UK track sensation Sydney McLaughlin wants to be ‘one of the world’s best’
Kentucky freshman sensation Sydney McLaughlin wrapped up her stellar collegiate career with a national championship on Saturday.
And like many of her men's basketball counterparts, her stay in Lexington will only last one season.
FloTrack first reported that McLaughlin, fresh off winning the 400-meter hurdles in dominating fashion at the NCAA Division I Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Ore., intends to turn pro.
"This was my last college meet," she said. "That's definitely the next step."
McLaughlin, who said she has not picked a sponsor yet, won the 400 hurdles in 53.96 seconds on a rain-soaked track, finishing nearly two seconds ahead of runner-up Anna Cockrell of Southern Cal.
"Pretty crazy race. It was pouring right before we went out," the New Jersey native said. "The weather was all over the place. It wasn't my cleanest race, definitely realized some things down the backstretch that we're going to have to adjust. ...
"Just coming out of high school, there were so many adjustments I had to make, and being able to make them within the span of a year is absolutely amazing, and hopefully as I go on to the next level it's going to help me as well."
McLaughlin was also part of Kentucky's 4x400 relay team that finished fourth in the final event of the meet. That result meant that the Cats had also finished fourth overall in the women's standings.
"We came up pretty close, but it wasn't what we were looking for exactly," she said. "But I'm just real happy with how we all came together."
At 18 years old, McLaughlin has already been an Olympian, part of a world record medley relay, and she set the NCAA record this spring in the 400-meter hurdles (52.75 seconds) in only her third run at it as a collegian.
As she now gears up for the U.S. Outdoor Championships on June 21-24 in Des Moines Iowa, McLaughlin said she still has "a ton" to work on.
"We still don't have stride pattern down, we still don't have hurdle form down," she said. "... It's just a lot to put together, and once it comes together hopefully that world record will go."