Rodrick Pleasant shows off ‘Superman’ speed at Southern Section track championships

Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra celebrates in front of a timing screen at Moorpark High School.
Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra won the Division 4 100 meters in 10.16 seconds, the second-fastest mark ever by a California high school sprinter.
(Dylan Stewart / PrepCalTrack)

The Gardena Serra track uniform has a big “S” that can be easily mistaken for the Superman logo. Rodrick Pleasant sure looked as fast as a speeding bullet in the Division 4 100 meters on Saturday at the Southern Section track and field championships at Moorpark High.

“That dude is insane,” Division 3 champion Max Thomas of Anaheim Servite said.

Pleasant won the race in a wind-aided 10.16 seconds (+2.7), the second-fastest 100 in California history. Then he came back and ran the 200 in a wind-legal 20.40, the second-fastest in history behind only Michael Norman and ahead of Bryshon Nellum and Quincy Watts. That’s three of the best track runners in state history and each a former Olympian.

“I ran well,” Pleasant said.

With temperatures in the 80s and a pleasant breeze, the conditions were perfect for fast times in the sprints.

Thomas won the Division 3 100 in 10.35. Sophomore Jordan Washington of Long Beach Jordan won the Division 2 100 in 10.37. Freshman Devin Bragg of Los Alamitos won the Division 1 100 in 10.35. They’re all going to have to chase Pleasant at next Saturday’s Masters Meet on the same track. Pleasant, a junior cornerback, is a heavily recruited football player.

“I’m just excited about the race happening at the Masters Meet,” Thomas said. “I got to get back to practice. I have to put in some serious work to win.”

Pleasant and others weren’t done showing off his speed. Thomas and Washington also were double winners, with Thomas taking the Division 3 200 in 20.68 and Washington winning the Division 2 200 in 20.93.

In the girls’ 100, another Serra product, Jordan Washington, ran 11.55 for the fastest girls’ time of the day to win Division 4. She also won the 200 in 23.68. Soccer star Alyssa Thompson of Studio City Harvard-Westlake took the Division 3 100 in 11.69.


Christopher Goode of Valencia West Ranch continued his rise in the 400. He had the fastest time at the Arcadia Invitational in a preliminary race. This time he won the Division 2 championship in a state-best 46.94 seconds.

In the Division 2 long jump, Elijah Ellis of Santa Clarita Golden Valley won with a season-best mark of 24 feet, 2 1/2 inches.

Aiden Pastorian of Great Oak won the Division 1 shotput with a career-best mark of 66 feet, 7 inches.
(Eric Sondheimer / Los Angeles Times)

One of the great individual stories involves shot putter Aiden Pastorian of Temecula Great Oak. He said when he entered high school, his parents told him, “You have to do something.”

He tried the shot put.

“I was terrible,” he said.

He tossed 21 feet as a freshman, 26 feet as a sophomore. Then he went into the weight room. On Saturday, he recorded the fourth-best mark in the nation at 66-7 and won Division 1. He’s 5-9, 255 pounds and has committed to Long Beach State.

In the girls’ 1,600, freshman Sadie Engelhardt of Ventura continues on a path to contend for a state title. She won her Division 2 race in 4:43.93. She’s looking forward to a showdown with Dalia Frias of Manhattan Beach Mira Costa at the Masters Meet. Frias won Division 1 in 4:48.99. Engelhardt also won the Division 2 800 in 2:08.26.


“It’s awesome to have someone so local that’s so good,” the 15-year-old said. “It gets us more excited.”

The Division 1 boys’ 110 hurdles matched four Upland athletes against Cajon’s Seth Johnson. It was so intense that two eventually fell. Junior Kai Graves-Blanks of Upland won in a wind-aided 13.91 with an all-out Johnson next at 13.94 before tripping after the finish. Logan Lyght of Santa Ana Mater Dei set a Division 2 record in the hurdles in 13.94.

Golden Valley broke a 40-year Division 2 girls’ record in the 4x100 relay by winning in 46.41.

Team champions for the boys were Upland (Division 1), Long Beach Jordan (Division 2), Cathedral (Division 3) and Gardena Serra (Division 4). On the girls’ side, team champions were Eastvale Roosevelt (Division 1), Golden Valley (Division 2), Calabasas (Division 3), Serra (Division 4).