Tonight, you will see Sydney McLaughlin, 2019 WC silver medalist at the 400m hurdles, and a gold medalist at the 4x400m relay at the Reggie Lewis Center. Unfortunately, Sydney McLaughlin felt some tighness today, probably due to the travel. Her Coach, Joanna Hayes, 2004 Olympic gold medalist herself asked Sydney not to race, to be on the cautious side. Sydney will be signing autographs after the meet. Last year, Sydney hung out with high school fans and signed autographs. She is a class act.
Sydney McLaughlin, photo courtesy of Team USA
In high school, Sydney McLaughlin was a star among stars. Her ability to race indoors, outdoors, her social media skills all made her someone that the running footwear brands watched.
Making the Rio Olympic team at 400m h put her in a class all her own. The world junior record made her a global star.
Her first year in college gave her an NCAA title and the focus of the top running footwear brands.
Would Sydney McLaughlin stay in college, orl, would she take one of the lucrative offers from sponsors and go pro?
In her athletic career, Sydney McLaughlin has been carefully groomed and supported by a team including her family. Her father was a fine collegiate athlete. Her college coach helped take her to the next level, but he was leaving Kentucky, would she follow?
I spoke to Sydney during a Gatorade promotion at the end of her freshman year in college. I asked her about her plans, and it became clear that she had decided to leave college, and pursue a professional career.
In the en, she choose New Balance, a brand that has been fascinating in its approach to sponsoring athletes and has done well with Jenny Simpson, a world champion at 1500m, as well as Olympic medalist, and Emma Coburn, a world champion at steeplechase and Olympic medalist.
Sydney McLaughlin is coached by Olympic champion Joanna Hayes. Joanna is a fine coach, and she handled the scrutiny of coaching the next super star in athletics.
In 2019, Sydney took second behind Daliah Muhammad’s two awesome WRs! The young athlete, in my mind, has three more Olympics, and as Daliah is at the top of her game, Sydney McLaughlin has years to develop.
Know that you are seeing athletic royalty and perhaps, the person who will surpass Allyson Felix and Gail Devers in Olympic appearances.
Update: Jan. 26. Congrats to Coach Joanna Hayes, who asked Sydney McLauglin not to compete at NB meet. The classy part was that Sydney signed autographs and spoke with the young athletes. Lots of athletes blow off the meet then, and the smart thing to do is show up, help the meet manager out in other ways, autograph sessions, TV plugs, are all good.