Khalfani Muhammad of Sherman Oaks Notre Dame has never faced a camera he didn't like or taken on an opponent he didn't want to beat. That made Saturday's Southern Section track and field championships the ideal environment for Muhammad to put on a show.
Facing competition from some rising young sprinters, Muhammad made it clear he's not ready to relinquish his title as fastest teenager in California. He ran a wind-aided personal best 10.33 seconds to capture the Division 3 100 meters. Then the senior won the 200 in 20.84, third best in the country.
"It's a pretty special moment," said the defending state champion after his 100 victory. "It wasn't my best race, but I got through it."
Muhammad knows there are sprinters trying to dethrone him. Freshman Tarrik Brock of Encino Crespi was third in the Division 3 race in 10.61. Sophomore Myles Valentine of Upland won Division 1 in 10.48. Senior Morgan Simon of Los Angeles Loyola won Division 2 in 10.44. Sophomore Malik Roberson of Gardena Serra won Division 4 in 10.46.
All will take a shot at Muhammad at Friday's Masters Meet at Cerritos College.
"This is California," Muhammad said. "Wherever you go, you'll see fast runners. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to race them yet. Next week, I will, and I'm looking forward to it."
Valentine (21.06) and Simon (21.14) also won titles in the 200.
In the Division 1 girls' final, junior Ariana Washington of Long Beach Poly ran a wind-aided 11.20, the fastest time in the nation. She also won the 200 in a personal-best 23.33.
Heavily recruited junior football standout Adoree' Jackson of Gardena Serra soared a nation-leading 25 feet in the long jump to set a Division 4 record. He's the defending state champion and said he is shooting for 26 feet at the state meet on June 1.
"I hadn't been jumping the last few weeks," Jackson said. "I had been working on my speed. I came with my speed all the way through and it happened to come upon 25 feet."
Jackson also teamed with Darrell Fuery, Ronny Hall and Roberson to set a Division 4 record in the 400-meter relay at 40.73, top time in the nation. Jackson was set to board a plane for Oakland on Saturday night to compete at a football training camp Sunday.
When it comes to elite athletes, few are more talented than freshman Courtney Corrin of Studio City Harvard-Westlake. Already regarded as one of the nation's top young girls' soccer players, she's also the nation's No. 1 girls' long jumper and set a Division 3 record with a winning mark of 20-9.
Junior Eric Moore of Rialto Carter won the Division 2 high jump at 6-11. Defending state champion Alexander Rohani of Beverly Hills won the Division 3 400 in 47.35.