Thursday, August 14, 2008

15K Walk Championships on Tap Sunday

Although Minnesota’s greatest claim to race walking fame – Carleton College graduate Philip Dunn – is in Beijing preparing for next week’s Olympic 50K race, a field of strong walkers will nonetheless gather Sunday in Minneapolis for the USA 15K Race Walking Championships.

The event, hosted by Twin Cities Race Walkers, will serve as a national championship for the 15K distance for senior men and women as well as for junior boys and girls. The race will also serve as a regional masters championships and the USATF-Minnesota championship. The race also serves as a leg of the 2008 USA Race Walking Grand Prix.

The race begins at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, August 17 on the Greenway Trail. Full details for the event can be found HERE.

The Elite Field … 2004 Olympian Teresa Vail, the runaway leader in the 2008 Grand Prix, headlines the women's field. Vail, the 2008 Olympic Trials runner-up at 20K, is a three-time USA champion. Vail finished 43rd in the Athens games, walking 20K in 1:38:47. Susan Randall and Kristen Furseth-Mullaney, both of whom competed at the 2008 Trials, appear to be Vail’s most likely challengers.

Patrick Stroupe, a Missourian who finished 3rd in the Olympic Trials 20K race in Eugene, headlines the men’s field. He is currently tied for the lead in the men's Grand Prix.

Race director Bruce Leasure, the USATF-Minnesota Race Walking Chairman, also highlighted the following entrants: Canadian age-group racer Sherry Watts who will compete with hopes of setting a Canadian M55 record for the distance … Eden Prairie’s Anita Macias-Howard, currently the fastest female race walker in Minnesota … and Phil Rogosheske, a 1972 Olympian as a flatwater kayaker and still the Gustavus Adolphus College high jump school-record-holder at 6-8, who has lately joined the race walking ranks

The youngest walker registered is John Randall, 16, of Beavercreek, Ohio, the 8th place finisher at the Nike Indoor National 1 mile walk; the oldest is William Hosken, 71, from Zion, Illinois.

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