.
“I work out with her every day. So in practice, we push each other all the time. So when we get to the meet nothing it’s like nothing for us,” Neal said. “It means a lot to go 1-2. It’s just preparing us for [the] state [meet]. Being able to practice with such a great sprinter as my teammate, it just makes the competition a whole lot more fun.”
Washington and Neal would finish second and fourth, respectfully, in the 200. Washington and Neal teamed up with Mia Flowers and Jaiya Fletcher to help Serra earn a second-place finish in the girls’ 4×100 relay. The winner of that race was Golden Valley High School, which had a pretty good afternoon themselves.
Besides the foursome of Kylee Davis, Tylar Gallien, Nevaeh Williams, and Adonijah Currie securing the girl’s 4×100 relay with a time of 45.98, the CIF Girls Division 2 champions had some outstanding individual performances as well. Currie won the 200 in a time of 23.45, beating back Washington of Serra.
“Just to be focused on the entire race by itself, just to run it and not overthink it,” Currie said after the 200. “It prepared me because now I know where everybody is as far as competition goes. It gives me peace of mind.”
Currie wasn’t the only Grizzly to shine. Davis took first place in the girls’ long jump with a leap of 20 feet, 4 inches. Meagan Humphries claimed the high jump title (5-9) and Ta’ahja Fann finished fifth in the girls’ 100.
“I kind of liked the weather because it was colder and I felt like I did better,” Humphries said. “I just really felt motivated to get a PR because I’ve been trying for the past about three weeks to clear 5-8 because my previous PR was 5-6. Today, I cleared 5-7, and then we were going for another PR. Then I was able to clear 5-9.”
Davis had a simple strategy going into the meet and was to try to qualify for the state meet. She wound up doing more than that.
“My strategy was honestly, I’m not going to lie like I was literally trying to qualify,” the senior shared. “I wasn’t planning on PRing today, but it’s a blessing that I did.”
Overall, Golden Valley head track coach Lonnie Davis was pleased with the way his team performed in preparation for the state meet.
“A lot of fun today,” Lonnie Davis said.
Dennis is the editor and publisher of News4usonline. He covers the NFL, NBA, MLB, racial and social justice, civil rights, and HBCUs. Dennis earned a journalism degree from “The Mecca” aka Howard University. “I write on what I am passionate about.”