Rio 2016: How to watch N.J. teen Sydney McLaughlin’s first Olympic race

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Rio 2016: How to watch N.J. teen Sydney McLaughlin’s first Olympic race

Sydney McLaughlin, the 17-year-old track sensation from Dunellen and Union Catholic High, will race for the first time in the Olympics on Monday night in 400-meter hurdle qualifying heats.

The races begin at 8:30 p.m. ET and will be streamed live on NBCOlympics.com.

McLaughlin, who celebrated her 17th birthday on August 7, already has had a wild few months. She punched her ticket to Rio with a third-place finish in the U.S. trials in July, smashing the World Junior record at 54.15.

She was named Gatorade Female Athlete of the Year, an honor that came with her photo on a bottle of the ubiquitous energy drink. She had hoped, in the weeks before coming to Rio, to get some normalcy back into her life. That ended when she arrived in Brazil, and now the competition begins.

McLaughlin, a 16-year-old who attends Union Catholic High, qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in the 400-meter hurdles.

The goal, she said, is not to get on the medal stand but to run her best and make the finals. Her best times put her in the same class with the best in the world, but there’s no doubt that the competition will be stiffer here.

“I think (the goal is) to just go run fast, to go through the rounds just like at the trials, and if I make it to the finals, see what happens,” she said. “Medaling isn’t really on my mind. Place is not on my mind. Time isn’t on my mind. Because anything can happen.”

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Credit by http://www.nj.com