McLaughlin And Orji Inducted Into NJSIAA Hall Of Fame

NJ legends Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone and Keturah Orji, two of the greatest track and field athletes in U.S. history, were inducted into the NJSIAA Hall of Fame at the NJSIAA's annual award ceremony on Sunday at The Westin at Forrestal Village in Princeton.

McLaughlin-Levrone, a 2017 graduate of Union Catholic, and Orji, who graduated from Mount Olive in 2014, are both currently training to compete at the Olympic Games in Paris this summer.

Both McLaughlin-Levrone and Orji were slam dunks for the Hall of Fame.

Let's take a look at their remarkable careers.

Most track and field experts feel that McLaughlin is the greatest high school female athlete in U.S. track and field history!

It's easy to see why!  

During her years at Union Catholic, McLaughlin-Levrone won 13 national titles (seven individual, six on relays), captured a state record-tying 11 individual Meet of Champions titles (seven outdoors and four indoors), set seven state records, four national records and one junior world record.

McLaughlin-Levrone still owns the national high school records in the 400 indoors (51.61) and the 400 hurdles (53.82), and in 2017 she became the first athlete (male or female), to win the Gatorade National Athlete of the Year award in consecutive years.

In 2016, McLaughlin-Levrone became the youngest United States track athlete in 44 years to participate in the Olympics, and she advanced to the semifinals of the 400 hurdles during those Olympic Games in Rio. 

After her freshman year at Kentucky, where McLaughlin-Levrone won the 400 hurdles championship at the NCAA Championships and set an  NCAA and World Junior record, she turned pro.

At the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, McLaughlin-Levrone won the 400 hurdles in a world record time of 51.46, and was also part of the gold medal winning 4x400 relay. 

Then at the 2022 World Championships in Oregon, McLaughlin-Levrone broke her own world record in the 400 hurdles by running  a mind-blowing 50.68!! 


Keturah Orj is the greatest horizontal jumper in NJ history, and the best triple jumper in U.S. history!.

Her earliest athletic experiences were in gymnastics, which evolved into excellence in other sports.

At Mount Olive High, where she also starred in volleyball, Orji won the triple jump and long jump three times each at the NJSIAA Meet of Champions. She still holds the New Jersey high school record in the triple jump (44-11), which is also No. 2 in United States high school history. 

While in high school, Orji also won six national championships, as well as the 2014 USATF Junior National title in the triple jump.

On the volleyball court, she was a prime reason that Mount Olive won a school record 22 games during her junior year. 

She competed collegiately at University of Georgia, where her list of major accomplishments was extensive. 

She was the Southeastern Conference indoor triple jump champion four times and the outdoor champ another four times. She was also a three time NCAA indoor triple jump champ three times (finishing second as a freshman) and four-time NCAA outdoor triple jump champ. She also had two NCAA runner-up finishes in the long jump. She became the first woman to win eight NCAA championships in field events. 

Many of those championships resulted in record-setting SEC, NCAA and American leaps. She also won numerous awards, including SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year. The biggest came in 2018, when she won the Bowerman Award, which is collegiate track and field's highest individual honor. She was previously a two-time finalist, making her the first three-time female finalist in the award's history. 

While in college, she earned a spot on the United States Olympic Team, and finished fourth in the triple jump at the 2016 games in Rio. Orji, who set a still standing American outdoor record in the triple jump with a 48-11.25 on April 25, 2021 in Chula Vista, California, returned to the Olympics in 2021 in Tokyo, and finished seventh in the triple jump.

McLaughlin and Orji have always been a humble superstars and class acts!   

Now, they are NJSIAA Hall of Famers!!

The NJ track and field community salutes you, Sydney and Keturah!

Congrats on a well deserved honor!