Incoming USC freshmen Anna Cockrell in the women's 400m IH and Michael Norman in the men's 200m dash won gold medals at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland today (July 22). Cockrell cruised to the gold medal in the women's 400m IH with a PR of 55.20 to win the event by 1.34 seconds. The time run by Cockrell would rank third on USC's all-time list if she were already enrolled and is tied for ninth all-time on the U20 list. The other two runners to crack the U20 all-time top 10 in the last five years are Shamier Little (55.07 in 2014 - 3-time NCAA Champion) and Syndey McLaughlin (54.15 in 2016, 1st all-time - currently on the USA Olympic Team for Rio). Cockrell reached the finals by posting the best preliminary rounds time of 56.85 on July 20 and the top semifinals time of 56.10 on July 21. The native of North Carolina advanced to the semifinals at the USA Olympic Trials earlier in the month and will be a freshman at USC this coming school year. Norman dominated the 200m field by winning with a time of 20.17 today which established a IAAF U20 championship record. He won the race by .42 seconds and the second-eighth place finishers all were within .35 seconds of each other. Norman, who placed fifth in the 200m at the USA Olympic Trials earlier this month, already ranks tied for sixth on the U20 all-time list with a time of 20.14, which would rank fifth on USC's all-time list if he were already in school. Norman eased into the finals by winning his prelims heat with a time of 20.74 (+1.3) and semifinals heat with a time of 20.71 (+1.1) on July 21. He had the fourth-fastest time in the opening round and sixth-fastest in the semifinals. The medal won by Norman was the 100th ever at the IAAF U20 Championships by an American. "I feel great right now," said Norman. "To win gold in my first international meet is a truly humbling experience.
"I'm thinking of the next Olympic Games in four years' time, but I would like to take it one step at a time. The next goal is next year's NCAA Championships