Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra runs fastest wind-legal 100 meters in state history

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Moorpark, CA - May 21: Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra High, right, yells after winning the 100 meters and a state record in 10.14 seconds at the Southern Section Masters Meet at Moorpark High School on Saturday, May 21, 2022 in Moorpark, CA. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Gardena Serra High sprinter Rodrick Pleasant lets out a yell after winning the boys' 100 meters at the Masters Meet in a state record in 10.14 seconds Saturday. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

“Wind legal!”

That was the primal scream coming from Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra High on a cool, breezy Saturday afternoon at Moorpark High after learning his wind-legal performance in the 100 meters was the fastest in state history.

He won the 100 in 10.14 seconds at the Southern Section Masters Meet, obliterating the 37-year-old state record of 10.25 held by Henry Thomas of Hawthorne. The national high school record is 10.00.

“I’m so blessed to be in this situation,” Pleasant said. “That was the aim, to get that record.”

Only a junior, Pleasant is a heavily recruited cornerback who could run faster at next week’s state championships in Clovis, considering the forecast of hot temperatures. Last week at the Southern Section finals, he ran a wind-aided 10.16.

Joe McNab, the track and football coach at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame who has guided three athletes to state 100 championships, said, “He’s impressive. A 10.14 time as a junior — God knows what he’ll do at state on a fast track that’s hot. And we have to play him in football.”

The closest competitor to Pleasant was Jordan Washington of Long Beach Jordan at 10.38. Freshman Devin Bragg of Los Alamitos was third in 10.45, the fastest time by a freshman in state history. Pleasant also ran away from the field in the 200 in 20.49.

Gardena Serra's Jordan Washington sprints to a victory
Gardena Serra's Jordan Washington wins the girls' 100 meters at the Masters Meet at Moorpark High on Saturday. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The closest competitor to Pleasant was Jordan Washington of Long Beach Poly at 10.38. Freshman Devin Bragg of Los Alamitos was third in 10.45. Pleasant also ran away from the field in the 200 in 20.49.

There must be something in the water at Serra’s campus, because the Cavaliers also have the fastest girls’ runners from the Southern Section. Jordan Washington (11.64) and Brazil Neal (11.73) finished first and second in the 100.

If not for Pleasant, Christopher Goode of Valencia West Ranch could be considered the star of the Masters Meet. He ran the fastest 400 in the state this season in 46.75.

Last month he didn’t qualify for the invitational 400 at the Arcadia Invitational but ran a faster time in the open race.

West Ranch's Chris Goode, left, wins the boys' 400 meters at the Masters Meet.
West Ranch's Chris Goode, left, wins the boys' 400 meters at the Masters Meet. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

“I’m not satisfied,” said Goode, who moved here from Virginia two years ago and is beginning to gain attention. “I’ll be satisfied at state if everything goes as planned.”

In the girls’ 1,600, Sam McDonnell of Newbury Park saw an opportunity to make a move on the final lap and came away as the winner at 4 minutes 49.19 seconds. Freshman Sadie Engelhardt of Ventura and senior Dalia Frias of Manhattan Beach Mira Costa also move on to state in a race that should produce a thrilling final.

In the shot put and discus, Michigan-bound Cade Moran of Murrieta Mesa will be trying to complete his high school journey with a pair of state titles. He took up throwing as a freshman when his cousin brought him some rubber discuses and started to teach him the fundamentals. He wasn’t very good at first.

“It’s a sport with a big learning curve,” he said. “You can’t be good right away.”

At 6 feet 2, 240 pounds, with bulging biceps, Moran gets to compete in his first state championship after COVID-19 protocols canceled the event the last two years. He had a mark of 66 feet 1 inch in the shot put Saturday.

Orange Vista's Kailah McKenzie, center, clears a hurdle.
Orange Vista's Kailah McKenzie, center, takes the lead during her win in the girls' 100-meter hurdles Saturday at the Masters Meet. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

“I’m super excited,” he said.

Freshman Brandon Gorski of Santa Ana Mater Dei finished first in the high jump at 6-8. Notre Dame freshman Aja Johnson was one of three teammates to qualify in the girls’ shotput. In the boys’ 110 hurdles, Kai Graves-Blanks of Upland was first in 13.75.

Santa Clarita Golden Valley continues to impress in the boys’ and girls’ ranks. Kylee Davis finished first in the girls’ long jump at 20-4½. Sophomore Meagan Humphries had the top height in the girls’ high jump at 5-9 while Elijah Ellis won the boys’ triple jump at 48-1½. Terraine Wright won the boys’ discus at 196-10. Adonijah Currie won the girls’ 200 in 23.45.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.