Race walker Maria Michta earns USATF Athlete of the Week
INDIANAPOLIS -- Race walker Maria Michta (Long Island, N.Y.) wins USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week after breaking a 14-year-old, American 20 km race walking record March 30, on her way to second place finish at World Cup Trials in Whiting, N.J.
Despite a steady stream of rain and cruel conditions, Michta cruised across the finish line as the first American in 1:31:09, besting the former record of 1:31:51 set by Michelle Rohl in 2000. The new mark is 78 seconds faster than Michta’s former personal best and qualified her for the IAAF World Cup of Race Walking in Tiancang, China, in May.
Michta has been the most dominant female race walker in the United States since 2010, finishing every year ranked No. 1 in the nation by Track & Field News. In the span of 2010 to 2014, she captured four USA Outdoor 20 km titles and five USA Indoor 3,000 km titles.
She has yet to capture an international crown but hopes to change that when she travels to China in a few weeks. Away from the track, Michta is pursuing a Ph.D in microbiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan, N.Y.
Michta beat out a slew of notable performers this week to earn her first USATF AOW honors. Baylor freshman Trayvon Bromell (St. Petersburg, Fla.) tied the World Junior record in the 100-meter with a 10.01 at the Texas Relays, and he earned USTFCCCA Division I Men’s National Athlete of the Week. Senior Desiree Freier (Justin, Texas) cleared 14-3.25 in the pole vault to set a national high school record at the Texas Relays, and she set the indoor high school record earlier in 2014, when she cleared 14-2.75 at the New Balance Nationals in New York City. Bernard Lagat (Tuscon, Ariz.) set an American 5,000-meter road record by finishing his first road race in 13:18 at the Carlsbad 5000.
2014 Winners: January 15, Chris Derrick; January 22, Galen Rupp; January 29, Galen Rupp; February 5, Alexa Efraimson; February 12, Mike Rutt; Feb. 19, Bernard Lagat; Feb. 26, Sharon Day-Monroe; March 3, David Torrence; March 13, Francena McCorory; March 19, Irene Obera; March 26, Duane Solomon; April 2, Maria Michta.
About USA Track & Field
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org.