Gardena Serra's Rodrick Pleasant clocks wind-aided 10.09 seconds for 100 meters

Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra poses in front of scoreboard after running the fastest 100 time in California history.
Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra poses in front of a scoreboard after running the fastest 100-meter time in California history at 10.09 seconds at Moorpark High in the Division 4 final. (Ric Tapia / For The Times)

The wind swirling around Moorpark High on Saturday afternoon had largely stayed under the allowable 2.0 meters per second for record purposes. Then the gun was heard for the Southern Section Division 4 100-meter race and the wind gauge hit 3.3. It was the only obstacle to setting a record for Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra High, the fastest teenager in America.

By the time he sped down the straightaway and crossed the finish line, his final time was 10.09 seconds, the fastest 100 ever by a high school athlete in California history.

"I definitely can go faster," said Pleasant, who set the state record last season on the same track at a wind-legal 10.14 seconds at the Masters Meet.

He'll get another chance at next Saturday's Masters Meet at Moorpark. Pleasant's times this season had been faster than last year leading up to Saturday's final, so he was confident he'd put on another show. Committed to Oregon for football and track, Pleasant said "it's postseason," so the wraps are off and he's going all out to leave a lasting legacy. And he loves Moorpark.

"It's been very pleasant to me," he joked.

Four years ago, Pleasant showed up at Serra as a freshman admiring the school's great athletes of the past, from Adoree' Jackson to Robert Woods. Now he's the one getting ovations. He won the 200 in a wind-legal 20.53.

"This is the final stretch to cement my high school career," he said. "I'm excited."

Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra (center) runs a 10.09 wind-aided 100 meters.
Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra (center) runs a 10.09 wind-aided 100 meters in the Southern Section Division 4 final, the fastest in California history. (Ric Tapia / For The Times)

The fastest wind legal 100 was by Jordan Washington of Long Beach Jordan. He ran 10.24. in Division 1.

Westlake Village Oaks Christian has a future football/track standout in freshman Deshonne Redeaux. He ran the anchor leg in the 4x100 relay, coming from 10 meters down to deliver victory in the fastest time of the day, 41.28, in the Division 4 final. He also finished second to Pleasant in the 100 and 200 in 10.42 and 21.32. Coach Wes Smith thinks Redeaux will end up being the fastest athlete in Oaks Christian history. He's already picking up college football scholarship offers as a running back.

"It was real fun, a cool experience to push myself," Redeaux said.

Oaks Christian won Division 4 boys' and girls' team titles.

Another freshman making a name for herself was Rayah Rodriguez of Oaks Christian. She ran a career-best 54.41 to win the Division 4 400. The fastest time of the day was Aujane Luckey of Long Beach Wilson at 53.23 in Division 1. It was quite a day for Oaks Christian athletes. Niya Clayton upset Serra's Brazil Neal in the girls' Division 4 100 in 11.56 seconds.

Many of the standout runners focused more on winning as many races as they could to help their schools in the team competitions rather than worrying about setting records. Sophomore Sadie Engelhardt of Ventura, defending state champion, cruised to victory in the Division 2 1,600 in 4:49.96, easing up at the finish. She won the 800 in 2:08.48.

Last season Engelhardt faced stiff competition from Dalia Frias of Manhattan Beach Mira Costa and Samantha McDonnell of Newbury Park in the 1,600. They went 1-2-3 in the state 1,600. "Everyone is stepping up to fill their shoes," Engelhardt said.

One of those distance runners making progress is junior Payton Godsey of Oaks Christian. She's being recruited by UCLA and Oregon, among others. She won the Division 4 1,600 in 4:55.56. She was a state cross-country champion in the fall and her father, Brian, is a former Woodland Hills Taft track coach. Her mother Andrea ran at Cal State Northridge. "My parents are my biggest supporters," she said.

Sherman Oaks Notre Dame continued its success in the girls' shot put, with UCLA-bound April Fontenette winning Division 3 at 45-2 and sophomore Aja Johnson placing second at 43-6. Fontenette set a Division 3 record in the discus at 162-8. Redondo Union's Kai Deines won the Division 1 shot put at 60-0.50 and the discus at 180-8.

Castaic's Meagan Humphries was a Division 3 triple winner, taking the high jump at 5-8, the long jump at 20-0.25 and the 200 in 23.85.

Cathedral's two junior distance standouts with the same first names, Emmanuel Perez and Emmanuel Hernandez, went 1-2 in the Division 3 1,600. Perez won in 4:13.98. Long Beach Poly's Xai Ricks served notice he'll challenge the City Section's Dijon Stanley in the 400 by winning Division 1 in 46.57.

Davis Davis-Lyric of Upland continued his path toward competing for a state championship, winning the 110 hurdles in 13.87.

Boys' team champions were Long Beach Poly (Division 1), Mater Dei (Division 2), Cathedral (Division 3), Oaks Christian (Division 4).

Girls' team champions were Long Beach Wilson (Division 1), Culver City (Division 2), JSerra (Division 3), Oaks Christian (Division 4).

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.