The weather couldn't have been less pleasant. OK, a bit of an exaggeration, but it was not a bright sunny day for sure. Ron Salvio could not have been more prepared for the weather and a top notch trials race. Organization was impeccable, the course looked great, and every issue seemed to have been prethoughout. It was also a great day for USA race walking. Admittedly, I wasn't too motivated to roll out of bed for a cold (45 degrees) rainy March march. Still, with the race 20 miles west of my house and a flood of great American (and future great) walkers congregating in South Jersey my dog and I headed to th e races. All I have to say is I was impressed at every level. While the men's and women's races recorded great times (see photo story), what really left it's mark was the passion of our junior walkers. Topping it off is, these kids are the kind of kinds you want to help. Perhaps, USA walking's future is not as dim as we feared.
John Nunn (12), Francisco Pantoja (13), and Patrick Stroupe (19) were the early favorites.
Indeed John was comfortable taking an early lead with Francisco Pantoja and Kenny Perez.
In addition to the USA walkers, we had a few foreign guests. Here Kenny Perez paces with John Nunn.
America's fastest milkman passed off the lead pack.
Following behind was a second large pack lead by Nick Christie, Rachel Seaman, Alex Chavez and Ray Sharp.
One of the great aspects of having a combined Mens, Womens, and Junior walk is the ability for walkers to pull each other along. Seaman came looking to break records, even if they were her own, and Nick Christie was there to help.
Similarly the Peters brothers (Anothony  and Alex)walker with Miranda Melville. Who was helping who? Does it matter?
With the field for the World Cup going 5 deep (given that the athlete walk faster enough to make their qualifying standard) there were many exciting races. Here Susan Randall leads a pack containing the two top junior women walkers in her quest to qualify for the women's open team.
Katie Burnett chose to walk alone, but with the same goal. Qualify for the open women's team!
John Nunn continues comfortably in the lead.
The story continues...