USATF Men’s 20K Walk — Christie Eyes Q Prospects

Nick Christie rolling out front, well clear of the rest, is by now a familiar sight for U.S. walks fans. (KIRBY LEE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

HE’S AGAIN the national 20K — well… er… 20,000-meter — walk champion and Nick Christie hasn’t lost to another American at the 12.4M distance in more than 2 years.

So it’s not his domestic rivals highest on his to-be-concerned-with list. It’s those other speedy pedestrians from South of the Border and Northern Europe who get most of his attention these days.

As soon as he completed his 50th lap around Hayward Field in a year-leading 1:25:30.4 — ahead of 9 rivals and before a coterie of early-early risers in the stands — the self-coached 31-year-old southern Californian knew he’d have – for sure — been bound for Budapest next month — if they hadn’t changed the qualifying system.

Now it’s those nebulous World Athletics points that may determine Christie’s immediate travel plans.

“Right now, I’m 49th [on the WA points table, which is qualifying position],” Christie said before it all started. “But I’ll still be waiting until the end of the month for the rankings to be posted. My biggest threats are the South American Area Championships and the Finnish Nationals.” These races have the most people breathing, statistically speaking, down Christie’s neck.

No one was remotely close to Christie’s neck in this one, as he took his 28th USA crown (all distances) and fifth straight at the outdoor nationals.

Fellow Californian — and now New York AC teammate — Emanuel “Natos” Corvera, who had stunned Christie to win the 20K title back in ’17, was more than two Hayward laps behind in 1:31.31.6, winning the back-and-forth, forth-and-back duel for places 2–6.

Corvera held off the strong late drive of Sam Allen, the Shore AC star and Cornell senior who had won the USATF Indoor 1-mile title at the Armory in February, and crossed the Hayward line in 1:31.58.8.


MEN’S 20K WALK RESULTS

(July 08; track)

1. Nick Christie (NYAC) 1:25:30.4 (AL);

2. Emmanuel Corvera (NYAC) 1:31:31.6;

3. Samuel Allen (Shore) 1:31:58.8;

4. Jordan Crawford (unat) 1:32:03.8;

5. Jason Cherng (NEW) 1:32:04.9;

6. Daniel Nehnevaj (RalW) 1:34:49.0;

7. Bricyn Healey (RalW) 1:37:01.7;

8. Juan Montanez (unat) 1:37:52.0;

9. Joel Pfahler (DayTC) 1:41:16.1;

… dnf—John Risch (QE).