Report22 Jan 2023

Kurgat and Bor triumph at US Cross Country Championships


Eventual winner Ednah Kurgat in action at the USATF Cross Country Championships (© Kirby Lee)

Ednah Kurgat and Emmanuel Bor claimed their first US titles as athletes raced for World Cross Country Championships team places at the USATF Cross Country Championships in Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, Virginia, on Saturday (21).

Kurgat dominated the women’s race, winning by 17 seconds ahead of Makena Morley, while Bor held off a competitive chase pack in the men’s race, crossing the finish line four seconds ahead of a six-strong group that was separated by just a single second.

In the women’s 10km, Kurgat and Morley formed part of a lead group of six that passed the halfway point in 16:12. Weini Kelati and Emily Durgin were to the fore, followed by Kurgat, Morley, Emily Lipari and Katie Izzo.

The group continued to travel together, each athlete eyeing a top six place that would offer them a spot on the US senior women’s team for the World Athletics Cross Country Championships Bathurst 23 on 18 February.

But there was also a national title to fight for and Kurgat surged ahead with one final 2km lap of the race remaining. She gained a 12-second advantage over the next kilometre and eventually won by 17 seconds in 32:07. Morley was next in 32:24, ahead of Durgin (32:27), Lipari (32:32), Kelati (32:39) and Izzo (32:40).

Bor made his move earlier in the men’s 10km. He led through 5km in 14:23 and had an 11-second advantage through 7km, growing that lead by another second through 8km.

Although the chase group started to reel him in, Bor could not be beaten and he spread his arms wide in victory as he reached the finish in 28:44.

Closing fast, Andrew Colley led the chase group, finishing four seconds behind Bor. The next five all clocked the same time in the battle for Bathurst team places, Anthony Rotich edging Leonard Korir, Sam Chelanga, Dillon Maggard and Reid Buchanan as they all recorded 28:49. Bor’s brother Hillary Bor was eighth in 28:57.

The U20 titles were claimed by Irene Riggs and Leo Young. Riggs won the women’s 6km contest in 19:45, finishing a few seconds ahead of Ellie Shea. Young, meanwhile, built a seven-second lead to win the men’s 8km in 23:47 ahead of Micah Wilson.

Leading results

Senior women (10km)
1 Ednah Kurgat 32:07
2 Makena Morley 32:24
3 Emily Durgin 32:27
4 Emily Lipari 32:32
5 Weini Kelati 32:39
6 Katie Izzo 32:40
7 Allie Buchalski 33:02
8 Susanna Sullivan 33:14 

Senior men (10km)
1 Emmanuel Bor 28:44
2 Andrew Colley 28:48
3 Anthony Rotich 28:49
4 Leonard Korir 28:49
5 Sam Chelanga 28:49
6 Dillon Maggard 28:49
7 Reid Buchanan 28:49
8 Hillary Bor 28:57 

Full results

U20 women (6km)
1 Irene Riggs 19:45
2 Ellie Shea 19:48
3 Zariel Macchia 20:05
4 Abbey Nechanicky 20:07
5 Karrilynn Baloga 20:07
6 Eva Klingbeil 20:11 

U20 men (8km)
1 Leo Young 23:47
2 Micah Wilson 23:54
3 Marco Langon 23:54
4 Evan Jenkins 23:55
5 Max Sannes 23:55
6 Luke Venhuizen 23:59