|National 30 km Racewalk Results
Media contact: Al Heppner
North American Racewalking Institute
January 11, 2004
For immediate release
Eastler, Rohl win 30 km titles; Dow gets "A" Standard
Chula Vista, CA--The stock market was closed today, but Dow was way up.
Joanne Dow's Olympic "A" Standard for 20 km (1 hour, 32, minutes, 54 seconds)
overshadowed National 30 km Racewalk Championships by Kevin Eastler (2 hours, 14
minutes, 44 seconds) and Michelle Rohl (2:38:01).
"I did a New Year's Day 10 km race in 45:55 (well under Olympic Qualifying
pace)," Dow said. "I felt strong, but I didn't know if I had another 10 km in me
(to get the 'A' Standard)."
She did today. Eastler was out front from the start, but Dow benefited from
working with the men's 30 km trail pack which included Tim Seaman, Al Heppner,
Curt Clausen, and Andreas Gustafson. Race participants could opt for the 10 km
or 20 km distance, but everyone started at the same time.
At 10 km Eastler was 44:31, with the pursuit group at 46:04
"I wanted to hold (American Record) pace and I was surprised that no one went
with me," Eastler said.
Gustafson was disqualified at 12 km, while Heppner began to inch away from
Seaman and Clausen to move solidly into second. Dow was able to hang onto
Clausen, who led her to the 20 km promised land.
"I needed to be at 1:10:00 for 15 km and we went through under 1:09:00, so I
knew I had over a minute in the bank, but I wasn't confident I had it until I
saw the clock on the last straight-away. Curt really helped pull me through,"
Eastler was well under Clausen's American Record pace at 20 km with a 1:29:13
split, and Heppner second at 1:31:23. Seaman was less than 30 seconds behind,
with Clausen another minute back.
In the final 10 km, Eastler continued to walk well and was still on record
pace, but stopped to vomit with the finish line in sight and missed the record
by 21 seconds. Heppner held on for a six-second personal best at 2:16:52, his
first P.R. at any distance since 2001. Seaman tied up badly in the final third
of the race and dropped all the way back to seventh, allowing Clausen to move
up to third by the finish (2:19:07). The Army's John Nunn patiently walked
himself right into the middle of the race and had Clausen in his sights before
settling for fourth in 2:19:39. Sean Albert was fifth in 2:23:50, followed by
Philip Dunn (2:25:50) Also of note was eighth-place finisher Mark Green, who set
a new American Record in the 45-49 age group (2:32:24). Nick Bdera, 2:45:01,
also set an age group record (50-54), as did Mark's father Max in the 70-74.
Good weather contributed to five personal best performances.
Three-time Olympian Michelle Rohl added another National Title to her
impressive resume, despite falling over three minutes short of her own American 30 km
Record. Although her time was very solid, she wasn't pushed by the women's
field. All of her competitors either didn't start, didn't finish, or got
disqualified. With Dow's performance, an "A" standard (sub 1:33:30) from Rohl, which
she has already done several times, would all but guarantee her a record
fourth Olympic Team Berth.
Meanwhile, Eastler has moved to the forefront of the men's racewalking scene.
At 26 years of age, he is already number two on the US All-time list at 20
km. His next challenge, which could be his greatest yet, is to break Tim
Seaman's 6-year string as the reigning US Indoor Champion.
Looming on the men's racewalk calendar is the US 50 km Olympic Trials, which
will be contested on the same course as today's race in Chula Vista, CA. The
race kicks off at 7:30 AM on February 15. More information on the race is
available at www.eliteracing.com
National 30 km Results
J Street Marina in Chula Vista, CA
1 Kevin Eastler2:14:44 US Air Force*
2 Al Heppner2:16:52 US Army*
3 Curt Clausen2:19:07 NYAC
4 John Nunn2:19:39 US Army*
5 Sean Albert2:23:50 NB-North Jersey
6 Philip Dunn2:25:50 New Balance
7 Tim Seaman2:31:11 NYAC
8 Mark Green2:32:24 Las Vegas Walkers
9 Dave Doherty2:34:40 San Diego TC
10 Michelle Rohl2:38:01 Moving Comfort**
11 Gary Morgan2:39:29 NYAC
12 Dave McGovern2:42:15 New Balance
13 Nick Bdera2:45:01 Eastside
14 Ed Parrot2:45:27 PRO
15 Rod Craig2:48:52 Pegasus*
16 Colin Peters2:57:29 Hawaii TC
17 Max Green3:15:22 Pegasus*
18 John Backlund3:20:40 Rwers NW
19 Robert Weeks3:29:39 WTW-San Diego
20 Paul Johnson3:29:39 Florida AC
Andreas Gustafson DQ Sweden
Stephen McGullough DQ unattached
Jack Cassidy DQ unattached
Darlene Backlund DQ Rwers NW
Bobbi Jo Chapman DNF World Class
Lee Chase DNF CT Rwers
Jolene Moore DNS Parkside AC
*personal best time
**National 30 km Women's Champion
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