Future Kentucky track & field athlete Sydney McLaughlin was named the 2016-17 Gatorade National Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row, it was announced yesterday.
McLaughlin, who at 17 years old competed in Rio, is the youngest U.S runner to make the Olympics in bookoo (44) years to be precise.
How good is Sydney McLaughlin you ask? Check out some of what McLaughlin has done in the past year.
- Sydney broke her own national high school and World Junior (Under-20) records in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles with a time of 54.03 seconds at the Non-Public A championship meet this past season.
- Sydney won the 400-meter dash in a meet-record 51.88 and the 200-meter dash in a state-record 22.96, both of which ranked as the No. 1 times among U.S. prep competitors in 2017 at the time of her selection.
- Sydney won the 400 hurdles at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor in 54.22—the 7th national title of her career to go with a World Youth title.
- Sydney’s winning time of 38.90 in the 300 hurdles at April’s Arcadia Invitational set another national prep record by more than a full second. She clocked the fastest 400-meter relay split in high school history (49.85) at NBNO, and during the indoor season she broke national records in both the 300 and 400-meter races.
Kentucky’s track and field coach Edrick Floreal, who has a proven record, will no doubt propel Sydney McLaughlin to the top of the 400-meter intermediate hurdles runners.
The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track and field; and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport.
In addition to athletic excellence, the award recognizes academic achievement and exemplary character on and off the field. Sydney McLaughlin had a 3.46 GPA.