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New Yorkers Michta-Coffey and Melville to represent race walkers in Rio

6/30/2016
 

SALEM, Oregon -- With crowds lining the streets in Salem, two race walkers became 2016 Olympians. Maria Michta-Coffey (Farmingville, New York) and Miranda Melville (Rush, New York) earned spots to compete for Team USA in the 20-kilometer race walk.


Michta-Coffey led throughout and finished first for the women, turning in a time of 1:33:41. Melville followed closely behind with a 1:34:11 finish.


In 2012, Melville missed out on an Olympic berth by less than three seconds. When she crossed the finish line in Salem, she immediately jumped and headed toward Michta-Coffey for a hug — a moment Melville said they had talked about prior to the race.


Only Michta-Coffey and Melville entered Trials with the Olympic qualifying standard. All other competitors used this race as a final opportunity to finish under the standard times of 1:36:00 for women and 1:24:00 for men. None of the men’s competitors were able to do so.


John Nunn (San Diego) won the men’s side, finishing in 1:25:36. Despite placing in the top three, Nunn will not compete in the 20k race walk in Rio de Janeiro since he did not finish in under the qualifying standard. Nunn will still be part of Team USA at the 2016 Olympics, as he earned a spot in the 50k race walk in February.


Defending Olympic Trials champion Trevor Barron (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) finished second in 1:27:27, and Nick Christie (San Diego) crossed third, clocking a 1:27:43. Rounding out the top three for the women was Katie Burnett (Rochester, New York) in 1:41:12.


Track & field events will be held from July 1-10 at Hayward Field in Eugene. Fans can follow along with the U.S Olympic Trials - Track & Field on social media by using #TrackTown16 on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


#TrackTown16 TV/Webcast Schedule

Day

Time (ET)

Network

Key Events

Fri, July 1

7-9 p.m.

Live Extra

Men’s shot put | STREAM

 

9-10 p.m.

NBC

Men’s 10,000m | STREAM

Sat, July 2

12:45-2 p.m.

Live Extra

Decathlon | STREAM

 

2-5 p.m.

NBC

Women’s 10,000m, long jump | STREAM

 

5-6:30 p.m.

NBCSN

Decathlon | STREAM

Sun, July 3

1-7 p.m.

Live Extra

Women’s High Jump | STREAM

 

7-9 p.m.

NBC

Men’s, women’s 100m, 400m | STREAM

Mon, July 4

6:30-7 p.m.

Live Extra

Men’s pole vault | STREAM

 

7-9 p.m.

NBCSN

Men’s, women’s 800m | STREAM

Thurs, July 7

6:30-8 p.m.

Live Extra

Women’s 5000m | STREAM

 

8-11 p.m.

NBCSN

Women’s steeplechase, shot put | STREAM

Fri, July 8

6-8 p.m.

NBCSN

Men’s discus | STREAM

 

8-9 p.m.

NBC

100m hurdles, Men’s steeple | STREAM

Sat, July 9

6:30-8 p.m.

Live Extra

Men’s triple jump | STREAM

 

8-9 p.m.

NBC

110m hurdles, Men’s 200m, 5000m | STREAM

Sun, July 10

4:45-6 p.m.

Live Extra

Women’s pole vault | STREAM

 

7-8:30 p.m.

NBC

1500m, Women’s 200m | STREAM


Quotes


Michta-Coffey on having the Olympic qualifying standard prior to Trials

“It did feel different than 2012. It was great because you know that your teammate also has the standard. We knew that if it was a very hot day, chances were we just had to finish the race, but we did want a full team of three going. With that being said, you never know what could happen.”


Melville on qualifying for her first Olympic Games

“If anybody saw me come through the finish line, I jumped through that. I took my step through through [the finish line] and then jumped through the air. I was ecstatic. The last couple laps, I screamed at my coach being like, ‘Two more laps until we’re there.’”


“It’s going to be floating on cloud nine and then getting down to business. We have just about seven weeks now until Maria and I race in Rio. We’re ready to keep showing them that the U.S. is going to keep moving up in the ranks of race walk and make it better.”


Nunn on the men missing the Olympic qualifying standard

“The nice thing was I made the team already with the 50k back in February. The year has been trying to get under the standard here so I could do both down there. Unfortunately, it just didn’t quite settle with that today.”


“There are some good guys in the sport and my hope was that both Trevor and Nick would get under the standard…I would have been very happy with third place if those two had gotten the Olympic standard. I was trying to do all I could to help them.”


On racing in Salem

Christie: “Katie [Burnett] and I went to Mexico’s Olympic Trials a couple weeks ago. Mexico’s a big race walk powerhouse, and it was their Olympic Trials. They had a ton of people. I think Salem out matched it for the race walk, which is amazing for the U.S…It does have a very positive effect, and I think you saw that in the results compared to previous years.”


Barron: “It’s great to be in Salem. I would consider this the best race we’ve ever done in the U.S…It was great to have the support.”


Emily Giambalvo, USATF Communications




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