INDIANAPOLIS -- For the second time this year, racewalker Maria Michta (Long Island, N.Y.) wins USA Track & Field Athlete of the Week after her record-setting performance at the 2014 IAAF World Race Walking Cup in Taicang, China, May 3.
Just one month after breaking the 14-year-old American 20 km race walk record, Michta raised the bar once again. The 27-year-old finished Saturday's event with a time of 1:30:49, besting her own record by a full 20 seconds.
Michta finished No. 30 of 88 competitors, earning the best result by a U.S. woman at the World Cup since the race was increased from a 10 km to 20 km in 1999.
Michta has been the most dominant female race walker in the United States since 2010, and she has finished every year with a No. 1 national ranking by Track & Field News.
Over the past four years, Michta has captured four USA Outdoor titles in the 20 km and five USA Indoor titles in the 3000m, where she lowered her personal best by nearly eight minutes.
When not competing on the international race walk circuit, Michta is off pursuing a Ph.D in microbiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan, N.Y.
Several competitors turned in excellent performances across the country this weekend with three shining performances at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational in Stanford, Calif.
Ben True (North Yarmouth, Maine) won the men's 5000m at the Stanford Payton Jordan Invitational with a world-leading 13:02.74, placing 9th on the U.S. all-time list. Elise Cranny, a 17-year-old senior at Niwot High School in Colorado, moved up to the No. 2 position on the all-time U.S. Junior list after she clocked a 4:10.95 in the 1500m at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational.
Molly Huddle (Providence, R.I.) finished second in the women's 10 km in 30:47.59, to move to second on the all-time U.S. list, as 3,000 miles away, Christian Cantwell (Columbia, Mo.) won the shot put at the Kingston IAAF World Challenge meet in Jamaica’s capital city with a world-leading 21.85m/71-8.25.
Now in its 13th 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 www.usatf.org. Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
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; April 7, Noah Lyles; April 14, Kendell Williams; April 21, Meb Keflezighi; April 28, Kristi Castlin; May 7, Maria Michta.
WEEKEND REVIEW -- MAY 1-4
-- Contributed by Glen McMicken
INTERNATIONAL SCENE HEATS UP AT KINGSTON
World Indoor champion Francena McCorory powered to a world-leading 50.24 in the 400 and three-time World Indoor champ Christian Cantwell continued an impressive return from injury with a world outdoor-leading 21.85m/71-8.25 in the shot put at the Kingston IAAF World Challenge in Jamaica.
Last year's NCAA champion, Kori Carter, won the women's 400 hurdles in 54.94, a U.S. leader for 2014.
AMERICAN TRACK LEAGUE KICKS OFF WITH WORLD LEADERS
The inaugural meet in the American Track League series at Indiana University on May 2 featured a pair of world-leading marks. Mark Hollis won the pole vault with a clearance at 5.71m/18-8.75, and 2013 World Championships team member De'Sean Turner clocked a then-world-leading 8:33.79 in the 3000 steeplechase.
Kentucky's Andrew Evans threw his way into the No. 5 spot on the all-time collegiate discus list with a 66.37m/217-9 at Knoxville that is also the best throw by an American this year.
Reigning Pan American Junior champion Stamatia Scarvelis stepped up to sixth on the all-time high school list in the shot put with her 53-9.25 toss at Goleta on May 1.
2013 World 4x100 silver medalist Charles Silmon rode a stiff 3.0 wind to a 9.98 to win the men's 100, and 2012 World Junior 200 bronze medalist and 4x100 gold medalist Dezerea Bryant of Kentucky dipped under 11 seconds with a super-windy 10.96 to win the women's dash at the Texas Invitational in Austin.
World Indoor Team USA triple jumper Chris Carter had an outdoor-leading 17.09m/56-1 at Texas, while Stephen F. Austin's Colton Ross upped his PR by more than half a foot to 5.70m/18-8.25 to win the pole vault.