By Clay Shaw Photography by Clay Shaw and Karen Mitchell
Mechanicsville, VA, January 21, 2023, USATF Cross Country Championships 2023 Richmond—Irene Riggs of Morgantown, WV led the way, as high school athletes dominated the U20 6K race at Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, VA, just 12 miles from downtown Richmond. Riggs won in 19:44.3, and was followed by four more high school runners. Ellie Shea of Belmont, MA was second in 19:47.5; Zariel Macchia of Shirley, NY was third in 2:04.7; and Abbey Nechanicky of Wazata, MN was fourth in 20:06.6. Karrilynn Baloga of Cornwall, NY was fifth in 20:06.8.
Eva Klingbeil, who runs for the University of North Carolina and was the lone collegiate athlete to finish in the top six, finished in 20:10.4. Klingbeil is from Longmont, Colorado.
8th grader Sophia Rodriguez of Seven Valleys, PA was 16th in 21:41.7. The 14-year-old will be running for York County’s powerful Dallastown High School team in the fall after dominating junior high races.
The top six finishers will represent the USA at the World Cross Country Championships in Bathurst, Australia on February 18, 2023. It’s been four years since a World Cross Country Championship has been held, the most recent in March 2019 in Aarhus, Denmark.
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