U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials 2024

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Breaks World Record In 400mH At U.S. Trials

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone Breaks World Record In 400mH At U.S. Trials

Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone broke her own world record in the 400m hurdles at the U.S Track And Field Olympic Trials on June 30 at Hayward Field in Oregon.

Jul 1, 2024 by Joe Harrington

EUGENE -- Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone did nothing to dispute the idea that a 49-second 400 meter hurdle race is within reason on Sunday at the U.S. Olympic Trials at Hayward Field. 

The world record-holder at the discipline lowered her previous world record down to 50.65 seconds, securing her ticket to the Paris Olympics as she led three others under 53 seconds. 

It was one of the fastest 400m hurdle races in history.

"I wasn't expecting that time," McLaughlin-Levrone said. "I think it's super encouraging, to see that without expecting it. There's more there, there's more to fix. It's a confidence booster." 

Perhaps no female athlete is better equipped to chase after 49 seconds more than McLaughlin-Levrone. The 48-second 400 meter runner simply needs to marry those two disciplines for the perfect race. 

"I would love to dip under 50 at some point," McLaughlin-Levrone said. "I don't know if it's this year or next year, or whatever. Just always chipping away, seeing what's possible. There are so many different ways to run it. and I feel like every time I'm on the track, I'm figuring out, 'OK, what's the best way?'"

Anna Cockrell was second in 52.64, while reigning NCAA 400mH champion Jasmine Jones closed down the straightaway and pocketed another big personal best of 52.77 seconds.

It was shocking that Shamier Little, who ran 52.98 seconds, did not make the team. In 2020, the final qualifying position -- claimed by Cockrell -- was nabbed in 53.70 seconds. 

On Sunday, former world record-holder Dalilah Muhammad, 34, was sixth overall in 54.27. Muhammad is still the last person to beat McLaughlin-Levrone on the track -- that came in 2019.

She commented afterward how much the event has changed. 

"Some people are like, 'Oh, you set the bar high, you did it,'" Muhammad said. "But in the moment, it doesn't go that way. It's just the next best thing. I remember the first time I ran 52 on this track. I remember thinking, I thought that was the best I could ever do.

"I'll take a little credit for just being an inspiration to many, but no, I think what people don't realize is that everyone is equally an inspiration to others, whether they're running 55 to the 50s. You see it, you see something special within every single athlete. And it just sparks something in you."

McLaughlin last set the world record at Hayward Field in 2022, clocking a time of 50.68 at the World Championships. 

Over the last two years, though, she's dazzled elsewhere, opting for the 400m, where she lowered her best down to 48.74 at the U.S. Outdoor Championships. 

With the Olympic Games fast approaching, though, McLaughlin-Levrone and her coach, Bobby Kersee, decided to focus back on the 400mH. After a season-opener of 52.70 in May at the Edwin Moses Legends Meet, she carved out a three-round beauty over four days in Eugene.

"I think I just wanted to focus on one," McLaughlin-Levrone said. "I like to hone on one thing and do it to the best of my ability. I'm grateful we did that. I thought today was a testament to that.

McLaughlin now holds every 400m hurdles record, including the U.S. record and the Olympic Trials record. 

McLaughlin-Levrone made a statement in Eugene a year after an injury kept her from competing at the 2023 World Championships. 

Now she’ll be heading to Paris as the heavy favorite to win gold in the event. 

* Additional reporting by Cory Mull

Anna Cockrell finished second and Jasmine Jones third in the 400m hurdles finals. 

Women’s 400m Hurdle Finals Results

  1. Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone - 50.65
  2. Anna Cockrell - 52.64
  3. Jasmine Jones - 52.77
  4. Shamier Little - 52.98
  5. Rachel Glenn - 53.46
  6. Dalilah Muhammad - 54.27
  7. Akala Garrett - 55.01
  8. Cassandra Tate - 55.37
  9. Sydni Townsend - 55.47

When Are The Paris 2024 Olympic Games?

The Olympics begin on July 26 and end on August 11. The track and field events will begin on Aug. 1. 

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