Trayvon Bromell, the 18-year-old freshman from Baylor, had already run a blistering 9.77 seconds (wind-aided) for 100 meters this season. But on Friday, he crushed a field of upperclassmen to win his first national title with a wind-legal 9.97, a time which, pending ratification, will be a 19-and-under world junior record.
Bromell's adaptation to the NCAAs hasn't gone completely smooth—he only got into the NCAA Indoor Championships this winter after a host of athletes scratched due to injuries. But he's been dominant outdoors, and his win has more than just NCAA significance.
At the end of July, the World Junior Championships take center stage in Eugene, Ore., pitting the word's best 19-and-unders at each other's throats. Brommel holds not only the fastest 100m time in the world for juniors, he holds three of the five fastest junior times of the year, and eight of the top 15. When people refer to him as the future of sprinting, it's not an exaggeration.
But possibly the biggest question after his NCAAs win is whether Bromell will stay in the collegiate system. Just like any other phenom, there's a very real possibility he'll sign a professional contract. Not that he'll dominate the world immediately. But eventually. Possibly. He'll at least face tougher competition than he's found in school.
Bromell's got plenty to think about over his summer break.
[Photo: AP Images]