Sydney McLaughlin, who turned pro in June after one of the greatest one and done seasons in NCAA Track and Field history, announced on Monday afternoon that she's signed a contract with New Balance.
McLaughlin, who became the youngest U.S. track and field athlete to compete in the Olympics in 44 years when she advanced to the semifinals of the 400 hurdles in Rio in 2016 when she was a 17 year-old student at Union Catholic High School in NJ, forewent her remaining three years of eligibility at the University of Kentucky after her record breaking freshman year as a Wildcat.
In addition to her NCAA title, McLaughlin ran 52.75 when she won the 400 hurdles at the SEC Championships on May 13, which is an NCAA record, a World Junior record, and the No. 1 time in the world this season. She also ran personal bests of 50.07 in the flat 400, 22.39 in the 200, a wind-aided 11.07 in the 100, and ran three sub 50 splits this past spring.
After the NCAA Championships, McLaughlin announced her intention to turn pro. McLaughlin hasn't made her pro debut yet. She was scheduled to make it at the U.S. Track and Field Championships at Drake University (June 21-24), but scratched from the flat 400 due to hamstring tightness.
McLaughlin's freshman campaign at Kentucky was so spectacular that she has been named one of three finalists for The Bowerman, college track & field's highest award. McLaughlin is the first female freshman finalist in the 10-year history of The Bowerman.
Prior to Kentucky, McLaughlin put together what is widely considered the greatest high school track and field career for a female.
McLaughlin finished her legendary high school career at Union Catholic with 13 national titles (7 individual/6 on relays), a NJ. record tying 11 individual N.J. Meet of Champions titles (7 outdoors and 4 indoors), seven state records, four national records, one World Junior record, mutiple sub 50 splits on the 4x400, and she ran the 400 leg on the world indoor record breaking DMR.
For her accomplishments, McLaughlin became the first athlete, male or female, to win the Gatorade National Athlete of the Year in consecutive years (2016-17), and she was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2017.