Olympian is first repeat Gatorade HS athlete of the year, gets SI cover

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MARINA DEL REY, Calif. (AP) — Olympic hurdler Sydney McLaughlin and San Diego Padres draftee MacKenzie Gore were honored as national prep athletes of the year on Tuesday night. McLaughlin is the first two-time winner since the awards began in 2003.

McLaughlin received her trophy from four-time Olympic basketball champion Tamika Catchings on Tuesday night during the annual event sponsored by Gatorade at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Marina del Rey.

Gore and McLaughlin share the cover of next week’s Sports Illustrated.

They were cheered by Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Carolina running back Christian McCaffrey, D’Angelo Russell of the Brooklyn Nets and Abby Wambach.

McLaughlin recently graduated from Union Catholic High in Scotch Plains, N.J. She will attend Kentucky in the fall and wants to major in journalism with a goal of becoming a sports broadcaster.

For now, McLaughlin is focused on making a smooth transition from the preps to college.

“I want to be able to not only make noise in high school and then not go silent in college,” she said. “I want to continue my success there and hopefully in multiple events.”

The 17-year-old from Dunellen, N.J, ran the 400m hurdles at the Rio Olympics. She finished fifth in the semifinals and didn’t make the final while competing as the youngest member of the U.S. track and field team since 1980.

McLaughlin continued setting records during her senior year. She lowered her own national prep and world junior records in the 400m hurdles with a time of 54.03 seconds. She won the 400m in 51.88 and 200m in 22.96, both of which were the top times among U.S. high schoolers this year.

Her time of 38.90 in the 300m hurdles at a meet in the Los Angeles area in April set a national prep record by over a second.

Gore and McLaughlin, along with the other nominees, will walk The ESPYS red carpet on Wednesday night and be shown during the telecast.

Among the previous winners of the awards are LeBron James, Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, Allyson Felix and Candace Parker.

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