Sydney McLaughlin Debuts On Track, Says She's Serious About The Long Jump

Olympian Sydney McLaughlin raced on the track last night at the Wayne Gardiner Holiday Relays in New Jersey for the first time since competing at the Rio Games.

The University of Kentucky recruit ran the first 200m leg of the Sprint Medley Relay with her Union Catholic squad. McLaughlin split 23.5 to aid the team to a new meet record of 4:17.76, the third-fastest time in the country this season. Leena Morant split 59.0 on the 400m, Amaya Chadwick split 25.6 for 200m and Cassandra Lamadieu split 2:29 for 800m.

The time stands as a new meet record.

She also won the long jump with a mark of 19-11.75, the third-best mark in the nation this year.

Though this was McLaughlin's first race since Rio, she actually did compete in the long jump last weekend at the AT&T Coaches Hall of Fame Invitational in New York. The young talent recorded a leap of 20-7.25, the No. 1 mark in the nation this year and No. 11 all-time indoor mark. She already holds the national records for 400m hurdles (54.15) and the indoor 400m (51.84).

Could a record in the long jump be on the horizon?

McLaughlin revealed after Wayne Gardiner [watch interview video above] that she's thinking about competing in the long jump at New Balance Nationals Indoor. With nationals just under three months away, she may have time to perfect her form and challenge the national record of 21-7.5, set by fellow Jersey native Carol Lewis in 1981.

Lewis' mark is the third-oldest record in the high school books, behind only Mary Decker's legendary 2:01.8 800m, set in 1974; and Candy Young's 1979 mark of 6.95 in the 50m hurdles, a rarely contested event.

However, McLaughlin isn't the only 20+ foot long jumper out there this year. 2015 IAAF World Youth long jump champion Tara Davis of Agoura, Ca. jumped over 20-10 twice last indoor season. Her indoor PR of 20-10.75 ranks No. 6 on the all-time performer list.

Rush Henrietta, N.Y. junior Lanae-Tava Thomas ranks No. 2 behind McLaughlin this season with her 20-1 jump at the Ithaca College Bomber three weeks ago. Her indoor PR is 20-3.

Stay tuned this season, because the jumps are heating up...!