Incoming freshman Michael Norman shocked the track and field world when he dominated his 200 meter semi-final heat by edging out veteran Justin Gatlin with ease at the Olympic Trials last month. If you weren’t aware of him before, you may want to get familiar with this household name.
Norman is a sprinter who competes primarily in the 200 and 400 meters, with an occasional show up in the 100 as well. This past season at Vista Murrieta High School, he defended his 400 meter title at the CIF State Meet clocking a time of 45.77; a year after he previously clocked a time of 45.19, breaking the NFHS record. His 400 meter time was also ranked as the second-fastest in the nation, trailing his 45.51 that he ran at the Arcadia Invitational meet earlier in April.
If you think that’s impressive, it gets better.
Michael helped capture the CIF State team title for Vista Murrieta as he progressively moved his 4x4 relay team from fourth place to first on the anchor leg, winning in 3:14:97. He also split 44.9.
One hour after his 400 meter repeat, he had his second repeat of the night in the 200 meter clocking 20.42. Michael Norman is the second sprinter to sweep both the 200 and 400 meters in back-to-back years joining former Long Beach Poly and USC track standout, Bryshon Nellum.
Did I mention he’s the repeat Gatorade Boys National AOY too? This kid is the real deal. What makes this young athlete even more captivating is his undisputed humbleness. Although he may not be heading to Rio this time around, Michael recently won the 200 meter title at the IAAF U20 World Championships with another blistering fast time of 20.17.
There are four defining reasons why you should keep an eye out for Michael Norman once he arrives on the USC campus.
Speed, accolades, work ethic and character. These are the four components that we will have the opportunity to see increase and develop throughout his four years at USC. As he’s transitioned from high school track and field and now the world stage, it will be fascinating to see his growth under Caryl Smith Gilbert and Joanna Hayes, seeing as good as he already is. His speed is already spoken for, however to see what he will do while attending USC is the most exciting part. Throughout his four years, there is no doubt that this young man can accumulate various titles throughout the Pac-12 and NCAA. As far as his character goes, continuing to remain humble will take him a long way and continue to bring success. Now that you are familiar with Michael Norman, watching his collegiate career flourish will be more exciting as you follow and watch his growth.