Khallifah Rosser, a Fontana resident who attends Cal State Los Angeles, achieved a personal best and a third-place finish in the 400 hurdles at the 2018 USA Track and Field Outdoor Championships on June 23.
A Summit High School graduate, Rosser finished a close third with a time of 48.65 to take the bronze medal at the championships. Rosser eclipsed his previous best of 49.04, which he set while winning the 2016 NCAA Division II championship.
Rosser posted faster times in each of his three races at Drake Stadium. The final day of competition at Drake Stadium was televised by NBC.
Kenny Selmon of North Carolina won the race in 48.12 and TJ Holmes of Nike was second in 48.51. Rosser was next, finishing ahead of Bershawn Jackson, the 2004 NCAA Division II champion, who was fourth in 49.14. Rosser won the 2016 NCAA Division II championship.
"The feeling is unbelievable. I have all sorts of emotions I can't explain," Rosser said. "I'm just thankful for the opportunity to come out and represent Cal State L.A. on a high level. Allah (God) has truly blessed me with a gift, and to be able to display it at the USA national championships was amazing. The fact that I was able to capture a third-place medal and run my lifetime best is incredible. With God's blessing, I hope this is the beginning of a successful professional track career."
This marks the second time Rosser has competed well in a major United States competition. He won his opening-round heat and reached the semifinals at the 2016 Olympic Trials before running even better at the 2018 USA Championships.
"I am overjoyed at the result Khallifah got today. He ran the best race he's ever run and I can see him getting a lot better. The work Khallifah has been putting in paid off," Cal State L.A. assistant coach Orentheus Hutcherson said. "I think Khallifah was able to see a lot of the things I've been talking to him about come into play today -- why we do certain workouts and when, and why we've been working on his stride pattern so much lately. Khallifah bought into what the plan was for him and stuck to it. He didn't give up when things weren't going in his favor, when he got hurt, and when his practices were telling me where he should be, but in a meet, it wasn't there. I'm just glad he was able to run a fast time, No. 10 in the world, and get his mojo back, so to speak. I'm very proud of Khallifah."