By LARRY VAUGHT
She said Kentucky has a young team with a lot of potential after Kentucky finished fourth in the women’s NCAA Track & Field Championship.
Freshman Sydney McLaughlin dominated the 400-meter hurdle final as expected and helped UK place fourth in the 4×400 relay.
However, McLaughlin is not going to be part of that young team going forward. Instead, McLaughlin — who competed in the 2016 Olympics when she was 16 years old — announced she would be turning pro.
She will race at the USA Track & Filed Outdoor Nationals and will be turning pro even though she’s not sure about an agent or sponsors yet.
She won the 400 hurdles in 53.96 seconds — not close to her personal best. However, she competed in the wet, rainy conditions and won by almost two seconds. She also ran a 50.03 second split in the 4×400 relay.
“It was pretty crazy. Not my cleanest race,” McLaughlin said after her win. “It has been a crazy roller coaster trying to get points.”
She admitted the rain — and puddles on the track — along with some hail did take a toll on her but will help her learn to handle events she can’t control.
“As I get to the next level, it will help me,” she said about the adjustments she learned to make during her one and only collegiate season.
She was a prohibitive favorite to win the 400 hurdles, but said it was still a thrill to win any race and that she still has plenty of room for improvement with her stride and other technical issues.