Nia Ali pulled off a stunning victory and Sydney McLaughlin ran a blazing relay leg as the New Jersey high school graduates won gold medals on the day of competition at the IAAF World Track and Field Championships on Sunday in Doha, Qatar.
Ali, a 2006 graduate of Pleasantville High School, led a 1-2 finish for the U.S. in women's 100, hurdlers as blasted her way over the barriers on the way to a big personal best of 12.34 as she upset world record holder Keni Harrison, second in 12.46. Harrison ran 12.20 to set the world record in 2016. Danielle Williams of Jamaica, the 2015 world champion and world leader this season (12.32) was third in 12.47.
Ali, a 30-year-old mother of two, smashed her PR of 12.44 from the semifinal round,. She is now No. 9 all-time on the world list.
This was Ali's first gold at the World Outdoor Championships. In 2014 and 2016, she won the 60 hurdles at the World Indoor Championships. At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Ali captured the silver in the 100 hurdles.
Ali, who lives and trains in Los Angeles, grew up in Philadelphia and attended West Catholic High School before moving to Pleasantville for her senior year.
The 20-year-old McLaughlin, a 2017 graduate of Union Catholic High School, capped off a sensational showing in her debut on the world stage in the women's 4x400.
Running the second leg, McLaughlin burned a blistering 48.7 second leg, the fastest of any runner in the race, to help the U.S. roll to victory in 3:18.92, the fastest time in the world in seven years. Poland was second in a Polish national record 3:21.89.
McLaughlin was joined on the relay by Phyllis Francis (50.6), Dalilah Muhammad (49.5), and Wadeline Jonathas (50.2).
McLaughlin, one of the biggest young stars in the sport in the world, made quite an impression in Doha.
In addition to her red hot relay split, McLaughlin placed second in the greatest women's 400H race ever run on Friday when she ran 52.23, the third fastest time ever run in the world. It took a world record of 52.16 from Muhammad to hold off the hard-charging McLaughlin.