Sprinter Noah Lyles has been selected as the 2014-15 American Family Insurance ALL-USA Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year.
The ALL-USA teams are coordinated by Fred Baer, the founder of Track and Field Writers of America. Boys selections are made by Jack Shepard, the high school editor of Track and Field News.
Name: Noah Lyles
School: Williams (Alexandria, Va.)
Highlights: Lyles set the junior class and 17-year-old age records in the short sprint events, winning both the 100 and 200 meters at last month’s USA Track & Field Junior Championships. He is the No. 5 all-time high school 100 meter performer of any age with his 10.14 time and will be a leader of the American teenage (under age 20) team for the Pan American Junior Championships in Edmonton, July 31-Aug. 2.
Lyles won a classic East-West 200 meter matchup with another junior ALL-USA star, Michael Norman of Vista Murrieta (Murrieta, Calif.). Norman had equaled the National High School Federation 400-meter record of 45.19 in winning the California state title and was also the national 200-meter leader at 20.30 coming into their showdown in Eugene, Ore.
Lyles won in 20.18, No. 3 all-time. Norman ran 20.24, equaling the No. 5 all-time performer mark.
Roy Martin of Roosevelt (Dallas) was the previous fastest junior, running 20.28 in 1984. He set the still standing high school record of 20.13 as a senior in 1985.
“I definitely thought a time like this was possible,” Lyles said after his 200 win. “When I saw the time flash on the board, I pointed to it and said, ‘Do you all see that?’”
Lyles had to share the spotlight much of the season with his younger brother, Josephus, who repeated as an ALL-USA selection in the long sprints. Josephus is on a different stage this summer, however, representing the USA in the 400 and 200 meters at the World Youth Games in Cali, Colombia this week.
Although both athletes were juniors in high school this season, they are nearly a year apart in age. So Josephus, the younger, is eligible for the World Youth meet for those born in 1998 and 1999. At the New Balance Nationals in June, Noah won the 100 and 200 and Josephus took the 400 to provide an unusual complete family sprint race sweep in a major meet.