Of all the off-the-charts accomplishments in her farewell high school season, what happened Friday might be right at the top for Sydney McLaughlin.
The Union Catholic (N.J.) senior and Dunellen resident ripped off a 49.85 400-meter split on the anchor of the Swedish Relay at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals. That is believed to be the fastest one-lap split by a schoolgirl in track and field history — and the smashing of a barrier that was once thought to be out of reach.
Of course the Vikings won the relay, which includes legs of 100, 200, 300 and 400 meters.
For McLaughlin, a senior who represented the U.S. in last summer’s Rio Olympics and is headed to the University of Kentucky in the fall, the previous best split was a 50.37 at April’s Penn Relays — the fastest in the history of that prestigious event.
She already owns the national schoolgirl record in the 400-meter hurdles, a 54.03 set two weeks ago. Last Saturday, in her final New Jersey appearance, McLaughlin won the Meet of Champions 400 hurdles and open 400 to bring her tally of individual state titles to 11.