Kenyan-born athletes celebrate memorable 10-kilometer victories in Virginia, leading American lineups into World Athletics Cross Country Championships in February in Australia; Ben Bruce, April Lund capture Masters titles
By Erik Boal, DyeStat Editor
MECHANICSVILLE, Va. – Emmanuel Bor made a decisive move early Saturday in the men’s Open 10-kilometer race at the USATF Cross Country Championships.
Ednah Kurgat produced a significant surge late to pull away from the field in the women’s Open 10-kilometer final at Pole Green Park.
The result for the Kenyan-born athletes, both connected with the United States Army, was their first national titles and the opportunity to compete Feb. 18 at the 44th edition of the World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia.
Bor, who separated himself from the leaders at the 4-kilometer mark and stretched his lead to as much as 12 seconds, clocked 28 minutes, 43.3 seconds to secure his second career appearance at the global cross country final, along with 2019 in Aarhus, Denmark.
Kurgat, who began her collegiate career at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., after arriving in the U.S. in 2015 from Kenya, turned a one-second advantage at the 8-kilometer mark into a runaway victory in 32:06.5.
Kurgat, the 2017 NCAA Division 1 cross country champion at New Mexico, became a U.S. citizen in 2021 and was competing Saturday for All-Army Sports and representing the Army World Class Athlete Program.
She qualified for the U.S. roster along with former New Mexico teammate and 2019 NCAA Division 1 cross country champion Weini Kelati, who battled through injury to finish fifth in 32:38.7.
Makena Morley, a former Colorado All-American representing ASICS, placed second in 32:23.9.
Morley won the Bupa Great Edinburgh junior women’s race in 2015 in Scotland and secured her first opportunity Saturday to compete for the U.S. at the senior level.
The rest of the American women’s 10-kilometer Open roster will be represented by a trio of adidas athletes and Golden Coast Track Club members under coach Terrence Mahon.
Emily Durgin took third in 32:26.4, Emily Lipari was fourth in 32:31.7 and Katie Izzo secured sixth in 32:39.6, all earning their first career opportunities on a U.S. roster to compete at a global final.
Andrew Colley, representing On ZAP Endurance, closed the gap on Bor in the final kilometer, but couldn’t overcome the early deficit and placed second in 28:47.1.