High School Girls Upstage Olympians in Nyack Racewalks

Katherine Newhoff of East Islip on Long Island captured the high school girls 5,000-meter title at the third annual Nyack Racewalks, held April 6 at the NyackHigh School track. The meet was organized and sponsored by Rockland track officials Debbie and Shawn Frederick of Nyack, with the support of USA Track & Field, Park Racewalkers and the NyackSchool District.

Under perfect racing conditions, Newhoff, 16, pulled away in the final laps to win by more than 20 seconds in 25:53.5 for the 3.1-mile, 12 ½- lap race. Albany’s Meaghan Podlaski (26:14.3) finished second in a three-way battle with Kayla Allen (26:16.3) and Sydney Sirois (26:16.7), both from Maine. The first 11 girls across the finish line, including New Rochelle’s Caitlin Apollo (27:44.8) and North Rockland’s Maria Garcia (28:22.0), bested the qualifying standard for the 2014 USA Junior National Championships to be held in July in Eugene, Ore. Also competing in the event was Amanda Stallone of Nanuet, who finished in 29:13.6.

In other competitions in the meet, Emerson Hernandez, 25, a 50-kilometer star on El Salvador’s Olympic racewalking team, shattered the 5,000-meter meet record in 21:10.4; former USA Senior National champion Maryanne Daniel of Connecticut flirted with a national women’s 55-59 age-group record before finishing in 27:32.8; and 2012 U.S. Olympian Maria Michta, 27, of Long Island coasted to a women’s 10,000-meter (6.2-mile) victory in 51:24.7. Michta had set an American record of 1:31:10 for the 20-kilometer (12.4-mile) distance the previous week.

Two junior boys from New England achieved personal bests and national championship qualifying times at 10,000 meters: Spencer Dunn, 15, of Auburn, Maine, in 50:40.4, and Jack Lazor, 17, of Madison, Conn., 51:26.2. Nineteen walkers from seven USA Track & Field regional associations participated in the Open 5,000- and 10,000-meter races.

Newhoff, Michta and 14 other junior and senior American walkers will compete in the biennial World Cup of Racewalking on May 3-4 in Taicang, China. More than 50 countries will be sending delegations to the event.

Some of the other 28 girls who participated in the Nyack high school race will be competing in the prestigious Penn Relays 5,000-meter racewalk in late April, while others will make the trip to Oregon in July for the U.S. Junior Nationals.

Detailed results are available at http://nyackracewalks.sitespawner.com/.