East Islip High School student and All-County race walking phenom Katharine Newhoff, 17, finished 41st overall in the 10K at the 2014 IAAF World Race Walking Cup in Taicang, China. on May 4. With a time of 52:52, she was the first American junior athlete to cross the finish line.
“We are very proud of Kate, who worked long and hard to accomplish this,” said East Islip track coach Jim Marino, who noted that she was the first East Islip track athlete to ever participate in a World Cup event. As an 11th-grader, Newhoff had placed third in the 10K race walk at the World Cup trials in Whiting, N.J. on March 30, qualifying her as one of just three athletes to represent the United States in Taicang. Most impressive is the fact that while she has only been participating in race walking for two years. “They still call me a newbie,” she said.
“My experience at the World Cup was absolutely amazing,” said Newhoff, who praised the coaches and staff for their work ethic and leadership skills. “Team USA welcomed me in and made me feel like I was part of a family. All my teammates were incredible – I could not have asked for a better group of athletes to travel to China and share memories with. I now have friends from all over the world who I met while training or in the dining hall.”
Newhoff found the experience at the World Race Walking Cup – a biennial event featuring competitors from more than 50 countries – both educational and culturally enriching, particularly during the team’s local excursions in Taicang after workouts. “We explored a market, a main street and a very modern mall, and also visited a temple and park,” she said. “Because we were Team USA, many people wanted to take pictures with us and get our autographs. I hope I have many more opportunities like this in the future, because it was an unforgettable experience.”
In addition to mentoring from race walk coach Brian Savickis, Newhoff attributes her success to family tradition, as elder siblings Jason, Josh, Rachel and Alex all participated in track at East Islip High School. Her father John was the driving force behind her adoption of race walking. “He recognized that I had the right physiology for the sport,” she explained.
Newhoff, a member of East Islip’s track and cross-country squads, ran a record-breaking race en route to winning the 1,500-meter race walk at the League III track championship meet at Suffolk Community College in January. She also participated in the IAAF World Junior Championships, held in July in Eugene, Ore., where her time of 51:40.42 in the 10,000 meter race walk earned her 32nd place. Her many supporters in the East Islip school community are certain the best is yet to come for this athletic shining star, who will be an incoming senior at East Islip High School in September.
Click here to view Newhoff at the World Junior Championships.