Athlete Katie Burnett after her world-record race at Balboa Stadium. Photo, courtesy, event organizers.

Katie Burnett set a world record for the 50km Race Walk on the Balboa Stadium track while qualifying for the 2019 World Championships.

Burnett was one of eight entrants trying to qualify at the first National Invitational Race Walk, which took place Saturday.

Burnett, who owns the 50km (31.1 miles) American record on the roads, also set four unofficial  American records at 25km, 30km, 35km and 40km. She finished the 50km with an official track time of 4:29:45.56.

“Since my last World Championships in London in 2017, the 50k distance has been a little bit of a struggle so I was really happy that things finally came together,” Burnett said. She finished fourth in the London race.

She will represent Team USA both at the Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru in July and the IAAF World Athletics Championship in Doha, Qatar in September.

The “last chance” meet came about due to Nick Christie and Andreas Gustafsson. It provided athletes with an opportunity to meet world championship qualifying standards before the July 28 deadline.

Male and female athletes competed. At 50km, they completed 125 laps of the 400m track; at 20km, they circled 50 times. Burnett was the only entrant to hit the qualifying mark.

“A 50km Race Walk is a distance event that’s rarely done on the track, and it was certainly special to see Katie set the track world record and punch her ticket to Doha,” event organizer Tracy Sundlun said.

The Women’s 50km Race Walk will take place Sept. 28 on the second day of the championships in Doha. The 2020 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for the race walk will take place in Santee Jan. 25, 2020.

– Staff reports

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