USATF Women’s 10K Walk — Burnett Becomes A Speedster

The 50K AR holder, Katie Burnett held her own at 20% the distance. (RICH GRAESSLE/IMAGE OF SPORT)

KATIE BURNETT’S signature walk has always been the 50K. And why not? Her 4th-place finish over that distance at the ’17 World Championships brought her home in the AR time of 4:21:51, just 62 seconds off the podium, and it continues to represent the highest-placing performance by an American walker, woman or man, on the world stage thus far into the 21st century. Well, don’t look now, but Katie Burnett has become a darn-good sprinter, too. Yes, by racewalking standards, 10,000m—or 25 laps around the track—constitutes a sprint.

Burnett, 30, dashed to a resounding 46:12.45 PR triumph, leading the 12-woman field through the first 4 laps in 7:23, relinquishing the lead to Robyn Stevens past the 4400 mark, getting it back soon after, then powering on home with consistent 1:50ish laps. Prerace favorite Miranda Melville needed nearly 5M to get untracked, finally overhauling Stevens for 2nd in 46:49.90 as Stevens settled for a 47:22.54 in 3rd. Unlike the American men—who didn’t meet Doha qualifying times—and with lineups still to be finalized, expect to see U.S. women racewalkers carry the flag with distinction in both the Pan-Am Games and Worlds.

Burnett—who has had school and training bases in Arizona, California, New York and Pennsylvania—is now situated in Mountlake Terrace, Washington, north of Seattle. When the top finishers crossed the finish line, there was a world of hugging and rejoicing—and discussion of travel plans. “Everything’s obviously going well for me these days, at whatever the distance,” she said. “I just hope I can compete in Tokyo next year.” That call, however, is not hers to make. Even with apparent global acceptance of the women’s 50K as a standard inclusion, the top honchos of the IAAF and the IOC still haven’t come up with a definitive “yes” or “no” for the women’s 50K in the ’20 Olympics.


(July 28; on track—not a WC Trials event)

1. Katie Burnett (HarrTC) 46:12.45 PR;

2. Miranda Melville (NYAC) 46:49.90 PR;

3. Robyn Stevens (SalmWolf) 47:22.54;

4. Anali Cisneros (Judson) 50:33.63 PR;

5. Stephanie Casey (unat) 50:59.85;

6. Lydia McGranahan (unat) 51:45.24;

7. Celina Lepe (unat) 52:36.62;

8. Jennifer Lopez (unat) 53:28.27;

9. Kayla Shapiro (Marist) 53:46.02 PR;

10. Janelle Branch (unat) 54:27.40;

11. Chelsea Conway (Shore) 54:58.77 PR;

12. Katie Miale (Marist) 56:35.72.