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USATF sends 20 athletes to Pan Am Race Walk Champs in Chile


INDIANAPOLIS -- For the first time in three years, the Pan American Race Walk Championships, slated for May 9-10, will return to sea level in the mild, desert climate of Arica, Chile, the country’s northernmost port city.

The event features men’s and women’s races at both the 50 km and 20 km distance in addition to junior men’s and women’s events in the 10 km.

Headlining for the women’s 20 km is Maria Michta-Coffey (Farmingville, New York), the most consistent American champion over the last few years. Michta-Coffey set four American records in 2014, including her 2:07:46 in the 25 km. Michta-Coffey is once again sacrificing a graduation ceremony to compete in the sport she loves, as she is set to receive her doctorate this weekend.

Two-time Olympian John Nunn (Bonsall, California) is the top performer for men in both the 20 km and top 50 km. He will be eyeing the IAAF 20 km standard for a chance to compete at World Championships in Beijing in August.

Nick Christie (San Diego, California) will also be a strong contender in the 20 km after finishing a close second to Nunn at the Pan Am Trials (1:26:26 to 1:26:59) and 50 km trials and defeating Nunn at 2015 USATF Indoor Championships in Boston. One week after USATF Indoors, Christie won the NAIA title at 3 km, finishing in 11:59.73 .

Erin Taylor Talcott (Owego, New York) and Susan Randall (Beavercreek, Ohio)will will lead American women in 50 km, which is also a NACAC Championship and the first ever international event for women at this distance. The women’s race will be within the men’s race.

In the men’s 50 km, Michael Mannozzi (Youngstown, Ohio) raced to a 4:32:14  finish at USATF 50 km Championships in December, and he finished the 20 km at trials in in 1:34:53.

Anthony Peters (Bartlett, Illinois), the top junior men’s athlete, was a member of Team USA at IAAF World Juniors in 2014. Peters posted a personal best of 44:41 at Pan Am Championships Trials before improving that 10 km time to 44:14.62 at Penn Relays. Not far behind him is Cameron Haught (Enon, Ohio), who finished in 46:36 at the trials event.

Junior women to watch are Anali Cisneros (Elgin, Illinois), Katie Michta (Nesconset), and Katie Newhoff. Cisneros won the 10 km at trials in 50:54 ahead of Mitcha in second in 51:20 and World Juniors competitor Katie Newhoff (Islip Terrace, New York) in third at 51:26.

Click here for the complete team roster.

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