16 Year Sydney McLaughlin Headed to Rio Olympics

16-year old Sydney McLaughlin (Marcio Jose Sanchez)

On Sunday, 16 year old Sydney McLaughlin of Scotch Plains, New Jersey became the youngest to compete for the U.S. track and field team since 1972. McLaughlin finished Sunday's 400 meter hurdle race in third with a time of 54.15, which set a world-junior record time. Following Sunday's race McLaughlin, who will be entering her senior year at Union Catholic in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, said, "Sometimes, I just forget that I'm 16. There's not as much expectation. You know, I don't get paid for this. I'm here just for fun." Reportedly, McLaughlin had a panic attack prior to the 400-meter hurdle race on Sunday as her coach, Mike McCabe explains that he simply told McLaughlin that what she was feeling prior to the race was simply nerves and that everyone, including the elite athletes, get them. "We shared with her that everybody has this. It's not just her because she's so young. The elites have it, and they've been doing it for years," said McCabe. McLaughlin also plans to compete at the world juniors which will take place later this month in Poland.

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