Could Michael Norman be the first true freshman to win the Bowerman award?
The University of Southern California sprinter, who is one of the all-time top-ranked preps in United States history, was named to the Bowerman Men's Pre-Season Watch List by the USTFCCCA today.
Norman enters the NCAA as the IAAF World U20 Championships gold medalist in the 200m and 4x100m relay. He also won the 200m at the 2016 USATF Junior Nationals and advanced to the finals in the event at the U.S. Olympic Trials, where he placed fifth overall.
His PRs of 20.14 in the 200m and 45.19 in the 400m rank No. 4 and No. 7, respectively, on the high school all-time performer list. He owns five of the top 10 marks ever recorded in the 200m by a prep athlete -- more even than national record holder and fellow '16 grad Noah Lyles, who owns three of the top 10 times.
While no freshman has ever won the award --which serves as the equivalent of football's Heisman Trophy for track and field-- three first-year student-athletes have made the top three: German Fernandez in 2009, Edward Cheserek in 2014 and Donavan Brazier in 2016.
Check out this highlight video from Michael Norman's dream season in 2015, when he tripled at the California state meet as a junior: