Sydney McLaughlin

Sydney McLaughlin
Sydney2018 NCAA Division.jpg
Personal information
Full nameSydney Michelle McLaughlin
Born (1999-08-07) August 7, 1999 (age 22)
New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.
EmployerNew Balance[1]
Height5 ft 9 in (175 cm)[2]
Weight132 lb (60 kg)
Spouse(s)Andre Levrone Jr.
SportTrack and field
College teamKentucky Wildcats (2018)[3]
Coached by
Achievements and titles
World finals
  • 2019 Doha
  • 400 m hurdles -  Silver
  • 4×400 m relay -  Gold
  • 2022 Eugene
  • 400 m hurdles -  Gold
  • 4×400 m relay -  Gold
Olympic finals
  • 2020 Tokyo
  • 400 m hurdles -  Gold
  • 4×400 m relay -  Gold
Personal best(s)

Sydney Michelle McLaughlin (born August 7, 1999) is an American hurdler and sprinter who is the world record holder in the 400 metres hurdles. She is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medalist, and also the current world and Olympic records holder with 50.68s and 51.46s, respectively. McLaughlin was the first woman to break 52 seconds in the 400 m hurdles when she set a world record of 51.90 s at the 2020 USA Olympic trials.[4] She won a silver medal at the 2019 World Championships. At both the 2019 World Championships and Tokyo Games, she also took gold as part of a women's 4×400 meters relay team. In 2022, she became world champion in the 2022 World Athletics Championships, in Eugene, Oregon, with a new world record time of 50.68 seconds.

As a 15-year-old, she was the 2015 World youth champion. In 2016, McLaughlin was the youngest athlete since 1980 to qualify for the U.S. Olympic track team, having placed third at the U.S. Olympic Trials with the current world under-18 best of 54.15 seconds.[7] She competed one year for the University of Kentucky before turning professional in 2018.[6] She also holds the world under-20 record of 53.60 seconds, having achieved a junior personal best of 52.75s, with both marks set in 2018.

Early life

Sydney McLaughlin was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on August 7, 1999.[8] Her father, Willie McLaughlin, is a member of the Manhattan College Athletic Hall of Fame as a three-time All-American.[9] He was a semi-finalist in the 400 meters at the 1984 Olympic Trials.[7] Her mother, Mary Neumeister McLaughlin, was a 2:12 half-miler at Cardinal O'Hara High School in Tonawanda, New York, where she ran on the boys' team.[10][11][12] Her parents met as students at Manhattan College; there was no women's track team when Mary arrived in 1979, so she became the manager of the men's track team.[11][13]

Sydney grew up in Dunellen, New Jersey. In addition to being successful academically, McLaughlin took up running at an early age, following brother Taylor and their older sister Morgan.[14] She is a member of the class of 2017 at Union Catholic Regional High School in Scotch Plains, where she was the first two-time Gatorade Player of the Year in Track & Field.[14][15][16] She was personally trained by Kelvin H. Walker during her time at Union Catholic Regional High School.

Her older sister, Morgan, ran for St. Peter's University. Her older brother, Taylor, ran for the University of Michigan, and won silver in the 400 meter hurdles at the 2016 IAAF World U20 Championships.[7][14] He and Sydney both qualified for the 2016 US Olympic team.[16]

Her younger brother, Ryan, took after his older siblings as a track stand-out at Union Catholic.[17] He was the fifth member of the family to win a New Jersey county track title.[17][18]

"All of our kids are fairly talented," Willie said when Sydney was 14. "But (Sydney's) a little special. We saw it coming. It was just a matter of time."[10]

Early career

McLaughlin placed a close second behind Shamier Little in the 400-meter hurdles at the national junior (under-20) championships in 2014; her time of 55.63 was a national high school freshman record and a world age-14 best.[10][19] She would have qualified to represent the United States at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, but was a year too young to be eligible.[20] McLaughlin also set a world age group best (13.34) in the 100-meter hurdles over 76.2 cm (2 ft 6 in) hurdles that summer.[19]

McLaughlin improved her 400-meter hurdles best to 55.28 at the 2015 national youth trials; the time was an age 15 world best, and ranked second on the all-time world youth list behind Leslie Maxie's world youth best (and national high school record) of 55.20 set in 1984.[20] She qualified for the 2015 IAAF World Youth Championships in Cali, Colombia, where she won gold in 55.94; she finished the year as the world youth and junior leader in the event.[21]

McLaughlin won the 400-meter hurdles in 54.46 at the 2016 New Balance national outdoor high school championships; the time broke Maxie's prep record and world youth best, as well as Lashinda Demus's American junior record of 54.70.[22] In addition, she ran on Union Catholic's team in the Swedish medley relay, running a fast 50.93 split for 400 meters as the team set a new high school record of 2:07.99.[22] McLaughlin won the USATF junior championship in 54.54 the following week; in recognition of her accomplishments, she was named Gatorade National Girls Athlete of the Year.[15][23]

Sydney McLaughlin at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials

McLaughlin won her heat (55.46) and semi-final (55.23) in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2016 United States Olympic Trials.[21][24] In the final she placed third in 54.15, setting a new world youth best and world junior record and qualifying for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro before her senior year in high school.[25] McLaughlin is the youngest athlete to make the American Olympic track and field team since Carol Lewis and Denean Howard qualified for the boycotted Moscow Olympics in 1980.[26] At the Olympics she placed 5th in her semi-final heat, failing to advance to the finals.[27]

She was part of an American Record quartet that broke the indoor distance medley relay world record with a time of 10:40.31, set at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix on January 28, 2017. The splits for the four legs were: 3:18.40 (1200 m) by Olympic medalist Emma Coburn, 52.32 (400 m) by McLaughlin, 2:01.92 (800 m) by Brenda Martinez, and 4:27.66 (1600 m) by Olympic medalist and former world 1500m champion Jenny Simpson.[28] Later that indoor season, McLaughlin lowered her own national 400-meter record to a 51.61 at the New Balance Nationals in New York City on March 12, 2017.[29]

In April 2017, McLaughlin opened her outdoor season by breaking the 300 m hurdles national high school record at the Arcadia Invitational, running 38.90. The record was previously held by Lashinda Demus who ran 39.98 in 2001. The record was the first ever attempt over 300m hurdles for McLaughlin as high school track meets in New Jersey do not contest the 300m hurdles. Her time of 38.90 is considered to be a North American record and number 2 all-time worldwide behind Zuzana Hejnova who ran 38.16 in 2013.[30] Later that month, McLaughlin ran the fastest ever high school girls (400 m) relay split during the Championship of America high school girls 4x400 at the 123rd Penn Relays. After taking the baton at the back of an eight-team field, McLaughlin posted a split of 50.37, passing five teams to lead her Union Catholic relay team to a third-place finish in 3:38.92.[31] She bettered this mark at the New Balance Nationals Outdoor Meet on June 18, 2017. Taking the baton in 6th place on the final handoff, she passed five runners to lead Union Catholic to victory, posting a split of 49.85 seconds.[32]

McLaughlin was named the Gatorade National Female Athlete of the Year in 2015–16 and 2016–17. She was the first athlete to repeat in the then-15-year history of the award. At the age of 17 she was on the cover of Sports Illustrated when she won the award the second time in July 2017 and the magazine said she "ranks as one of the most dominant high school athletes ever."[18]

University of Kentucky

In November 2016, McLaughlin signed a National Letter of Intent to attend the University of Kentucky and compete for their track and field program.[33][34]

In March 2018, she set the world junior 400-meter record (50.36) at the 2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Track and Field Championships.

On May 13, 2018, McLaughlin broke the collegiate and NCAA record in the 400 m hurdles, running 52.75 to win the event in her first SEC championship appearance.[35]

Professional career

In June 2018, after one year at Kentucky, she forfeited her eligibility to compete in college to turn professional, and signed a sponsorship deal with New Balance in October of the same year.[36][37]

After a bidding war, she got an estimated $1.5 million in annual base pay from New Balance. Instead of hiring an agent specializing in athletes, McLaughlin contracted with William Morris Endeavor, a firm that typically represents Hollywood stars.[38]


At the 2019 World Championships in Doha, 29-year-old Dalilah Muhammad held off 20-year-old McLaughlin by 0.07 seconds

Information is from World Athletics, unless otherwise noted.[39]

Personal bests

Surface Distance Time (s) Date Location Notes
Outdoor 400 m hurdles 50.68 July 22, 2022 Eugene, Oregon, U.S. World record
300 m hurdles 38.90 April 9, 2017 Arcadia, CA, U.S. AHSR AU20B AB
100 m hurdles 12.65 May 9, 2021 Walnut, CA, U.S.
400 m 50.07 March 30, 2018 Gainesville, FL, U.S.
200 m 22.39 March 29, 2018 Gainesville, FL, U.S.
100 m 11.07 April 13, 2018 Knoxville, TN, U.S. w
Indoor 60 m hurdles 8.17 March 15, 2015 New York, NY, U.S.
400 m 50.36 March 10, 2018 College Station, TX, U.S. AU20R[note 1]
300 m 36.12 December 8, 2017 Bloomington, IN, U.S. Under-20 world best[42]
200 m 22.68 March 9, 2018 College Station, TX, U.S.
Youth and junior achievements
Outdoor 400 m hurdles 54.15 July 10, 2016 Eugene, OR, U.S. World under-18 best
53.60 April 27, 2018 Fayetteville, AR, U.S. World under-20 record

International championships

Representing the  United States
Year Competition Venue Position Event Time Notes
2015 World Youth Championships Cali, Colombia 1st 400 m hurdles 55.94 CR
2016 Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro, Brazil sf (17th) 400 m hurdles 56.22
2019 World Championships Doha, Qatar 2nd 400 m hurdles 52.23 PB, #3 all-time
1st 4×400 m relay 3:18.92 WL, 48.8 split
2021 Olympic Games Tokyo, Japan 1st 400 m hurdles 51.46 OR WR
1st 4×400 m relay 3:16.85 SB
2022 World Championships Eugene, USA 1st 400 m hurdles 50.68 WR
1st 4×400 m relay 3:17.79 WL, 47.91 split

Circuit wins and titles

National championships

Year Competition Venue Position Event Time Notes
Representing the Union Catholic Vikings (2014–2017), the Kentucky Wildcats (2018), and New Balance (2019–2021)
2014 NSAF Indoor Nationals New York, New York 11th 60 m hurdles 8.67 [44]
4th 4×200 m relay 1:40.61 [45]
NSAF Nationals Greensboro, North Carolina 2nd 100 m hurdles 13.34 (+0.5 m/s wind), PB[46]
7th 4×200 m relay 1:41.42 [47]
1st 400 m hurdles 56.89 PB[48]
USATF Junior Championships Eugene, Oregon 2nd 400 m hurdles 55.63 PB
2015 NSAF Indoor Nationals New York, New York 1st 60 m hurdles 8.17 PB[49]
NSAF Nationals Greensboro, North Carolina 1st 400 m hurdles 55.87 SB[50]
U.S. World Youth Trials Lisle, Illinois 1st 400 m hurdles 55.28 PB
2016 NSAF Indoor Nationals New York, New York 1st 400 m 51.84 CR, PB[51]
1st 4×400 m relay 3:40.28 CR[52]
NSAF Nationals Greensboro, North Carolina 1st 400 m hurdles 54.46 CR, PB[53]
USATF Junior Championships Clovis, California 1st 400 m hurdles 54.54
U.S. Olympic Trials Eugene, Oregon 3rd 400 m hurdles 54.15 PB
2017 NSAF Indoor Nationals New York, New York 1st 400 m 51.61 CR, PB[54]
NSAF Nationals Greensboro, North Carolina 1st 400 m hurdles 54.22 CR[55]
USATF Championships Sacramento, California 6th 400 m hurdles 53.82 PB
2018 NCAA Division I Indoor Championships College Station, Texas 2nd 400 m 50.36 PB
5th 4×400 m relay 3:30.08
4th 200 m 22.80
NCAA Division I Championships Eugene, Oregon 1st 400 m hurdles 53.96
4th 4×400 m relay 3:30.52
2019 USATF Championships Des Moines, Iowa 2nd 400 m hurdles 52.88 SB
2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Eugene, Oregon 1st 400 m hurdles 51.90 WR
2022 USATF Championships Eugene, Oregon 1st 400 m hurdles 51.41 WR

400 m hurdles progression

Year Time Location Day
2014 55.63 Eugene, Oregon, U.S. July 6
2015 55.28 Lisle, Illinois, U.S. July 1
2016 54.15 Eugene, Oregon, U.S. July 10
2017 53.82 Sacramento, California, U.S. June 25
2018 52.75 Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S. May 13
2019 52.23 Doha, Qatar October 4
2021 51.46 Tokyo, Japan August 4
2022 50.68 (WR) Eugene, Oregon, U.S. July 22

Personal life

McLaughlin is married to Andre Levrone Jr. (born March 9, 1995), who graduated from the University of Virginia in 2017 and played parts of three seasons as a wide receiver in the NFL before leaving the league.[56][57] Levrone and McLaughlin announced their engagement on August 25, 2021, at the Four Seasons Resort, Scottsdale.[58] They married at Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison, Virginia on May 5, 2022.[59]

McLaughlin is a Christian.[60]

Her hometown of Dunellen, New Jersey, named the track at the town's Columbia Park for McLaughlin on August 28, 2021.[61]


  1. ^ Though her indoor 400 m time of 50.36 s is faster than the world under-20 record as recognized by World Athletics, it has not been ratified and is not listed as pending ratification as of June 2021.[40][41]


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  2. ^ "Sydney McLaughlin". United States Olympic Committee. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
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  5. ^ Cherry, Gene (January 25, 2019). "Athletics: McLaughlin set to start pro career but not in hurdles". Reuters. Retrieved January 21, 2020.
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  15. ^ a b Konecky, Chad (June 27, 2016). "Sydney McLaughlin wins Gatorade National Track & Field Athlete of the Year". USA Today. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  16. ^ a b STAFF (July 11, 2016). "Union Catholic Track Star Will Be Youngest U.S. Track Star in Olympics". TAP into Union. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
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  19. ^ a b Butler, Mark (ed.). "IAAF World Championships Beijing 2015 Statistics Handbook". IAAF Communications Department: 525. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
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  21. ^ a b Sydney McLaughlin at Tilastopaja (registration required)
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  28. ^ "Coburn, McLaughlin, Martinez, Simpson Break DMR World Record". FloTrack. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
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  30. ^ "Sydney McLaughlin Breaks 300m Hurdles National High School Record - FloTrack".
  31. ^ "ALL-USA Watch: Sydney McLaughlin runs another astonishing split at Penn Relays". April 29, 2017.
  32. ^ "Track phenom Sydney McLaughlin's historic race - ESPN Video". June 21, 2017.
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  34. ^ "UKTF Signing Sydney McLaughlin Sweeps 2016 Awards". University of Kentucky. Retrieved June 19, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  35. ^ "McLaughlin smashes own world U20 400m hurdles record with 52.75 in Knoxville | REPORT | World Athletics".
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  53. ^ "Event 18 Girls 400 Meter Hurdles Championship". New Balance. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  54. ^ "Event 6 Girls 400 Meter Run Championship". Delta Timing Group. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
  55. ^ "Event 18 Girls 400 Meter Hurdles Championship". New Balance. Retrieved January 24, 2020.
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  58. ^ Duhart, Bill (August 27, 2021). "N.J. Olympian Sydney McLaughlin adds diamond engagement ring to 2 gold medals". Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  59. ^ Dye, Natasha; Kimble, Lindsay (May 6, 2022). "Sydney McLaughlin and Andre Levrone Jr. Are Married! All About Their Romantic Vineyard Wedding". People. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  60. ^ Shields, Christian (June 28, 2021). "Sydney McLaughlin gives 'all the glory to God' after setting 400m hurdles world record". Sports Spectrum. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  61. ^ Duhart, Bill (August 28, 2021). "Jersey girl at heart, Olympic champion Sydney McLaughlin comes home to have track named after her". Retrieved August 29, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links

Preceded by Women's 400 m hurdles world record holder
June 27, 2021 – present
Preceded by USA Track & Field Youth Athlete of the Year
Succeeded by
Jakobe Ford


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