Vista Murrieta Track Star Norman Wins National Award

Michael Norman is presented the Gatorade National Track and Field Athlete of the Year award by Gatorade Marketing Manager Keri Lockett. The ...

Michael Norman is presented the Gatorade National Track and Field Athlete of the Year award by Gatorade Marketing Manager Keri Lockett. The ceremony took place on the Vista Murrieta High School campus Wednesday.
Photo courtesy of Susan Goldman, Gatorade photographer

A large crowd of Vista Murrieta students, coaches and supporters were on hand Wednesday as sprinter Michael Norman was honored as the Gatorade National Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.

Norman, who will begin his senior year at Vista Murrieta in August, is only the 28th non-senior to win a Gatorade national award in the 30-year history of the program, which honors athletes in many sports. It's easy to see why Norman was deemed worthy of such an honor.

The talented sprinter won championships in the 200-meter dash and the 400 at the state meet last month, breaking state records in both events (20.30 seconds, 45.19). His time in the 400 broke a 30-year-old record and was the fastest time by any high school athlete in the nation. In addition, both times rank in the top 10 all-time in U.S. history -- a feat no one else has ever accomplished.

Doug Binder, Editor-in-Chief of the Dyestat track and field website, put Norman's accomplishments into perspective.

"There’s a quality about Michael Norman that all of the great ones have: He makes it look effortless," said Binder. "His sprint double at the CIF Championships elevated him to a very rare category in high school history. Knowing that he’s just going to keep maturing and progressing makes you want to pay attention to whatever race he enters next."

Norman is now a finalist for the Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a banquet next week in Los Angeles. The boys and girls winners will attend the ESPYS.

"I’m pretty amazed," Norman said in accepting the award. "I’m so honored and I can’t stop smiling. Coming into the season, I was hoping to run some personal records, but I didn’t expect to run as well as I did. It shows how much hard work pays off. I feel if I continue working hard, I can run faster. I need to shoot for the stars because there are a lot of great athletes out there.”"

Norman also has maintained a 3.54 GPA in the classroom. A member of his school’s Do Good Things community service club, he has volunteered on behalf of the Special Olympics, St. Martha’s Food and Pantry for the needy and the Temecula Time Machine track club’s youth program. He has also donated his time as part of the Buchanan Elementary School Fall Festival, the Vista Murrieta Shoe Drive and the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure to benefit cancer research.

"Michael embodies everything we look for in a Gatorade Player of the Year recipient," said Gatorade Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley. "In addition to being one of the best high school track and field athletes in the country, Michael has excelled in the classroom and been a positive influence in his community. He is a role model for younger student-athletes to look up to and we are excited to see all the things he will accomplish in the future."

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