COMPTON – Getting to the USATF National Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships is no small feat. For Steve Todd and the Imani Speed City Compton Track Club, it’s become a habit. It’s a pretty good one at that.
For 27 years, the Imani Speed City Compton Track Club, based in the city of Compton, has made its way to the highest pillars in track and field to compete at the national meet. Todd is the man responsible for guiding the Imani Speed City Compton Track Club to all its glory.
This past summer, Todd took 47 of his kids from the Imani Speed City Compton Track Club with him to nationals. They came back with 24 medals. Due to the track club’s remarkable run, the City of Compton went out of its way to pay homage to Todd and his band of youths.
On Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, the city formally recognized Todd for his longtime work working with Compton youths and finally gave kudos to the Imani Speed City Compton Track Club for its sustained success.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Todd said. “We really appreciate the time and effort the mayor has given to finally recognize our team after 27 years of existence, of being champions, representing all the city of Compton. It’s well overdue.”
With a lavish ceremony serving as a backdrop at the Dollarhide Community Center, Compton officials as well as other luminaries paid tribute to Todd and the Imani Track Club. Compton Mayor Emma Sharif, Councilman Jonathan Bowers (District 3), and Councilwoman Lillie P. Darden (District 4) represented locally at the ceremony.
“Remember that you are not just representing yourselves, your schools, your teams; you’re representing the vibrant, resilient community of Compton,” Sharif said in speaking to track club members.
It turned out that Sharif, Bowers, and Darden weren’t the only important officials in the house. U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Sen. Steve Bradford, and Assemblyman Mike Gipson (65th Assembly District) all took time out of their relentlessly busy schedule to acknowledge the success of the Imani Track Club.
“We want you to understand that our being here, our honoring you is the way that we say to you not only are you special, but we love you and we’re looking for all of you to have successful futures,” Waters said. “And when you know how and understand how important you are all of those things that get in the way of your success, you’ll be able to push back on them. You’re not going to let anybody stop you.”
Gipson also offered his words of congratulations to the honorees.
“We are extremely proud of these young people,” Gipson said. “We are extremely proud of their athleticism, their commitment to be great, their commitment to stay focused, their commitment to represent the city in which they live. The city that has poured into them…they go out and represent us as ambassadors.”