USA Women’s Team Wins Bronze in the U20 Race

By Clay Shaw
Photography by Clay Shaw and Karen Mitchell

Bathurst Australia, February 18, 2023, World Cross Country Championships 2023—Four high school runners from the USA ran like seasoned vets and helped earned USA their first team medal in World XC history.  With the Australian sun blasting summer temperatures in the high eighties, the USA U20 team ran a controlled, steady race with very solid performances, with all six women finishing 34th or better, and four in the top nineteen.  Exhausted runners were dropping out and collapsing at the finish, and yet the USA team coming from 10,000 miles away, and winter, had a spectacular result.

Ellie Shea of Belmont, MA finished tenth in 21:48 in the 6K event.  Irene Riggs of Morgantown, WV was 12th in 22:03. Karrie Baloga of Cornwall, NY was 13th in 22:12.  Zariel Macchia of Shirley, NY was 19th in 23:05. Eva Klingbeil of Longmont, CO, the only NCAA runner on the team (North Carolina), was 29th in 23:29.  Allie Zealand of Lynchburg, VA was 34th in 24:00.

Ethiopia’s Senayet Getachew was the overall winner in 20:53.  Medina Eisa, also from Ethiopia was second in 21:00, as Ethiopia won the team title.  Ethiopia had five runners in the top eight, and all six in the top eleven.  Pamela Kosgei of Kenya won the individual bronze medal in 21:01.  Team Kenya won the silver medal. 

After the USA in third. Uganda was fourth, Japan was fifth, Great Britain was sixth, Spain was seventh, and South Africa was eighth.  Heat and the course took their toll as several runners did not finish. Australia, Canada, and New Zealand did not score in the team standings.

Top Finishers

  1. 20:53 Senayet Getachew, Ethiopia
  2. 21:00 Medina Eisa, Ethiopia
  3. 21:01 Pamela Kosgei, Kenya
  4. 21:10 Faith Cherotich, Kenya
  5. 21:16 Lemlem Nibret, Ethiopia
  6. 21:17 Joyline Chepkemoi, Kenya
  7. 21:27 Meseret Yeshaneh, Ethiopia
  8. 21:32 Tinebeb Asres, Ethiopia
  9. 21:46 Diana Chepkemoi, Kenya
  10. 21:48 Ellie Shea, United States
  11. 21:57 Melknat Wudu, Ethiopia
  12. 22:03 Irene Riggs, United States
  13. 22:12 Karrie Baloga, United States
  14. 22:24 Bentalin Yeko, Uganda
  15. 22:36 Charity Cherop, Uganda
  16. 22:36 Felister Chekwemoi, Uganda
  17. 22:37 Kana Mizogami, Japan
  18. 22:46 Aya Kotajima, Japan
  19. 23:05 Zariel Macchia, United States
  20. 23:07 Miku Muraoka, Japan
  21. 23:11 Nariya Noda, Japan
  22. 23:11 Xela Martinez, Spain
  23. 23:11 Rebecca Flaherty, Great Britain
  24. 23:18 Hannah Ryding, Great Britain
  25. 23:20 Yuya Sawada, Japan
  26. 23:22 Maria Viciosa, Spain
  27. 23:24 Catheriine Lund, New Zealand
  28. 23:29 Nanaka Yonezawa, Japan
  29. 23:29 Eva Klingbeil, United States
  30. 23:46 Peace Chebet, Uganda
The U20 women head down the straight with athletes from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda leading the way.
Zariel Macchia of the USA makes the turn heading for the chicane. Karrie Baloga of USA, Kana Mizogami of Japan, Erin Vringer of Canada, Xela Martinez of Spain, and Hannah Ryding of Great Britain run in the chasing pack.
Karrie Baloga of Belmont, NY rounds the corner to “The Chicane.”
Irene Riggs of Morgantown, WV was twelfth overall. Along with Shea and Baloga, these three USA women broke into the East African domination for the bronze medal.
Allie Zealand of Lynchburg, VA rounds the corner.
Eva Klingbeil of the USA signals right as she begins to turn on to “The Chicane.” Risper Cherop of Uganda and Catherine Lund of New Zealand are with her.
Senayet Getachew of Ethiopia wins the U20 women’s race by seven seconds.
Medina Eisa of Ethiopia finishes second with Pamela Kosgei of Kenya third. Ethiopia won the team gold. Kenya won the silver.
Ellie Shea of Belmont, MA earned a top ten placement with a smart, solid race. Ellie was tenth, behind only runners from Ethiopia and Kenya.
Karrie Baloga of Cornwall, NY earns a big smile, as she places 13th on the medal winning USA team.
Maria Viciosa of Spain celebrates her finish. Spain and Great Britain were the only European countries to send teams to World XC.
Zariel Macchia of the USA powers over the finish in 19th place, giving the USA four runners in the top nineteen.
Allie Zealand of Lynchburg, VA finishes the U20 race in 24:00.
U20 Women won the bronze medal! Allie Zealand, Ellie Shea, Irene Riggs, Karrie Baloga, Zariel Macchia and Eva Klingbeil. Congratulations!

Categories: Race Coverage

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