Sydney McLaughlin

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Sydney McLaughlin
Sydney McLaughlin .jpg
Personal information
Birth nameSydney Michelle McLaughlin
Born (1999-08-07) August 7, 1999 (age 20)
New Brunswick, New Jersey[1]
ResidenceDunellen, New Jersey
Height5 ft 8 in (173 cm)[1]
Weight132 lb (60 kg)
SportTrack and field
Event(s)400 metres hurdles
College teamKentucky Wildcats track and field
ClubNew Balance
Turned proJun. 2018
Achievements and titles
World finals2019
400 m hurdles,  Silver
Olympic finals2016
400 m hurdles, 16th (sf)
Personal best(s)

Sydney McLaughlin (born August 7, 1999) is an American hurdler and sprinter who competed for the University of Kentucky[2] before turning professional. She won the silver medal at the 2019 World Championships in the 400 m hurdles, setting her new personal best of 52.23 seconds. McLaughlin holds a number of age group world bests and won the Gatorade National Girls Athlete of the Year trophy for both 2015–16 and 2016–17. She placed third in the 400 metres hurdles at the 2016 United States Olympic Trials, qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics. McLaughlin has a personal best of 50.07 in the 400m.


McLaughlin belongs to an athletic family; her father Willie was a semi-finalist in the 400 meters at the 1984 Olympic Trials, her mother Mary was a runner in high school, and her older brother Taylor won silver in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships.[3] A resident of Dunellen, New Jersey, she is a member of the class of 2017 at Union Catholic Regional High School in Scotch Plains, and has been successful academically.[3][4][5] McLaughlin took up running at an early age, following Taylor and their older sister Morgan.[3]

McLaughlin placed a close second behind Shamier Little in the 400-meter hurdles at the national junior (under-20) championships in 2014; her time of 55.63 was a national high school freshman record and a world age-14 best.[6][7] She would have qualified to represent the United States at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, but was a year too young to be eligible.[8] McLaughlin also set a world age group best (13.34) in the 100-meter hurdles over 76.2 cm (2 ft 6 in) hurdles that summer.[7]

McLaughlin improved her 400-meter hurdles best to 55.28 at the 2015 national youth trials; the time was an age 15 world best, and ranked second on the all-time world youth list behind Leslie Maxie's world youth best (and national high school record) of 55.20 set in 1984.[8] She qualified for the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, where she won gold in 55.94; she finished the year as the world youth and junior leader in the event.[9]

McLaughlin won the 400-meter hurdles in 54.46 at the 2016 New Balance national outdoor high school championships; the time broke Maxie's prep record and world youth best, as well as Lashinda Demus's American junior record of 54.70.[10] In addition, she ran on Union Catholic's team in the Swedish medley relay, running a fast 50.93 split for 400 meters as the team set a new high school record of 2:07.99.[10] McLaughlin won the USATF junior championship in 54.54 the following week; in recognition of her accomplishments, she was named Gatorade National Girls Athlete of the Year.[4][11]

McLaughlin won her heat (55.46) and semi-final (55.23) in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2016 United States Olympic Trials.[9][12] In the final she placed third in 54.15, setting a new world youth best and world junior record and qualifying for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.[13] McLaughlin is the youngest athlete to make the American Olympic track and field team since Carol Lewis and Denean Howard qualified for the boycotted Moscow Olympics in 1980.[14] At the olympics she placed 5th in her semi-final heat, failing to advance to the finals.[15]

In November 2016, McLaughlin signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Kentucky and compete for their track and field program.[16][17]

McLaughlin was part of an American Record quartet that broke the indoor distance medley relay world record with a time of 10:40.31, set at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on January 28, 2017. The splits for the four legs were: 3:18.40 (1200 m) by Olympic medalist Emma Coburn,52.32 (400 m) by McLaughlin, 2:01.92 (800 m) by Brenda Martinez, and 4:27.66 (1600 m) by Olympic medalist and former world 1500m champion Jenny Simpson.[18] Later that indoor season, McLaughlin lowered her own national 400-meter record to a 51.61 at the New Balance Nationals in New York City on March 12, 2017.[19]

In April 2017, McLaughlin continued the positive momentum from the 2017 indoor campaign by opening her outdoor season in style—breaking the 300m hurdles national high school record at the Arcadia Invitational running 38.90. The record was previously held by Lashinda Demus who ran 39.98 in 2001. The record was the first ever attempt over 300m hurdles for McLaughlin as high school track meets in New Jersey do not contest the 300m hurdles. Her time of 38.90 is considered to be a North American Record and number 2 all-time worldwide behind Zuzana Hejnova who ran 38.16 in 2013.[20] Later that month, McLaughlin ran the fastest ever high school girls (400m) relay split during the Championship of America high school girls 4x400 at the 123rd Penn Relays. After taking the baton at the back of an eight-team field, McLaughlin posted a split of 50.37, passing five teams to lead her Union Catholic relay team to a third-place finish in 3:38.92.[21] She bettered this mark at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Meet on June 18, 2017. Taking the baton in 6th place on the final handoff, she passed five runners to lead Union Catholic to victory, posting a split of 49.85 seconds.[22]

In March 2018, McLaughlin set world junior 400-meter record in (50.36) at 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships.

On May 13, 2018, McLaughlin broke the collegiate and NCAA record in the 400-meter hurdles, running 52.75 to win the event in her first SEC championship appearance.[23] In October 2018 she turned professional, and signed with the New Balance team.[24]


Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  United States
2014 New Balance Indoor Nationals Fort Washington Avenue Armory 8th 60 metres hurdles 8.67
2nd 4 x 200 m relay 1:40.61
New Balance Nationals Outdoor Greensboro, North Carolina 2nd 100 metres hurdles 13.34
3rd 4 x 200 m relay 1:41.42
1st 400 metres hurdles 56.89
2014 USA Junior Track and Field Championships
2014 World Junior Championships in Athletics Trials
University of Oregon 2nd 400 metres hurdles 55.63
2015 New Balance Indoor Nationals Fort Washington Avenue Armory 1st 60 metres hurdles 8.17
New Balance Nationals Outdoor Greensboro, North Carolina 1st 400 metres hurdles 55.87
2015 USA Youth Track and Field Championships
2015 World Youth Trials
Benedictine University 1st 400 metres hurdles 55.28
2015 World Youth Championships in Athletics Cali, Colombia 1st 400 metres hurdles 55.94
2016 New Balance Indoor Nationals Fort Washington Avenue Armory 1st 400 metres 51.84
1st 4 x 400-meter relay 3:40.28
New Balance Nationals Outdoor Greensboro, North Carolina 1st 400 metres hurdles 54.46
2016 USA Junior Outdoor Track and Field Championships Clovis, California 1st 400 metres hurdles 54.54
2016 United States Olympic Trials (track and field) University of Oregon 3rd 400 metres hurdles 54.15
Summer Olympics Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 16th 400 metres hurdles 56.22
2017 New Balance Indoor Nationals Fort Washington Avenue Armory 1st 400 metres 51.61
New Balance Nationals Outdoor Greensboro, North Carolina 1st 400 metres hurdles 54.22
2017 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Sacramento State University 6th 400 metres hurdles 53.82
2019 2019 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Drake University 2nd 400 metres hurdles 52.88
World Championships Doha, Qatar 2nd 400 metres hurdles 52.23
1st 4 x 400 m relay 3:18.92
Representing University of Kentucky
2018 SEC Indoor Track and Field Championships College Station, Texas 1st 400 metres 50.52
3rd 4x400m 3:31.96
NCAA Women's Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships College Station, Texas 2nd 400 metres 50.36
5th 4x400m 3:30.08
4th 200 metres 22.80
SEC Outdoor Track and Field Championships University of Tennessee 1st 400 metres hurdles 52.75
1st 4x400m 3:25.99
NCAA Women's Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships University of Oregon 1st 400 metres hurdles 53.96
4th 4x400m 3:30.52


Personal bests[edit]

Surface Distance Time Date Location Note(s)
Outdoor 200 m 22.39 March 29, 2018 Gainesville, Florida
400 m 50.07 March 30, 2018 Gainesville, Florida
100 m hurdles 13.34 June 14, 2014 Greensboro, North Carolina
300 m hurdles 38.90 April 9, 2017 Arcadia, California HSR
400 m hurdles 52.23 October 4, 2019 Doha 2nd fastest all-time
Indoor 300 m 36.12 December 8, 2017 Bloomington, Indiana[26] NU20R, WU20R
400 m 50.36 March 10, 2018 College Station, Texas NJR, WU20R
60 m hurdles 8.17 March 15, 2015 New York, New York


  1. ^ a b "Sydney McLaughlin". United States Olympic Committee. Retrieved July 21, 2016.
  2. ^ Boylan-Pett, Liam (October 24, 2017). "The Track Phenom Who Chose College Over Riches". Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "Track: Union Catholic siblings Taylor and Sydney McLaughlin were born to run". The Star-Ledger. January 29, 2014. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Konecky, Chad (June 27, 2016). "Sydney McLaughlin wins Gatorade National Track & Field Athlete of the Year". USA Today. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  5. ^ Staff. "Union Catholic Track Star Will Be Youngest U.S. Track Star in Olympics", TAP into Union, July 11, 2016. Accessed July 13, 2016. "Sydney McLaughlin a member of the Class of 2017 at Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, set a high school and new world junior record in the women's 400 hurdles at the U.S. Olympic trails. 'All the pressure I put on myself,' McLaughlin, a resident of Dunellen, said in her post-race interview on NBC, which will air the games from Brazil next month."
  6. ^ Mazzone, Stephen (July 14, 2014). "Sydney McLaughlin is Too Good to Be Only 14". MileSplit. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Butler, Mark (ed.). "IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 Statistics Handbook". IAAF Communications Department: 525. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  8. ^ a b Mulkeen, Jon (July 1, 2015). "McLaughlin, Hill and Lyles impress at US Youth Championships". Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  9. ^ a b Sydney McLaughlin at Tilastopaja (registration required)
  10. ^ a b "McLaughlin's record-shattering performances earn AOW honors". USA Track & Field. June 21, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  11. ^ Jordan, Jason (July 13, 2016). "Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year Sydney McLaughlin has rare talents away from the track". USA Today. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  12. ^ Lambert, Jim (July 10, 2016). "Rio 2016: N.J. high school phenom McLaughlin aims to make Olympic Team on Sunday". Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  13. ^ Young, Dennis (July 10, 2016). "16-Year-Old Sydney McLaughlin Makes Olympic Team With World Junior Record". FloTrack. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  14. ^ Lambert, Jim (July 10, 2016). "Rio 2016: N.J. HS phenom Sydney McLaughlin runs her way onto the Olympic team". Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  15. ^ "Olympic Track & Field Results: Sydney McLaughlin Doesn't Qualify In 400M Hurdles". August 17, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  16. ^ Lambert, Jim (November 14, 2016). "N.J. teen Olympian Sydney McLaughlin has picked her college. The winner is..." Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  17. ^ "UKTF Signing Sydney McLaughlin Sweeps 2016 Awards". University of Kentucky. Retrieved June 19, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Coburn, McLaughlin, Martinez, Simpson Break DMR World Record". FloTrack. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
  19. ^
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  24. ^ Stunson, Mike (October 16, 2018). "Former UK track star McLaughlin signs with New Balance after 'huge bidding war'". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved October 16, 2018.
  25. ^ Sydney McLaughlin KENTUCKY (FR-1) TFRRS
  26. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Candace Hill
USA Track & Field Youth Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Jakobe Ford