Birthday: Oct 14, 1977
Current Residence : Ireland
Hometown: Farmington, Maine
College: USAF Academy, 1999
20 km - 1:22:25
Kevin Eastler started race walking at the age of nine, following in the footsteps of his older sister, Gretchen. He earned many age group records and All-American titles before entering the U.S. Air Force Academy in the summer of 1995.
Eastler won the 10K U.S. Junior Nationals in 1996 with a time of 47:57. He also qualified for the U.S. vs. Canada dual meet and led the Juniors to victory. While walking an excellent race, he lost to me for the second time in a row. Eastler is looking for a rematch, so I have challenged him to a winner-take-all 1-mile race 10 minutes after the 2004 20K Olympic Trials. Think he’ll take up the challenge?
During his first three years at the academy, Eastler’s race walking took a back seat to his academics and cross-country skiing. However, upon reaching his senior year, he started training to race walk seriously, qualifying for the World Cup by finishing 5 th at Nationals. Finishing 71 st at the World Cup marked his first international experience at the Senior level. The team leader was veteran race walker Carl Schueler, who began coaching Eastler in the fall of 1998.
Eastler graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the Air Force. He spent his first assignment with the World Class Athlete Program at Chula Vista. Training full-time for the 2000 Olympics, he finished in second place at the Trials but was denied a spot on the Olympic Team as he failed to meet the required time standard.
Recovering from injuries sustained in 2000, Eastler stopped race walking for over a year until he was reassigned to F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Training was difficult. He worked in a very confined space for 24 hours or longer, training before he went on duty or after. While his father Tom would like us to believe he trained in the missile silo, Eastler trained on the track or road.
In 2003, now a Captain, Eastler recorded the second-fastest time in American 20K history and is the only walker so far to achieve the qualifying standard required to make the 2004 20K Men’s Olympic Team. Back in the World Class Athlete Program, he currently trains full time for a hopeful berth on the Olympic Team.
The U.S. Air Force recognized Eastler’s excellence in 2003 when they named him Male Athlete of the Year.
2003 1st - 1:22:25 2002 3rd - 1:28:18 2000 4th - 1:26:09 1999 5th - 126:41
2003 20K - 1:23:52
20K World Cup
2004– 26th – 1:22:51– Namberg, Germany
2002– 31st– 1:28:18 – Torino, Italy
1999– 71st– 1:32:41– Mezidon, France
20K Pan Am Cup
2003– 5th – 1:25:34– Poza Rica, Mexico
20K World University Games
1999– 12 th – 1:32:20