INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Sydney McLaughlin, who graduated from Union Catholic last spring, didn’t waste any time making her presence felt on the college level when the legendary star made a stunning NCAA debut for Kentucky on Friday night at the Hoosier Open at the University of Indiana.
The 18-year-old McLaughlin, a 2016 Olympian, burned up the 200-meter banked oval with a sizzling time of 36.12 to win the 300. That smashed the World Junior record (under 20 years old), is No. 2 in U.S. history, No. 6 all-time in the World, and is No. 1 all-time in NCAA history at low altitude, and No. 1 all-time on the NCAA list among U.S. born athletes.
The only U.S woman to run faster indoors in the 300 than McLaughlin is Quanera Hayes, who ran 35.71 last January. McLaughlin’s time broke the NCAA low altitude and the American NCAA record of 36.76 set in 2007 by Francena McCorory. Jamaican born Merlene Ottey ran an NCAA record 35.83 in 1981, but that came at high altitude.
McLaughlin, arguably the greatest high school female athlete of all-time, had a previous best in the 300 of 36.82 from last February when she broke the national high school record.
McLaughlin’s college debut is reminiscent of how her high school career at Union Catholic started when she ran 38.55 on Dec. 21, 2013 to smash the New Jersey High School record at the Bishop Loughlin Games at the New Balance Track and Field Center in New York.