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Cardinal O’Hara cheers for gold medal winner


USA’s Sydney Mclaughlin celebrates with the national flag after arriving second the Women’s 400m Hurdles final at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships at the Khalifa International stadium in Doha on Oct. 4, 2019. Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images

When Sydney McLaughlin, current world record holder in the women’s 400 meters hurdles with a time of 51.46 seconds set on Aug. 4, at the Tokyo Olympics, cheers came from Cardinal O’Hara High School’s alumni and families.

A few days later, even more cheers went up when Sydney joined with Allyson Felix, Dalliah Muhammad and Athing Mu to win the Women’s 4x400m relay for gold medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

The reason for the joy at Cardinal O’Hara, was that Sydney’s mother, Mary Neumeister McLaughlin, was a track star in the late 1970s, graduating in 1978.

She kept up with her siblings, all track stars at Cardinal O’Hara. In fact, her nephew, Jacob Neumeister, who graduated in 2019, continued the family’s O’Hara track star tradition.

Sydney was the first woman to break 52 seconds in the event when she set the world record of 51.90 at the 2020 USA Olympic trials.

When Sydney made the Olympics for Team USA as a sixteen-year-old in 2016, she became the youngest track and field athlete to do so in more than 40 years.

Sydney’s parents, Willie McLaughlin, a semi-finalist in the 400m at the 1984 Olympic Trials, and Mary Neumeister McLaughlin, live in New Jersey.


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