A slick track due to steady rain all day made it so running records were unlikely to fall during Friday’s session of the NCAA track and field championships in Eugene, Oregon. In theory, at least.
USC sprinters Rai Benjamin and Michael Norman proved otherwise, each setting numerous individual records en route to winning NCAA titles while also helping the Trojans win the men’s 4×400-meter relay.
Norman, a sophomore, ran a time of 43.61 seconds to win the 400-meter run by 0.33 seconds over Auburn’s Akeem Bloomfield. In doing so he broke the collegiate mark of 43.70 set last year by Texas A&M’s Fred Kerley, bested the Hayward Field record of 43.74 by Olympian Michael Johnson from 1993 and topped the meet record of 44.00 by USC’s Quincy Watts from 1992.
— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) June 9, 2018
Not to be outdone was Benjamin, a junior, blitzed to the 400-meter hurdle title in a time of 47.02 seconds. That was 1.1 seconds ahead of the field and blew away all of the relevant records such as the meet and collegiate mark of 47.56 by Florida’s Kerron Clement in 2005 and the track record of 47.69 by Kevin Young in 1993.
Oh, and it was also tied with the second-fastest time in history.
— TrackTown USA (@GoTrackTownUSA) June 9, 2018
And in the final event of the night Benjamin ran the second leg and Norman the anchor in the 4×400 relay, clocking a collegiate record of 2 minutes, 59 seconds.
2️⃣:5️⃣9️⃣.0️⃣0️⃣ COLLEGIATE RECORD
Norman & Benjamin both split 43!! pic.twitter.com/jsFkjHuSDo
— FloTrack (@FloTrack) June 9, 2018
Benjamin and Norman helped combine for 30 of USC’s 34 points, which helped the Trojans finish fourth in the team standings.