Michta Triumphs in USATF 30K Racewalk

Olympian Maria Michta walked off with the women’s title and set a record en route to her victory at the USA Track & Field 30K Racewalk Championships held on Sept. 14 at Rockland Lake State Park in Congers.

The race was organized and directed by Dave McGovern, a former Congers resident and 1983 Clarkstown North graduate who is a nationally recognized racewalking coach, author and seven-time U.S. Olympic Trials competitor.

Michta, a native of Nesconset on Long Island, heel-and-toed the 30-kilometer (18.6-mile) course in 2 hours, 34 minutes, 42 seconds for a half-mile margin of victory over runner-up Susan Randall of Beaver Creek, Ohio, who clocked 2:38:51.

Michta passed by the 25K (15.5-mile) mark in 2:07:46, her second American record in less than six months. In March she set the American record for the 20K (12.4-mile) distance in 1:31:10. A 2012 Olympian at 20K, Michta starred at C.W. Post and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in microbiology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Dave Talcott, representing the Shore A.C. of Long Branch, N.J., captured the men’s 30K championship in 2:37:52 and set an American record in the men’s 50-54 age division of the 25K en route in 2:09:41. He led Shore A.C. to the team title, supported by fourth-place finisher Bill Vayo (3:28:02) of White Plains and fifth-placer Tom Quattrocchi (3:29:11).

Among the non-championship races held concurrently, James Aurelio Rendon of Colombia stole the show in the international 50K. Rendon blazed through the 30-lap, 31.1-mile race in a course, Colombian and South American record time of 3:47:41, a pace of about 7:20 per mile. He was trailed across the finish line by Colombian teammates Jorge Diaz Pineda (4:02:06) and Ferney Rojas Mesa (4:02:09).

Another course record was established in the men’s 10K (6.2 miles), by Eider Arevalo Truque of Colombia, in 40:11.

Other winners included Katie Newhoff in the U.S. junior women’s 20K (1:54:45); Jose Leonardo Montano of Colombia in the men’s international 20K (1:23:04); Jorge Armando Ruiz Fajardo of Colombia in the men’s international 30K (2:14:58); Ingrid Johana Hernandez of Colombia in the women’s international 20K (1:31:02); Erica Sena of Brazil in the women’s international 10K (47:10); Pamela Allie-Morrill in the women’s 5K (31:37); and Marc Varsano in the men’s 5K (35:20).

The 20K races were held in memory of Chris Schmid, a four-time USATF Masters racewalker of the year who died unexpectedly last year.