(07-Feb) -- Ednah Kurgat and Emmanuel Bor will lead the senior women's and men's squads, respectively, for the United States at the World Athletics Cross Country Championships on Saturday, February 18, in Bathurst, Australia, about a three hour drive west of Sydney in New South Wales. Both Kurgat and Bor were dominant winners at last month's USATF Cross Country Championships in Mechanicsville, Virginia, the trials event where athletes earned team places based on their order of finish.
PHOTO: Ednah Kurgat winning the 2023 USATF Cross Country Championships in Mechanicsville, Va. (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)
"I'm living the dream now," said the Kenyan-born Kurgat who competed for the University of New Mexico in the U.S. collegiate system where she won the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 2017. In 2020 she enlisted in the U.S. Army and is now part of their World Class Athlete Program. Kurgat is a sergeant who is a Tactical Power Generation Specialist. She is coached by Scott Simmons at the American Distance Project in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Joining Kurgat on the senior women's team will be runner-up Makena Morley (Asics), Emily Lipari (adidas/Golden Coast TC), Weini Kelati (Under Armour/Dark Sky Distance), Katie Izzo (adidas/Golden Coast TC), and Allie Buchalski (Brooks Beasts TC). None of these women have ever competed at World Cross on either the junior or senior levels.
Emily Durgin (adidas/Golden Coast TC), who finished third in the trials, had to withdraw from the team due to a stress reaction.
Bor is equally enthusiastic to represent the U.S. in Bathurst. Like Kurgat, Bor was born in Kenya and competed in the U.S. collegiate system for the University of Alabama before joining the U.S. Army where he is now a Second Lieutenant and chief of environmental health at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. He is coached by retired steeplechaser Haron Lagat.
"I'm so happy to represent the United States at the global level," said Bor, who ran the last edition of World Cross in Aarhus, Denmark, in 2019 where he finished 68th (fourth American).
Also headed to Bathurst are Andrew Colley (On ZAP Endurance), Anthony Rotich (NIKE/U.S. Army), Sam Chelanga (U.S. Army), Dillon Maggard (Brooks Beasts TC), and Reid Buchanan (Unattached). Colley has competed at World Cross twice (2010 as a junior and 2015 at the senior level), and Chelanga once (11th in 2017). Rotich, Maggard and Buchanan will be competing for the first time.
Leonard Korir (U.S. Army) earned the right to be on the team by finishing fourth at the trials, but he declined his spot because he is preparing for the Paris Marathon in April.
The junior, or U20, teams will be led by the trials winners, Irene Riggs of Morgantown, West Virginia and Leo Young of Camarillo, California. The other women are Ellie Shea (Belmont, Mass.), Zariel Macchia (Shirley, N.Y.), Karrie Baloga (New Windsor, N.Y.), Eva Klingbeil (Longmont, Colo.), and Allie Zealand (Forest, Va.). The other men are Micah Wilson (St. Charles, Ill.), Marco Langon (Raritan, N.J.), Evan Jenkins (Camas, Wash.), Max Sannes (Big Bear Lake, Calif.), and Kole Mathison (Carmel, Ind.). All will be racing at World Cross for the first time.
Also announced were the four members of the mixed-relay team: Emma Coburn (New Balance), Heather MacLean (New Balance Boston), Jordan Mann (Ocean State AC), and Alec Basten (Under Armour Baltimore). Coburn, America's most decorated female steeplechaser who won the world title in 2017, will be competing at World Cross for the first time. The same for MacLean, a 2021 Olympian with a 3:58.76 1500m personal best; Mann, a 8:26.65 steeplechaser; and Basten, a 8:22.22 steeplechaser who finished second at the NCAA Championships in 2021.
The World Athletics Cross Country Championships were first held in 1903 in Hamilton, Scotland, and were held annually (with breaks for both World War I and World War II), then held every two years since 2011. Because of the global pandemic, the last edition was in 2019.