Maria Michta-Coffey Named USATF Athlete of the Week


Maria Michta-Coffey walked the sixth-fastest 20K in U.S. history at the World Team Championships Trials to earn USATF Athlete of the Week.

Maria, who has won seven USATF 20K walk titles in her career, finished the race on the 1K loop course in Philadelphia in 1:32:09. Only she and two other American women have ever walked the distance faster.

The April 8 event served as the qualifier for the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships (WTC) in Taicang, China, on May 5-6. Maria set the American 20K record (1:30:49) at the WTC in Taicang in 2014. She tied that record in 2016 as a guest at the Asian Championships in Japan. Maria broke her own Philadelphia course record set in the Pan-American Cup (PAC) Trials last year (1:32:46).

Two other USATF Long Island members, Lauren Harris and Kayla Torres, qualified to compete in China in the U20 10k race. Lauren broke the 2017 PAC Philadelphia course record held by Taylor Ewert (49:54). Lauren's 2018 WTC Trials time was 49:34. Kayla's WTC Trials time was 54:02.

Kayla Shapiro walked 56:35 at the trials but did not qualify for the WTC team. Katie Michta finished the 20K in 1:45:55. Molly Josephs competed at the trials, too, but foot and leg pain forced her to withdraw a little over half-way through the 20K.