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The World of Lyles and Norman

Jul 25th, 2020
2:01 pm PDT

The US Olympic Trials of 2016 saw a pair of High School stars take to the track in an attempt to make the Olympic team. A pair of young men aiming to become the first US high school sprinters to make the team since Houston McTear, Dwayne Evans and Johnny Jones did so way back in 1976. Noah Lyles and Michael Norman gave it a good shot as they made the final of the 200 finishing just out of the medals in 4th & 5th at 20.09 and 20.14. Lyles’ mark a new HS record. Along the way they defeated the likes of Tyson Gay and Justin Gatlin through the rounds – signaling that a change in US sprinting was around the corner.

Well, that was a sharp corner, and a quick turn, as two years later (2018) Lyles (19.65) and Norman (43.61) were sitting atop the World Lists at 200 & 400 meters! Lyles was also #3 in the 100 (9.88) and Norman #6 in the 200. Last year they were even better. Lyles leading the world at 200 (19.50) & #2 in the 100 (9.86), while Norman lead the world at 400 (43.45) and #2 in the 200 (19.70)! Enter 2020 and the global shut down. However, even in this environment, apparently training has been going just fine for both as the past couple of weeks they have have finally gotten a chance to strut their stuff so to speak in this virus impacted season of 2020. Norman opened things with a sizzling 9.86 PR in the 100! Making him only the second individual in history to run sub10/20/44. Lyles opened his campaign with a 18.91 200, that was said to have started at the wrong line. Though if it was 180 as they say was only worth 20.43 – and clearly he was running faster than that. So the world may never know. Sort of reminds me of the Carl Lewis long jump “foul”‘ that was never measured but was clearly over 30 feet! Sometimes this sport simply kills itself.

Lyles has run a 9.93 of his own, however. And what is exceedingly clear, is that both young sprinters are at the front of the current youth movement in sprinting in the United States! And most fans are salivating and losing their minds as they are looking at the 202One Olympics and the prospects of just what the US could put up in the sprint medal count. At the World Junior Championships in 2016, Lyles won the 100, while Norman won the 200 and they teamed up for a 4×1 victory – Norman Leading off and Lyles anchoring. At last year’s senior World Championships, Norman found himself injured. While he did make the 400 final, he was unable to medal and did not take the track in the 4×4. Lyles on the other hand handily took the 200 and anchored the 4×1 to victory in an American Record 37.10. Lyles has stated previously that he wants to run the sprint double in Tokyo, and with it currently looking like Christian Coleman may be banned, Lyles could become the favorite in both. A healthy Norman, could be co-favorite in the 400 with WR holder Wayde van Niekerk. With Lyles leading the 4×1 crew and Norman the 4×4. Whatever happens in the next 12 months, you can be sure that this pair will be in the thick of things. Keep watch.

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One Response to “The World of Lyles and Norman”

  1. Waynebo says:

    I am always excited when I see a post from you coach. I’m so glad you’re still posting. These 2 guys are clearly the future in US sprinting. I believe both of them will break a world record (at least in a relay) at some point in their career. Also, I would love to see what Lyles could do in the 400. That 19.50 says he could be sub-44 if he wants to. This decade could finally see the 4×400 WR fall if another sub-44 relay runner emerges.

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