INDIANAPOLIS - Race walker and Olympian Maria Michta-Coffey
is USATF Athlete of the Week after setting an American 10 km record en route to her 20 km title April 3 in Earth City, Missouri, at U.S. Trials for IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships.
(Farmingville, New York) earned her 13th opportunity to represent Team USA and her third appearance at World Race Walking Team Championships, when she took down a 20-year-standing AR in the 10K, racing to a 44:17 split. She ultimately finished the 20K walk in 1:34:46, claiming first place by more than two-minutes and earning her fifth AR on the roads.
In March, she cruised to a seventh consecutive USATF Indoor title in the women’s 3,000m race walk in Portland, where she defeated the national championships’ indoor field by over 13 seconds with a finish of 12:33.75.
Michta-Coffey and the U.S. team travel to Rome for the May 7-8 for IAAF World Race Walk Team Championships.
The following are other notable performances of the week:
John Nunn (Bonsall, California) averaged sub-seven-minute miles for a 20 km race walk finish of 1:26:12 in the men’s U.S. Trials. Leading the field by nearly three minutes, Nunn claimed his third national title of the year to complement victories at USATF Indoor Championships in the 3000m race walk and a first-place finish at U.S. Olympic Team Trials - 50 km Race Walk.
Laura Thweatt (Boulder, Colorado) ran a world-leading 31:52.94 to win the 10,000m at the Stanford Invitational.
Morolake Akinosun (Aurora, Illinois) of Texas won the 100m at the Nike Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays in a world-leading 11.07 in addition to helping the Longhorns to a 3:26.54 first-place finish in the 4x400m relay and a 1:32.60 runner-up finish in the 4x200.
Hillary Bor (Colorado Springs, Colorado) of the All Army team ran a lifetime best and world-leading 8:30.70 to win the 3000m steeplechase at the Stanford Invitational.
Paige Kouba (Eugene, Oregon), a senior at Harvard, ran an American-leading 9:50.21 in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the Stanford Invitational on April 2. Kouba's time, a school record, is nearly three seconds ahead of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field qualifying time for the event.
Courtney Smith (West Chester, Pennsylvania) ran the fastest collegiate 10,000m this year, clocking 32:08.32 at the Stanford Invitational for one of the eight fastest times in NCAA history. Smith's time, which was well under the 32:25.00 U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field qualifying standing, was 2:45 faster than her PR and 43 seconds faster than the Ivy League record.
Now in its 15th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on USATF.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2016 Winners: Jan. 13, Garrett Heath; Jan. 20, Donavan Brazier; Jan. 27, Kendra Harrison; Feb. 3, Jenn Suhr; Feb. 10, Vashti Cunningham; Feb. 17, Galen Rupp; Feb. 24, John Nunn; March 2, Curtis Beach; March 11, Bill Collins; March 16, Da’mira Allen; March 24, Michelle Carter; March 31, Janet Bawcom.
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USA Track & Field 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 USATF.org.