Super Fans always argue as to what is the best performance ever in an event. Race Walking is no different than any other event in Track & Field. Two things that makes it a little harder to determine the winner of that debate. First, athletes in the event generally compete across most of the distances and they might not be equally talented from the 1500m to the 10000m. Second, how do you compare athletes of different genders and across those distances?
The IAAF uses Performance Tables to rank athletes against the World Record in their events. This (pretty) fairly allows comparisons of performances by gender and race distance to be made. The one problem is that they do not have Tables for the Mile or 1500m in the Race Walk, so those events are sadly not able to be fairly included in this article.
What I’ve done is to use the IAAF Performance Tables to rank all of the US HS Race Walking Records against one another to determine the Best Performance Ever. With the 3000m being contested in both seasons, I took the better Record of the two for each gender.
In reverse order, here are the top 6.
So, this does answer the question of the Best Performance ever, but it is incomplete and needs to be clarified. Taylor Ewert has largely competed by herself in races, often lapping the field even in shorter events. She also missed her entire senior outdoor season because of Covid-19. It’s reasonable that she would have had one or two performances above the #1 of Sorensen. Without it, we’ll just have to continue to debate the issue until someone else comes along and bests the best of the best.