Robyn Stevens and Nick Christie celebrate their victories in the 35K and 50K race walks, respectively, at the U.S. National Championships in Santee, CA, on February 28, 2021. (contributed photo -- Paul Nestor).

Vacaville couple are the nation’s top race walkers

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Robyn Stevens was a sophomore at Vacaville High when she saw race walking by elite, Olympic-level walkers for the first time at the Stanford Invitational in October 1998.

Claudia Wilde, her club coach for the West Wind Flyers from Fairfield, had taught everybody on the team all the track and field events, including race walking.

“I had been a dancer, but my parents said I had to choose between track and field, soccer and dance,” recalled Stevens. “Claudia said, ‘If you stick with me I can get you a scholarship anywhere and probably into the Olympics.’ So of the three sports, I was like, ‘I’m going to stick with track and field.’ But I really loved dance so when I saw race walk for the first time done by the elites, it reminded me of ‘A Chorus Line,’ which was a dance that Baryshnikov was in, and I was like, ‘All right, I get to kill two birds with one stone. I don’t have to give up dance after all if I race walk.’”

Stevens and her partner, Nick Christie, are now the two fastest race walkers in the womens’ and men’s divisions in the United States, and both have a very good shot at competing in the Olympics in Tokyo that is scheduled for August. They have won every major head-to-head competition from one mile to 50K (about 31 miles) the last few years.

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