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McLaughlin’s record-shattering performances earn AOW honors


INDIANAPOLIS -- Sydney McLaughlin wins USATF Athlete of the Week after breaking two national high school records in the 400m hurdles and the SMR (Swedish Medley Relay) at Sunday’s New Balance Nationals.

On Sunday, McLaughlin (Dunellen, New Jersey) derailed the previous high school 400m hurdles record of 55.20 set by Leslie Maxie in 1984. McLaughlin’s time of 54.46 tabbed her as the American junior record holder (2002 - Lashinda Demus, 54.7) and the best youth 400m hurdles time in the world.

McLaughlin’s record-breaking feat marks her third consecutive NBN title in the 400m hurdles, and places her in third among the fastest marks in the U.S this year, and fifth in the world; just several of the many accomplishments that highlights her superlative high school career.

Sunday’s record-breaking performance coexists with her performance in the SMR on Saturday, in which McLaughlin was set to run the 400m anchor for Union Catholic High School. The SMR consists of 100, 200, 300 and 400 meter variables.

McLaughlin led the team to their third consecutive national championship in the relay with a national record time of 2:07.99. Equally as impressive, McLaughlin’s split time of 50.93 was confirmed to be the fastest 400m split for a girls’ relay in U.S. history, in which McLaughlin brought the team from last place to first.

“I wasn’t even thinking about the timing, I was just trying to finish the race,” McLaughlin told RunnerSpace, following her 400m record. “I just wanted to go out and run...the best I could, and the time was just a bonus.”

McLaughlin is set to compete in the 400m hurdles at the USATF Junior Outdoor Championships, as well as the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field held in Eugene, Oregon.

“I’m ready, I’m excited,” McLaughlin said of the Olympic Trials. “It’s great for me because now I’m going to be able to be in the race with [the elites] and just get the experience.”

Other notable performances of the week include the following:

  • Kate Murphy (Burke, Virginia) set a new personal best of 4:07.21 in the adidas Dream 1500m at the adidas Boost Boston Games Friday evening, qualifying for the Olympic Trials. The time makes her the third-fastest high schooler in U.S. history.
  • Mikey Brannigan (Northport, New York) broke the Paralympic American Record in the 800m with a PR of 1:52.44 at the USATF East Regional Championships on Saturday.

Now in its 15th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.

2016 Winners: Jan. 13, Garrett Heath; Jan. 20, Donavan Brazier; Jan. 27, Keni Harrison; Feb. 3, Jenn Suhr; Feb. 10, Vashti Cunningham; Feb. 17, Galen Rupp; Feb. 24, John Nunn; March 2, Curtis Beach; March 11, Bill Collins; March 16, Da’mira Allen; March 24, Michelle Carter; March 31, Janet Bawcom; April 8, Maria Michta-Coffey; April 14, Keni Harrison; April 22, LaShawn Merritt; April 28, Courtney Okolo; May 6, Ida Keeling; May 12, Willie Gault; May 18, Marquise Goodwin; June 2, Keni Harrison; June 9, Tia Brooks; June 16, Donavan Brazier; June 23, Sydney McLaughlin.

We welcome your nominations!

To nominate an athlete for USATF Athlete of the Week, please send a detailed email about his/her performance to

Andrew Eisch

Communications Intern

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