USC Track & Field's Michael Norman captures The Bowerman 2018
SAN FRANCISCO – USC sprinter Michael Norman, the Pac-12 and USTFCCCA National Track Athlete of the Year, was selected the winner of The Bowerman 2018 as collegiate track & field’s top male athlete on Thursday.
Norman was chosen over fellow USC sprinter Rai Benjamin and Florida’s Grant Holloway to become the first Trojan to claim The Bowerman. He is the third men’s winner from the Pac-12 – joining Oregon’s Galen Rupp in 2009 and Ashton Eaton in 2010 – and the record seventh all-time recipient from current Pac-12 programs since the award was created in 2009.
ARIZONA STATE thrower Maggie Ewen, a women’s finalist for the second straight year, was edged by Georgia’s Keturah Orji. With half of this year’s six finalists, Pac-12 programs have now produced the most Bowerman finalists (24) of any league.
Norman shattered records and finished unbeaten in 2017-18 across both indoor and outdoor seasons in the 400- and 200-meter runs and 4x100 and 4x400 meter relays. His efforts secured him Pac-12 and USTFCCCA West Region and National Track Athlete of the Year honors.
After setting a world record in the 400 (44.52) and anchoring USC’s 4x400 relay (3:00.77) to a world-best mark at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March, Norman carried his dominance over to the outdoor season.
He became only the third male to double in the 200 (19.84w) and 400 (44.40) at the Pac-12 Championships, then went on to break and anchor Pac-12, school, collegiate, meet and Hayward Field records in the 400 (43.61) and 4x400 relay (2:59.00) in winning the events at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June. The sophomore from Murrieta, Calif., then made the decision to turn professional shortly after his stellar sophomore season.
Benjamin joined Norman on the second leg of the indoor 4x400 relay team that set a world-best time, with Benjamin actually posting the fastest split time in the world at 44.35. The junior from Mount Vernon, N.Y., repeated as second leg on the Trojans’ record-setting 4x400 relay at the NCAA Outdoor Championships following a Pac-12, school, collegiate, meet and facility record performance in capturing the 400-meter hurdles crown. His time of 47.02 matched Edwin Moses (1983) for the second-fastest 400 hurdles ever recorded and was the fastest run since the world record was set in 1992. Benjamin joined Norman in moving to the professional ranks following the season.
A 2017 The Bowerman finalist, Ewen cemented her legacy as one of the greatest athletes in Pac-12 and NCAA history with a standout senior season. She carried momentum from an indoor shot put national title into the early outdoor season during which she became the first athlete since 2009 to simultaneously hold two collegiate records with marks in the hammer (74.53m/244-6) and shot put (19.46m/63-10.25).
Ewen went on to join UCLA’s Gail Devers (1987, 1988) as the only women to win three Pac-12 titles in multiple Championships by sweeping the shot put, discus and hammer for the second straight year, setting meet records in the shot and hammer in the process. Ewen capped her collegiate career with NCAA outdoor crowns in the shot put and discus – the first to double in those events since 2000 and only the fifth all-time to accomplish the feat.
The Pac-12, the most successful track and field conference of all-time with a combined 56 NCAA team titles and 634 event national championships, is expected to return 86 All-Americans for the 2019 outdoor season, including three NCAA champions (USC’s Anglerne Annelus, Oregon’s Jessica Hull, Stanford’s Mackenzie Little) and the reigning USTFCCCA West Region Freshman of the Year (Arizona’s Jordan Geist).
The Bowerman winners from current Pac-12 Conference members
2009 – Jenny Barringer, Colorado; Galen Rupp, Oregon
2010 – Ashton Eaton, Oregon
2014 – Laura Roesler, Oregon
2015 – Jenna Prandini, Oregon
2017 – Raevyn Rogers, Oregon
2018 – Michael Norman, USC