Sydney McLaughlin has officially broken the 300m hurdles national record in her career debut at the Arcadia Invitational. The 2016 Olympian for 400m hurdles ran 38.90 to break the national high school record by over a second; Lashinda Demus set the prior record at 39.98 in 2001.
Demus would go on to win the IAAF World Championships in 400m hurdles in 2011 and take home the Olympic silver medal in the event in 2012.
McLaughlin, 17, is more than a full second faster than the 400m hurdles national record (54.15 vs. 55.20), so her run tonight is no surprise. Track meets in New Jersey, where McLaughlin attends school at Union Catholic High, do not typically contest the 300m hurdles so the Arcadia Invite in California was a rare opportunity to chase the record.
The Kentucky commit also owns the national high school record for the indoor 400m (51.61) and indoor 300m (36.82). h/t flotrack
In 2015, McLaughlin faced adversity for the first time in her young track and field career at Union Catholic after straining her abductor, and experiencing tight hamstrings. The nagging injuries had forced her to rest for several weeks, however it looks like she’s back! Big time!
“I think being injured taught me to focus more and care more about my body,” McLaughlin said at the time. “I think having some time off allowed me to think about it and prepare for the long season. A little break was needed.”