100-Meter Dash Sprint History

Thanks to junior Rodrick Pleasant of Gardena Serra clocking his sensational state record time of 10.14 seconds (legal wind reading) from last week’s CIF Southern Section Masters Meet, which broke a reported state record of 10.25 set in 1985 by Henry Thomas of Hawthorne, we were inspired to look up some our own historical files from track and field.

We couldn’t do this for any records set prior to 2008, which is the last time we extensively went through and updated our own track and field lists in the last published Cal-Hi Sports State Record Book & Almanac.

Current track and field high school coverage obviously is now done by others we greatly respect and admire, such as Rich Gonzalez of Prep Track Cal (we used to work with him when DyeStat.com and Cal-Hi Sports were both part of ESPN from 2008 to 2012) and Erik Boal (who still does some free-lance work for us today and is the current editor of DyeStat.com).

We didn’t see Rodrick play football for Serra because he was hurt early in the 2021 season. He did play in the CIF D1-A state final vs Liberty of Bakersfield but was limited by injury again and had one kick return for 16 yards. Photo: Twitter.com.

We did progressive records in our record books for boys and girls track under the direction of the late Nelson Tennis, founder of Cal-Hi Sports. Here’s some history on both the 100-yard dash (which in the early years was the more popular distance for high school track sprinting) and 100-meter dash.

The first one reported with a 9.9-second timing in the 100-yard dash is Cliff Gantt of Los Angeles Poly from 1926. That record was tied later that season by Dick Wehner of Brawley. The record was lowered to 9.5 in 1928 by Frank Wycoff of Glendale, who also ran a 9.8 in 1927 as a junior. Wycoff was a sensation at the 1927 and 1928 CIF state meets as he took four individual titles (100-220-LJ).

The state record was lowered to 9.4 in the 100-yard dash in 1954 by James Jackson of Alameda. It stayed there until 1978 when Tony Pitts of Santa Ana Valley ran a 9.3 time. Among those who tied it at 9.4 were future world record holder and gold medalist Jim Hines of Oakland McClymonds (1964) and NFL receiving star Mel Gray from Santa Rosa Montgomery 1967.

For automatic timing, there was a 9.44 clocking in 1979 by Michael Sanford of Pasadena with state records also recognized at 9.61 by David Russell of San Diego Patrick Henry (1977) and Ron Brown of Baldwin Park (1979). There also was a wind-aided hand-time of 9.2 in 1963 by John House of Pasadena Muir.

Finally, here is a list of progressive records in the 100-meter dash with the current record set last week by Gardena Serra’s Rodrick Pleasant now included. These wouldn’t include anything from the 2022 CIF state championships.

Hand-Timing
10.4 – Vernon Blenkiron, Compton, 1921 (110 yards)
10.4 – Eddie Morris, Huntington Beach, 1940
10.4 – Preston Griffin, Compton Centennial, 1959
10.4 – Hubie Watson, Los Angeles Jordan, 1960
10.2 – Billy Gaines, San Jose, 1968
10.2 – Michael Sanford, Pasadena, 1979
Automatic-Timing
10.39 – Ken Robinson, Berkeley, 1981
10.39 – Ray Brown, Pasadena Muir, 1984
10.27 – Henry Thomas, Hawthorne, 1984 (Jr.)
10.25 – Henry Thomas, Hawthorne, 1985
10.25 – Domani Jackson, Santa Ana Mater Dei, 2021 (Jr.)
10.14 – Rodrick Pleasant, Gardena Serra, 2022 (Jr.)
Wind-Aided Hand-Timing
10.0 – Henry Thomas, Hawthorne, 1985
Wind-Aided Automatic-Timing
10.24 – Ken Robinson, Berkeley, 1981
10.17 – Quincy Watts, Woodland Hills Taft, 1987 (Jr.)
10.16 – Rodrick Pleasant, Gardena Serra, 2022 (Jr.


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