All eyes on Sydney McLaughlin in 400-meter hurdles

All eyes on Sydney McLaughlin in 400-meter hurdles

All eyes on Sydney McLaughlin in 400-meter hurdles

Sydney McLaughlin a member of the Class of 2017 at Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, set a high school and new world junior record in the women's 400 hurdles at the U.S. Olympic trails.

So when McLaughlin can stand next to Dalilah Muhammad and Ashley Spencer, the top two finishers in the 400 hurdles, and not just hold her own but push them, and then charm a room without showing any of those nerves or anxiety that nearly torpedoed her week - that's when it's obvious: This is a star.

McLaughlin, who turns 17 on August 7, tried to find humor in just about everything. McLaughlin ran the race in 54.15 to break the world junior record, which stood for a decade.

Dalilah Muhammad, right, victor in the finals of the women's 400-meter hurdles hugs Sydney McLaughlin, third place finisher, at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials, Sunday, July 10, 2016, in Eugene Ore.

Wilma Rudolph was only 16 when she competed in the Melbourne 1956 Olympic Games on the 4x100-meter team, where she won a bronze medal before her triple-gold-medal performance in Rome four years later.

"I think the first day was definitely the hardest", McLaughlin said, "just the trials, coming up here for the first time and running on this track, in this type of competition". I was running track, but it was like, meh? After winning her heat in the semifinals during a steady drizzle, she said, "The rain messed up my hair, but that's OK". "I had a nervous breakdown", she said.

All eyes on Sydney McLaughlin in 400-meter hurdles
All eyes on Sydney McLaughlin in 400-meter hurdles

"Honestly, disappointed", said Felix, who will not get a chance to defend her Olympic title in her signature event.

"Sometimes, I just forget that I'm 16", McLaughlin told AP.

Though McLaughlin came in more than a second behind Spencer and Muhammad, she managed to do so while breaking the 1984 junior record set by Leslie Maxie, according to USA Today. Felix still has the 400, an event she won last weekend, and will focus on that.

"I want be like her when I grow up", the 23-year-old Spencer said. "That was disappointing. I feel like I turned the page really well", she said. It's not just her because she's so young.

"She is a beast", Carter said. It was also the best youth 400-meter hurdles time in the world. "She's the truth. I was in every single heat with her and she carries herself like a pro".

And she'll be doing it already having made a name for herself.

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