TOMS RIVER – Taylor and Sydney McLaughlin, siblings from Union Catholic High School, continue to achieve new heights on the track. Both broke meet records and the latter helped win a championship.
Taylor McLaughlin ran the fastest boys 400 meter in meet history with a time of 48.77 and Sydney McLaughlin broke the 55 meter hurdles record with a time of 7.86 for Union Catholic, helping the Union Catholic girls win their first ever Non-Public A championship at the Bennett Center in Toms River on Saturday.
“I had heard about the record before around 48.8,” said Taylor McLaughlin. “I know that I have run 49 before the season, but that was in quarter inches. So I just wanted to really get out hard and it just kind of happened.”
McLaughlin’s time was the fourth fastest ever at the Bennett Center and also ranks the 13th fastest national time this season. The senior also placed second in the 55 meter hurdles at 7.63 and helped anchor the 4×400 with a winning time of 3:25.56.
The Union Catholic boys couldn’t edge out CBA and placed second in Non-Public A with 50 points to CBA’s 83. McLaughlin was happy with the team and his own performance. Next comes the Meet of Champions where McLaughlin will try to improve on an already blistering time.
“Definitely because there’s going to be a lot more people in it now,” said McLaughlin. “We’re all going to be in lanes too so that’s a big thing. Hopefully that time goes down, but if it doesn’t, I’ll still be happy with it.”
Sean Brennan placed first in the shot put with a distance of 59-03.50. Brian Sagendorf placed first in the pole vault for Union Catholic in the pole vault with a height of 13-06 and Anthony Dawson placed fifth in the 400 meters with a time of 51.94. All three will compete in the Meet of Champions.
Sydney McLaughlin’s winning time broke the old meet record of 7.92. She also just missed the 400 meet record of 55.15 set by Columbia’s Olivia Baker in 2014 by running a first place time of 55.73, but that still ranks as the third fastest ever at the Bennett Center.
McLaughlin, like her brother, also anchored the 4×400 and helped set a meet record time of 3:55.27. The sophomore had no idea that she had broken any records in either event and actually thought she could have done better in the hurdles.
“I think my start could be better, but the hurdles are probably my favorite race so it was fun for me and to get a meet record makes it even better,” said McLaughlin.
The Union Catholic girls defeated Red Bank Catholic 105-45 with McLaughlin being at the forefront of the success.
“My parents kind of expected it sort of because I grew up running track, but some of the accomplishments I never would have though were possible,” said McLaughlin. “I’m really grateful for my team and family to help and support me. I think that’s what really helps me to run as fast as I can.”
This will be the last year that both Taylor and Sydney will be running in high school together and both explained that they have always been very supportive of each other.
“I haven’t seen her have a bad meet yet,” said Taylor McLaughlin. “I’m just glad that she can do so well now and I’m hoping that it doesn’t stop going into her junior and senior years. I’m just hoping for the best from her.”
“We’re like a tag-team. We always say good luck before races and help each other out. He has a big influence and it’s gonna be a little hard when he’s gone,” added Sydney McLaughlin.
The girls had major contributions from Caitlin Glynn and Alana Herran. Glynn took first in the Non-Public A 3200 meter with a time of 11:25.58, while Herran finished first in the high jump at a height of 5-00 and second in the 55 meter hurdles at 8.43. Amari Onque-Shabazz placed second in the 800 meter with a time of 2:20.84.
The Union Catholic girl salso received strong performances from Tyler Scott and Jordan Coverson who will also head to the Meet of Champions in the high jump and the 400 meters respectively.
Emma Palmer, who placed second in the Non-Public B girls 800 meters with a time of 2:28.10, will represent Pingry at the Meet of Champions as will Michael Carr, who placed third in the high jump with a height of 5-08.
Three more Pingry athletes will compete in the pole vault as well. Julia Dannenbaum and Garret McGregor both placed first in the girls and boys Non-Public B pole vault with heights of 11-00 and 13-01 respectively. Sophia Cortazzo also placed third with a height of 10-06.
Gill St. Bernard’s will have three athletes at the Meet of Champions. Armani Comick placed second in the Non-Public B girls shot put with a distance of 32.08.25 and placed fifth in the high jump with a height of 4-08. Joining Comick will be Sahara Ensley who placed third in the 3200 with a time of 12:20.02 and Mathieu Petit who ran a time of 2:09.16 in the boys 800.
Staff Writer Matt Silva: firstname.lastname@example.org