The name Justin Gatlin is synonymous with the world of sprinting. Call it time for a changing of the baton (pun intended) but Michael Norman’s performance in the semifinals of the 200 made the eyebrows of the track world raise for a moment. Norman defeated Gatlin but would later lose in the finals with a fifth place finish. Norman is one of three high schoolers in US track and field that are in a prime position to take over the sport for years to come.
Candace Hill and Noah Lyles are the other young guns that have gained respect on the track scene. Noah Lyles set a new high school record by running a 20.09 in his 200 meter heat taking down a 31 year old mark. Michael Norman is a USC commit and will join Adoree Jackson to form an Olympic ready roster. Noah Lyles will attend Florida while Candace Hill is sitting pretty with a new ASICS endorsement contract because of her dominance of high school sprinting.
What’s next for these three stars is pretty simple. Expect to see them move to the headlines of track and field. And although they all missed the Rio olympics, they will make more than temporary splashes on the college track scene while steadily pulling in wins and working their way to more records on the international level. There is also a door quickly opening for high school athletes to cash in quicker than past high profile athletes. If they have the talent and are better than other experienced professionals, why not be compensated for their talent? Stay tuned.