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USATF Cross Country Championships – News – Kurgat, Bor Surge To USA Cross Country Titles

USATF Cross Country Championships - News - Kurgat, Bor Surge To USA Cross Country Titles

By David Monti, @d9monti
(c) 2023 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved – Used with permission.

MECHANICSVILLE, VA. (21-Jan) — At the first-ever edition of the USATF Cross Country Championships to be held in Virginia, Ednah Kurgat and Emmanuel Bor used powerful mid-race moves to secure the open 10-K titles at Pole Green Park, about 12 miles north and east of Richmond, the state capital.  Running on turf so firm that the event felt more like a road race, Kurgat clocked 32:06.5 and Bor was timed in 28:43.3.  Both athletes won by comfortable margins (18 seconds for Kurgat and four seconds for Bor), pocketed $4000 in prize money, and qualified for the 2023 World Athletics Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia, on February 18.


Of the 54 women who started the open 10-K, a group of 10 quickly took control of the race.  At the 2-K mark, Kurgat (All-Army) was leading the competition with Emily Durgin (adidas/Golden Coast TC) and Weini Kelati (Under Armour/Dark Sky Distance).  Packed-in closely behind them were Susanna Sullivan (Unattached), Makena Morley (Asics), Emily Lipari (adidas/Golden Coast TC), Laura Thweatt (Saucony), Carrie Verdon (T.E.A.M. Boulder), Katie Izzo (adidas/Golden Coast TC), and Katrina Spratford (Unattached).

By the halfway point, Sullivan, Thweatt, Verdon and Spratford had fallen off the back leaving a pack of six at the front, the exact number of athletes who would be selected for the USA team for the world championships.  With the nearest chasers (Sullivan and Thweatt) 15 seconds behind, the first six focused on racing each other, knowing that the team spots would be theirs if they didn’t blow up.  Kurgat, who was feeling comfortable, got ready to make her move.

“Often in races when they make that (important) move I don’t respond, so it’s something I’ve worked on in practice,” Kurgat told reporters.  “So, I was prepared to make a move towards the end. It was something I really prepared coming into it.”

When Kurgat crossed the 8-K point (25:58.1) and began her fifth and final lap, she stepped on the gas.  She clicked off a 3:06 kilometer leaving the other five women to battle for second.  She was never challenged in the final kilometer, and her time of 32:06.5 was a championships record since the 10-kilometer distance was adopted for women in 2016.

“It’s unbelievable,” said a smiling Kurgat when asked about how much representing the United States at a…

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