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NJ teen headed to Rio with US Olympic track team

Sydney McLaughlin is first 16-year-old athlete on the team since 1976

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A New Jersey teen is making history as the first 16-year-old to make the U.S. Olympic track team in decades.

FiOS1 News spoke to her high school track teammates about the accomplishment.

Dozens of Union Catholic High School students, parents, and alumni held their breath, watching Sydney McLaughlin and her brother Taylor race for a chance to compete in Rio.

And with a third place finish in the 400-meter hurdles at the Olympic trials, Sydney made the U.S. track team.

The last time someone so young made the team was in 1976.

"I think I let the nerves get to me a little bit, so I'm pretty happy about my time and how it came out,” she said.

Her 18-year-old brother Taylor made it to the semifinals but did not qualify for Rio.

“The McLaughlins, as a family, definitely put in a lot of hard work,” said Union Catholic graduate Andrew Ghizzone. “No one works harder than them, and that's why they're at the stage they are."

The Ghizzones ran with the McLaughlins on the high school track team in Scotch Plains.

Sydney will travel to Rio at the beginning of August. She turns 17 just days before the track and field competition starts.

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