Sydney McLaughlin became the first athlete to ever win two Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year awards, when she took home the honor last week.
McLaughlin (Dunellen, NJ), along with San Diego Padre draftee MacKenzie Gore, won awards from Gatorade as the best prep athletes for the past year. McLaughlin became the first person since the award was initially given in 2003 to win it twice. The honor warranted a Sports Illustrated cover along with Gore.
The recent Union Catholic High School graduate had a very impressive senior year, lowering several of her national junior and prep records, as well as a myriad of New Jersey state records. This culminated in a large haul at the state Meet of Champions, giving her a record in state titles.
McLaughlin remarkably lived up to the hype after making the Olympics in 2016 as a 17-year old who had just finished her junior year of high school. Now after winning this award twice, she’ll have even more expectations when she enrolls in the University of Kentucky this fall.
Once there, she is planning on getting away from her hurdle events where she’s been so dominant for so long. It hasn’t been completely decided where else she would be compete, but she had an agreement in place with her coach to shift events during the recruitment process.
No matter what she decides to participate in, she will still likely go back to hurdles when she goes professional, whether that will be in four full years, or earlier on. When she does decided to finally turn pro, McLaughlin will surely be a highly sought after commodity.
Past winners of the Gatorade award have been Allyson Felix, LeBron James, Kevin Love, and Dwight Howard. Despite all of their impressive pedigrees, none were able to win it twice.