Serra girls win state crown; Pleasant wins 100, 200

Photo by Joe Snyder Serra High’s Jordan Washington (in middle running the 100-meter dash at the Arcadia Invitational on April 9) finished third in the 100 (11.73), sixth in the 200 (24.12) and anchored the Lady Cavaliers’ 4x100 relay to the state title with their season best time of 46.08 as Serra’s girls captured their second ever team state crown at Saturday’s CIF-State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan High in Clovis.

Serra High’s girls’ track and field team captured their first CIFState championship in 10 years in the California State Championships last Saturday at Buchanan High in Clovis. Despite competing in only three events; the 100 and 200-meter dashes along with the 4×100 relay, the Lady Cavaliers were able to place high enough to edge out second place Clovis North 37-32. Long Beach Wilson took third with 28 points. The previous time Serra girls won the state championship was in 2012 and that squad was led by first-year head coach Alexis Faulkner. In that year, Faulkner had wins in the long jump and the 400 relay, along with runner-up finishes in the 100 to 200 to help Serra win its first ever state crown for any girls’ sports since the former all boys’ catholic school went co-ed 20 years earlier. Serra would go on to win two state girls’ basketball championships between 2012 and last Saturday so it was the school’s fourth team title ever. In the first running event of the meet, the Lady Cavaliers’ 4×100 squad of Brazil Neal, Mia Flowers, Jaiya Fletcher and Jordan Washington won the race with a season best time of 46.08 seconds. In the 100, Neal finished second and Washington was third with times of 11.62 and 11.72, in order. Winning the race was Carson junior Reign Redmond at 11.56, but Redmond ran one of the best girls’ times in several seasons clocking 11.45 at the state prelims on Friday. Redmond and several other top sprinters and field eventers sparked the Lady Colts to a runaway title in the CIF-Los Angeles City Section Championship on May 19 at Birmingham High in Lake Balboa. Neal had a fine day for Serra in winning the 200 in 23.68; winning by .1 of a second over second place Cenci Takuja from Clovis North (23.78). Washington finished sixth timing 24.12. “I’m so proud of the girls,” Faulkner said. “This was their first state title in 10 years, when I was on the team (as a Serra student and athlete).” In the boys’ division, junior Roderick Pleasant may have not had as fastest times in the 100 and 200 on Moorpark High’s very fast track in the CIF-Southern Section Division IV and Masters Championships, but he made Serra High history in becoming the first sprinter to sweep the 100 and 200 in the state finals. Pleasant, who had the blazing California state record winning time of 10.14 in the 100 at the Southern Section Masters on May 21 and came just .01 of a second of the United States national record of 10.13 set three years ago by Matthew Boling from Jesuit College Prep of Houston, Texas, still won the event in 10.3 and the 200 clocking 20.56. His fastest 200 time is 20.4 he did at the Division IV finals on May 14. He has another year of high school eligibility left in which he’ll be seeking not only the national records, but to become the first high school sprinter to break 10 seconds in the 100 and 20 in the 200, both without wind aids. In the national junior track and field championships in 2014 in Eugene, Ore., Trentvail Friday from Cherryville High of North Carolina, who just graduated from that high school, but was still declared a senior in competition, ran a 10.0 in the 100. Pleasant also anchored Serra’s 4×100 relay team to a second place finish at 41.5. Runners also included Jaylin Franklin, Cordell Washington and Dakoda Fields. Winning the race was Fresno Central clocking 41.36. Pleasant led the Cavalier boys to a third-place team finish with 28 points, which he was in all races that included 20 points of those in his 100 and 200 wins. Central won the team championship by one point over runner-up and Southern Section Division I champion Upland 41-40. Two weeks earlier, Serra swept the Division IV boys’ and girls’ titles for the first time since 2013. Faulkner says that Pleasant is seeking to run a few meets in the summer that includes the World Junior Championships in Bogota, Colombia in July. He could be going up against some top sprinters from sprint power Jamaica. Pleasant, though, will also be preparing for Serra’s next football season which begins on Aug. 19 at Orange Lutheran.

Photo by Joe Snyder
Serra High junior sensation Roderick Pleasant made school history by winning California state championships in the 100 and 200-meter dashes with times of 10.3 and 20.56, respectively. Pleasant also anchored the Cavaliers’ 4×100 relay to a second-place finish clocking
41.5 as Serra’s boys finished in third place as a team at the state track and field championships.