ALL-USA Watch: Sydney McLaughlin runs historic 400, 400H combo at N.J.'s Meet of Champions

ALL-USA Watch: Sydney McLaughlin runs historic 400, 400H combo at N.J.'s Meet of Champions

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ALL-USA Watch: Sydney McLaughlin runs historic 400, 400H combo at N.J.'s Meet of Champions

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Apparently, long and lean Union Catholic (Scotch Plains, N.J.) junior speedster Sydney McLaughlin’s 400-meter national indoor prep record this past winter was merely a warmup act for what’s to come.

RELATED: N.J.’s Sydney McLaughlin sets national high school indoor record in 400

The 16-year-old McLaughlin clocked U.S. No. 1 prep performances in both the 400-meter dash (51.87 seconds) and 400-meter hurdles (56..23 seconds), sweeping both events at New Jersey’s Meet of Champions. For good measure, she ran a 54.2 on the anchor leg for the winning 4×400-meter relay.

Of course, McLaughlin already owned the state records for both the 400 and 400 hurdles, but her times respectively ranked as the 18th- and 12th-fastest times ever recorded by a high school runner.

“I always try to be better and go bigger each time I come to the Meet of Champions,” she told NJ Advanced Media. “I really wanted to get my times down as I get ready for the national meets coming up, and I challenged myself to see how fast I could run at this meet. …

“In the 400 hurdles, I was pushing myself against the clock, but in the 400 I wasn’t breaking 400 if it weren’t for (Winslow sophomore Shakira Dancy). She took it out and made me run hard. She ran a great race and is the reason I broke 52, which I am very happy about it.”

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McLaughlin — who swept the 400 hurdles at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor championships, USATF World Youth Track and Field Trials and IAAF World Youth Championships last summer — will run the event at NBNO, U.S. Junior Nationals and the U.S. Olympic Trials in a span of three weeks starting June 17.

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