With the lap counter reset to 50, the storyboards cleared, and yesterdays excitement in the books 15 women entered the historic Hayward Field for what promised to be one of the most competive Olympic Trials Race Walks ever held. No women had the Olympic A standard of 1:33:30, but a whopping six athletes had the Olympic B standard of 1:38:00. Two or more in the rest of the field could easily best the B standard mark and unless two or more women walked the A standard all would be competing for a single spot.
With near perfect overcast and cool weather conditions our athletes stood at the start ready for the gun.
In her sixth Olympic Trials, Teresa Vaill characteristically took the center stage and set the pace for all.
This race was a battle of the old guard vs. the new. Would experience and wisdom triumph over strength and youth?
It didn't take more than two laps for a break to form and two groups of walkers to emerge.
Our lead pack consisted of Vaill, Michta and Gray. Vail looked comfortable, well as comfortable as Vaill ever looks, in the front and the two relative youths.
Our second group was lead by a hard charging, strong minded Lauren Forgues and her roommate Miranda Melville. Only giving up a step were Jill Cobb, Solomiya Logan, and Joanne Dow.
The women's 20K story continues...