Sports

Dunellen Embraces Hometown Olympic Hero Sydney McLaughlin

d3a4c0ea0c1f8b060653_dunpixsydneyflags.JPG
Hundreds of friends and neighbors welcome Dunellen hometown hero Sydney McLaughlin to Colombia Park Saturday. Credits: Rod Hirsch
720382a9c4939291b28e_dunpixsydneyportrait.JPG
Sydney McLaughlin enjoys "her" day at Columbia Park in Dunellen. Credits: Rod Hirsch
8396aa1572693d57cf50_dunpixsydneyautographmolly.jpeg
Sydney McLaughlin signs an autograph for admirer Molly McEntee. Credits: Rod Hirsch
20238c336246d9ccc04d_dunpixsydneymolly.jpg
Sydney McLaughlin spent close to an hour posing for pictures and signing autographs. Credits: Heather McEntee
512595f8a54994c431f6_dunpixsydneyparksign.JPG
A sign erected at Columbia Park unveiled Saturday honors Sydney McLaughlin's Olympics achievement. Credits: Rod Hirsch
bcfa170a7e39c45376d2_dunpixsydneyUChurdles.jpg
Sydney McLaughlin, a senior, at Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, set her fourth national high school record at a meet in California. Credits: Union Catholic
31e976668552f975a27f_dunpixsydneyuctrack.jpg
Sydney McLaughlin, the pride of Dunellen and Union Catholic High School.
d3a4c0ea0c1f8b060653_dunpixsydneyflags.JPG

DUNELLEN, NJ – Just one week before she left for Rio de Janeiro, US Olympian Sydney McLaughlin was helping teach young kids how to juggle at a summer recreation class at Faber School; she also opted to stay home and miss the opulent opening ceremonies at the 2016 Summer Olympics to celebrate her 17th birthday with her family at their home on Fairview Avenue.

On Saturday morning, a fire truck from the borough’s volunteer fire company showed up in front of her home with a police escort to take her and her family for a ride to nearby Columbia Park, where an adoring crowd of supporters, neighbors, teachers, coaches, old friends and new friends embraced their Olympic hero.

The “Welcome Home” celebration was complete with red, white and blue balloons, miniature American flags, speeches and accolades from Mayor Robert Seader, Assemblyman Jerry Green,  D-22nd, Schools Supt. Gene Mosely, Faber School principal Gary Lubisco and Dunellen High School football coach Dave DeNapoli, who served as master of ceremonies.

Sign Up for E-News

Seader presented her with a “key” to the borough, and Green presented her with a Joint Resolution from the state Senate and Assembly honoring her achievements.

At 5’9” and 132 pounds, she’s a hometown girl with family-grown values.

 McLaughlin was the youngest track athlete to compete for Team USA at the Olympics since 1972, and through she did not return home with a medal, she won the hearts of those who live in this mile-square community of 6,000.

Seated proudly alongside her during the ceremonies were her older brother Taylor, an All-American in track at the University of Michigan and a silver medalist in the hurdles at the 2016 IAAF World Championships; mother Mary, who ran track in high school and her father Willie, who was an Olympics track semi-finalist in 1984. He also is a volunteer coach with the Dunellen High School track team.

After the ceremonies, she was surrounded by her admirers as she made her way from the football field towards the park entrance where she would unveil a new sign that honors her Olympics achievement.

She posed for pictures and signed dozens of autographs on the American flags clutched by young and old alike – “Syd da Kid,” embellished with a heart.

Next month, she returns for her senior year at Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, where she excels academically – and another year of competition on the high school track team.

She’s also pointed to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Pieces of Time: Applause Rings Out In Two Columbia Middle School Classrooms

February 23, 2018

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – Thursday night, the mass murder of students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, Feb. 14, seemed to be on everyone’s mind at the Board of Education meeting.

The board observed a moment of silence following the Pledge of Allegiance for the 17 people killed and 14 wounded in the shooting, as well as ...

Local Advisor Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Roth IRA

BASKING RIDGE, NJ - 2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the Roth IRA. First made available to American investors in 1998, a Roth IRA is an individual retirement account that is funded with after-tax dollars and provides tax-free growth and income for retirement.

In honor of this significant milestone, Walter Pardo, CEO/Certified Wealth Strategist at Wealth ...

Summit's Temple Sinai Debuts 'Lunch & Learn' Events Beginning Mar. 4

February 25, 2018

SUMMIT, NJ - Temple Sinai in Summit will host a series of 'Lunch and Learn' events beginning March 4. The informative and interactive events include:

Is Forgiveness Really Necessary? - Sunday, March 4, from 1:45 - 3 p.m.

An animated clip called “Landlord” from Hanan Harchol’s “Jewish Food for Thought” series will inspire a discussion on ...

Big Bird is The Word: Summit's Congregation Beth Hatikvah Hosts 'It's a Muppet Purim' March 3

SUMMIT, NJ - 'The Muppets' travel to Persia in Congregation Beth Hatikvah’s zaniest version yet of the Purim story, to be staged Saturday, March 3 at 7 p.m. The original book by Steve Kaflowitz of New Providence features parodies of familiar Sesame Street tunes and pop favorites paired with plenty of slapstick and general silliness. 

The show is appropriate ...

March 8 Salon Series More Than Just Music

BERKELEY HEIGHTS—Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) sat down recently with faculty member Matthew Van Dongen to talk about his upcoming performance on the 2017-2018 Salon Series featuring an evening of contemporary and original works for guitar. In addition to works by 20th century Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo including Tiento antiguo, Un tiempo fue Italica famosa, and ...

Scotch Plains Public Library Presents, “The Shannachie of Glendunbun Ballybeg: Traditional Celtic Tales”

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Storyteller David Emerson will retell the colorful and ancient tales of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Cornwall in a presentation on Thursday, March 1 at 7:00 p.m. that will “warm, tickle, or chill the heart” at the Scotch Plains Library. This program is funded by the New Jersey Council for the Humanities. Registration is recommended.

David Emerson of History on ...

Colleen Mahr Has Paid Her Dues, Earned Peoples’ Trust, and Left a Track Record of Success

February 20, 2018

Dear Editor:

As a 26-year-old Scotch Plains resident who cares more about the well-being of our town than about local politics, I am extremely disappointed that the Scotch Plains Democratic Committee leadership has decided to abandon Colleen Mahr in her run for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.

Mahr, who as Mayor of Fanwood for 15 years has worked closely with Scotch Plains ...

We Need More Women Like Colleen Mahr in Municipal, County and State Government

Dear Editor:

I’m proud to support Colleen Mahr for Chair of the Union County Democratic Committee  (UCDC) and am encouraging my Scotch Plains peers to join me.

I was a first time candidate wanting to make a difference in my hometown of Scotch Plains, when Mayor Mahr of neighboring Fanwood stepped in to help me campaign and win my election to be Councilwoman three years ago.

Democratic Party Would Be Making a Big Mistake by Not Recognizing Colleen Mahr's Talents

Dear Editor:

Mayor Colleen Mahr has been a valuable friend to the Township of Cranford. Whether it’s offering advice and assistance during devastating flood cleanup, supporting the Mayor's Council on the Rahway River, or her insight and assistance in meeting our affordable housing obligations, Mayor Mahr is always there for Cranford.

Colleen’s fairness and integrity is ...

Chatham Borough Police Chief Crosson has Retired; Captain Gibbons is Acting Commander

February 12, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - Phil Crosson Jr., who has been a member of the Chatham Borough Police Department since 1992, retired from his position as the police chief on Feb. 1.

"It came on pretty quickly," Crosson said when reached by phone on Sunday. "I was on vacation for six weeks and I bought a business. I came back for one day and retired."

According to Crosson, ...

‘Reefer Madness’ Comes to Chatham Borough Council; Cannabis Advocates Make Pitch for Chatham Marijuana Shop

February 14, 2018

CHATHAM, NJ - A group of pro-cannabis activists came to the Borough of Chatham Council meeting on Monday night and used the public commentary portion of the meeting to ask the council to support a marijuana dispensary in town.

The advocates, who say they have attended more than 80 town meetings to inform about the benefits of medical cannabis, mentioned the 1936 movie "Reefer ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, February 25

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_2e2e4830042112095f66_94f09724857a937db1ac_d6404e0a-7afd-4279-b56f-19b0f9b2138c

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_8e821e02ba44390d688c_olympics_oh_feb_2018

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend "Wacky Winter Olympics" Open House

Arts & Entertainment Other

Sun, February 25, 3:00 PM

Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, Plainfield

“Showcase for Exceptional Young Artists” Features ...

Arts & Entertainment

Sun, February 25, 3:00 PM

DeCorso Community Center, New Providence

CSA's 5th Annual Pasta Dinner & Basket Raffle

Food & Drink Giving Back

Sun, February 25, 3:00 PM

New Providence Memorial Library, New Providence

Hotter than a Pepper Sprout: America's Music

Arts & Entertainment

I've Always Wanted to be a Doctor...Or an English Teacher

Think about the impossibility of the task we lay in front of high school students.  In addition to getting good grades, filling up a resume, finding the right colleges and writing countless admissions essays they also need to decide on their life’s passion at 17 years old...or do they?

As a college admissions representative the first question most students would ask me was whether ...

Now That The Dust Has Settled…Smart Tax Moves In 2018

Now that the dust has settled, here are some smart tax moves to lower your taxes and/or avoid higher taxes/penalties in 2018. These steps may be especially helpful if you live in high property and high income tax states (e.g. New Jersey, New York, California) since state and local tax deductions are capped.  Unfortunately all these changes mean you’ll need more time and energy to ...