Local Olympics Spotlight: Maria Michta-Coffey (Nesconset, NY), Team USA Track & Field
Looking for a better result in her second Olympics, Maria Michta-Coffey of Nesconset, New York will head to Rio, again as part of the 20km race walk.
She punched her ticket to Rio when she won the 20km race at the U.S. Olympic Trials, ahead of New Jerseyan Miranda Melville. It was the second Olympic bid of her career, after winning the same race in the 2012 Trials.
Despite being on the circuit for many years, Michta-Coffey hasn’t found much success. Her highest finish in a world championship race was 20th last year, and at age 30, she isn’t going to be getting much better either. In London, she finished a disappointing 29th, as the top American. However, she does have four U.S. national championships, meaning she is probably the best female American race walker right now.
Michta-Coffey won’t likely find herself on the medal stand in Rio. She hasn’t finished on the podium in any international races. Even in the Pan-Am games with less competition, she could only muster up a seventh place finish last year. Cracking the top-20 finishers would be the ultimate and best case scenario for her. Not having the Russian women participating in the event due to the doping ban will boost her placing quite a bit, but it still won’t help her get a medal.
At this point in her career, it’s possible this is her last shot, and she posted a personal best in the last Olympics, so there’s a chance that she will go all out and shock many with a great finish in Rio. Even with a career defining performance, it’s unlikely that Maria Michta-Coffey will come home with an Olympic medal.
She graduated from LIU Post campus as the valedictorian with a degree in microbiology. She missed her college graduation for a World Cup race. She then became a doctorate candidate at Mount Sinai Medical School in biomedical science. She volunteers as an assistant track coach at Sachem East High School in New York, where she graduated from in 2004. She is part of the Walk USA track club.
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