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UK track phenom Sydney McLaughlin to race in first home meet Saturday

Sydney McLaughlin competed for the United States in a 400-meter hurdles heat during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
Sydney McLaughlin competed for the United States in a 400-meter hurdles heat during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil. AP

Kentucky track freshman Sydney McLaughlin, who followed her Summer Olympics qualification last summer with the second fastest 300 meters time in U.S. history in her UK debut last month, will run in this weekend’s Kentucky Invitational at Nutter Field House.

McLaughlin, an 18-year-old hurdler and sprinter, was named this week to the indoor preseason watch list for The Bowerman Award, collegiate track and field’s highest individual honor. She was one of 10 female athletes nominated. The winner will be announced in December.

McLaughlin has only raced once as a Wildcat. At the Hoosier Open in December, she won the 300 meters in 36.12 seconds, setting an American junior record, and marking the second fastest time in American history, second fastest in collegiate indoor history and seventh fastest time in world history.

She also made history last year by being part of a team that broke the world record in the indoor distance medley relay at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix in Boston.

Kentucky has not made a final determination about which events McLaughlin will run in this weekend, but she will probably run the 400 meters and could take part in a relay, UK said.

UK Coach Edrick Floreal indicated in a Flotrack.org podcast last month that he intends to take it slow with her early in the season. She might run more events including hurdles as the season moves forward.

An official schedule for the 17-team meet has not been released but there will be a few events on Friday ahead of a full slate on Saturday beginning at 9 a.m.

Last summer, McLaughlin became the youngest athlete to make the U.S. Olympic Track and Field team since Carol Lewis and Denean Howard in 1980. She finished third in the 400-meter hurdles at the trials and reached the semis in Rio De Janeiro. She was also a two-time Gatorade National Girls Track Athlete of the Year.

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