Union Catholic track sensation McLaughlin makes presence felt on grandest stage – the Olympics; School has quite a turnout to see her compete on big screen

Advances to semifinals of her women's 400-meter hurdles competition

PHOTO BY STEVEN ELLMORE - Sydney McLaughlin, at left, is pictured here at Lisa Morgan's 2015 Summer Track Camp at Underhill Field in Maplewood.
PHOTO BY STEVEN ELLMORE – Sydney McLaughlin, at left, is pictured here at Lisa Morgan’s 2015 Summer Track Camp at Underhill Field in Maplewood.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Congratulations Sydney Rio 2016.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Congratulations Sydney Rio 2016.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Congratulations Sydney McLaughlin '17 2016 Summer Olympian.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Congratulations Sydney McLaughlin ’17 2016 Summer Olympian.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Home of USA Olympian Sydney McLaughlin '17.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Home of USA Olympian Sydney McLaughlin ’17.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Sydney McLaughlin is seen here competing in a recent race.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Sydney McLaughlin is seen here competing in a recent race.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Sydney McLaughlin is interviewed at Union Catholic as shown on the big screen at UC Aug. 15.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Sydney McLaughlin is interviewed at Union Catholic as shown on the big screen at UC Aug. 15.
Union Catholic track sensation Sydney McLauglin is competing in her first Olympic Games this week in Rio de Janeiro.
Union Catholic track sensation Sydney McLauglin is competing in her first Olympic Games this week in Rio de Janeiro.

SCOTCH PLAINS – With the whole world watching – including the entire galaxy along Martine Avenue in Scotch Plains – 17-year-old track sensation Sydney McLaughlin continued to amaze.
This time the stage was as grand as it comes – the 2016 Rio Olympics.
McLaughlin, who just turned 17 on Aug. 7 and who in a very short period of time will begin her senior year at Union Catholic High School, excelled once again in Monday night’s 400-meter hurdles event.
Her not-so-impressive by her standards but still solid 56.32 seconds time advanced her to Tuesday’s semifinals, where she will start from Lane 4.
Union Catholic was filled to capacity Monday night to witness Laughlin’s latest success on a big-screen venue in the school’s gymnasium.
When it was realized that McLaughlin still qualified for the semifinals, a packed gymnasium let out their latest thundering cheer for the school’s most celebrated track star.
“I thought this could be a pretty nice event here,” said Union Catholic basketball and baseball coach Dr. James Reagan, Jr.
Union Catholic’s parking lot and the church parking lot across the street was filled with cars as alumni, present students and simply fans of McLaughlin made sure to make their presence felt in the school’s parking lot, the fields and inside the gym.
There were food and beverage trucks and an adult beverage section for the older parents in attendance.
“This is pretty exciting for Sydney and exciting for the high school and the community to be a part of this,” Reagan Jr. said. “She’s been preparing for this for a long time.”
McLaughlin, a resident of Dunellen, is the youngest American to compete in track and field since 1972. She set the junior world record in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2016 Olympic trials.
“Her professionalism is incredible,” Reagan Jr. said. “The way she handles herself and deals with the media is really something.”
McLaughlin is joined in Rio by her parents Willie and Mary and her track coaches Mike McCabe and Luis Cartagena.
“Leading up to the trials we thought Sydney might have a chance at making it (the Olympics) this year,” Reagan Jr. said. “To do it is really top-notch.”
We’ll now soon see what McLaughlin has in store for us on Tuesday night, which may be her last competition of just the first of many Olympic Games to come!
This is how the evening was billed:
“Viewing of 2016 Olympics – Women’s 400M Hurdles – Round 1 featuring Sydney McLaughlin, Union Catholic Class of ’17, 2016 Olympian, 2016 National Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year”

COMMENTS