Sydney McLaughlin Signs With New Balance

Our Reactions To Sydney McLaughlin & New Balance

Sydney McLaughlin, the NCAA record-holder in the 400m hurdles, has signed a professional contract with New Balance. 

The news comes just over four months after she announced she was foregoing her final three years of eligibility at the University of Kentucky to pursue a professional career. 

In her one season at Kentucky, McLaughlin piled up one incredible performance after the next--building on a record-breaking prep career that included national records and an appearance at the 2016 Olympic Games.

During the indoor season, McLaughlin placed fourth in the 200m and second in the 400m. Her time of 50.36 in the 400m broke her own world junior record that she set two weeks earlier at the SEC Championships.

In May, McLaughlin smashed the collegiate record (and her own world junior record) in the 400m hurdles, running a time of 52.75. The mark ties her for the 13th-fastest performance in history and is less than a half-a-second from the world record. 

At June’s NCAA Outdoor Championships, she easily won the 400m hurdles, taking victory by almost two seconds. 

In the mixed zone after the meet, McLaughlin stated her first season at Kentucky would be her last. 

Sydney McLaughlin Announces She Will Go Pro After Her Freshman Season


At the end of July, McLaughlin signed with Beverly Hills-based talent agency William Morris Endeavor. The move was a hint at the marketability many saw in the 19-year-old.  

“Those people who get to rep her at William Morris Endeavor must be just chomping at the bit, salivating at being able to put that personality, that face, that performance in front of an advertiser,” said track and field analyst Ato Boldon at the time of McLaughlin’s signing with William Morris Endeavor. 

“They are going to back Brinks trucks up to WME to sign Sydney McLaughlin. She is as perfect a spokesperson as we have had on the women’s side of the sport, maybe ever.” 

But although she had a talent agency, the entire summer passed without McLaughlin signing with a shoe or apparel sponsor. The delay only heightened the suspense about which company would be affiliated with one of the few athletes in track and field capable of transcending the sport. 

New Balance doesn’t command the market share of other brands (and only recently began sponsoring sprinters) but they do have a long relationship with McLaughlin. 

Every year of high school, McLaughlin competed at the New Balance Indoor and Outdoor National Championships. During her senior year, she teamed up with New Balance professional athletes Emma Coburn, Jenny Simpson and Brenda Martinez to break the world record in the indoor distance medley relay at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix.

Though the presence of Simpson, Martinez, Coburn and other distance stars make up much of the New Balance roster, the company has sponsored sprinters in the past. 

In 2015 they signed 100m sprinter Trayvon Bromell, and earlier this week, Harvard’s Gabby Thomas announced she was signing with the company

Former NCAA Stars Make Their XC Predictions

NCAA XC: Dynasties On The Line

Watch the 2018 DI NCAA XC Championships LIVE on FloTrack, Saturday Nov. 17th!

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The 2018 DIII NCAA women’s cross country championships will feature a favorite in Johns Hopkins looking to expand on their recent dynasty, and a slew of challengers seeking to put an end to the Blue Jays’ dominance. Hopkins will race for their sixth title since 2012 on Saturday in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, a run that only one other DIII women’s program in history has accomplished. It should be fascinating to watch it all unfold in brutal cross country conditions this weekend.

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The winningest program in NCAA cross country history will look to add another title to their storied legacy as North Central College races for their record 19th DIII XC men's national championship on Saturday November 17, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Cardinals will enter the meet as big favorites to take their third straight NCAA crown on the icy terrain of Lake Breeze Golf Course, but it won’t be easy as they battle experienced foes and freezing cold conditions. Another notch in North Central's hefty championship belt is at stake on race day, but it’s a notch they will really have to earn.

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Jason and Kevin discuss the sleepers, spoilers and storylines for Saturday’s NCAA Cross Country Championships. Can NAU and New Mexico continue their winning ways? Will the men’s race come down to Grant Fisher and Morgan McDonald?

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Below are the 32 men’s and women’s DIII NCAA cross country teams heading to nationals in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, this Saturday, November 17. We highlight the top stories from regionals underneath the NCAA fields.

PLAY NOW: 2018 FloXC Fantasy League

Introducing the season long FloXC fantasy league. A chance for you to compete against the FloTrack staff and be in the running to win a FloPRO subscription for a year! The final round is upon us where points are worth triple, meaning even if you have not played FloXC Fantasy this past season you still have a chance to win if you play this final round!

2018 FloXC Fantasy Team Standings

After round four of the 2018 FloXC Fantasy league FloTrack's own Gordon Mack has taken the lead with a total of 15,476 points. Be sure to join us for the final round prior to the NCAA XC Championships. Best overall score at the end of the season wins a year subscription to FloPRO! Link to play will be posted next week!