Olympian Sydney McLaughlin closed out her high school career with a fourth consecutive 400-meter hurdles title and a time of 54.22 at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor in Greensboro, N.C., on Sunday.
McLaughlin was slightly slower than earlier this month when she broke her own national and world junior record with a time of 54.03 in the event, but still fast enough to not only win by more than three seconds but also beat the meet record — which she also held — of 54.46.
McLaughlin, widely regarded as one of the most dominant high school athletes since LeBron James, was the youngest track and field athlete to compete in the Olympics in 44 years when she competed in Rio in 2016. She finished fifth in her semifinal heat of the 400-meter hurdles. McLaughlin will run at the University of Kentucky beginning in the fall.
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On Friday, McLaughlin took her Union Catholic (N.J.) Swedish relay team from sixth to first place when she ran a 49.85-second 400 meter split, announced at the race as being the fastest ever time by a high school female. The relay team (100m, 200m, 300m, 400m) also set a new national high school record of 2:05.93. Union Catholic beat the previous national record, which it set last year with McLaughlin as the anchor, of 2:07.99.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.