For the first time since 2019, the World Athletics Cross-Country Championships will finally return, bringing the best all-terrain runners together in a global showdown in Bathurst, Australia on March 30. For Americans hoping to represent Team USA, the selection process will take place this Saturday, January 21 at the 2023 USATF Cross-Country Championships.
With a world team, national titles, and prize money on the line, this year’s championship is shaping up to be a must-see. Whether you’re watching from home or along the course, here’s all the info you need to follow the action in Mechanicsville, Virginia this weekend.
What: The 2023 USATF Cross-Country Championships
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When: Saturday, January 21
Where: Pole Green Park in Mechanicsville, Virginia
How to Watch: The USATF Cross-Country Championships will be livestreamed on USATF.tv.
USATF Cross-Country Championships Race Schedule
Saturday, January 21
Masters Women 6K—10:30 a.m. ET
Masters Men 8K—11:30 a.m. ET
U20 Women 6K—12:30 p.m. ET
U20 Men 8K—1:15 p.m. ET
Open Women 10K—2:00 p.m. ET
Open Men 10K—2:50 p.m. ET
USATF Cross-Country Championships Streaming and Broadcast Information
The USATF Cross-Country Championships will be livestreamed on USATF.tv starting at 10:20 a.m. ET. A subscription is required to watch the broadcast.
USATF Cross-Country Championships Prize Money Structure
Open Prize Money
Storylines to Watch at the USATF Cross-Country Championships
Weini Kelati aims to make first senior global championship
In 2021, Weini Kelati became an American citizen seven years after seeking asylum in the United States following her race at the 2014 World U20 Championships in Eugene, Oregon. After becoming an NCAA champion and 13-time All-American at the University of New Mexico, the Eritrean-born runner turned pro in 2020 and has since earned two national titles. Last year, Kelati finished second at the 2022 USATF Cross-Country Championships in San Diego, California. On Saturday, she will look to improve that standing and subsequently lead Team USA in Bathurst, which would mark her first time representing the U.S. at a global championship.
U.S. Army looks for a podium sweep
In the men’s race, the U.S. Army contingent of Sam Chelanga, Lenny Korir, and Benard Keter are poised to earn top three finishes. Last year, Chelanga finished third, Korir placed fourth, and Keter finished fifth overall at the 2022 USATF Cross-Country Championships. Chelanga and Korir are cross-country veterans as both represented Team USA at the 2017 World Cross-Country Championships. Korir also competed at the world championships in 2019. Keter is also on the rise after making his first Olympic team in 2021. Look for all three athletes to battle for top spots and prize money this weekend.
High school champions will go head-to-head
Last fall, two national champions were crowned at the Nike Cross Nationals and the Champs Sports XC Championships, where Irene Riggs and Karrie Baloga won the respective titles. On Saturday, the high school rivals will finally go head-to-head in the U20 women’s 6K. Before winning NXN, Riggs posted the second-fastest high school girls 5K in history, finishing in 16:02.1 to win Nike Southeast Regionals. Beloga posted impressive times of her own last season, including a 16:18 5K course record to win her New York state section championship.
Before they compete at the college level next fall (Riggs committed to Stanford and Baloga signed with the University of Colorado), the runners will battle for spots on Team USA racing at the World Athletics Cross-Country Championships.
Taylor Dutch is a writer and editor living in Austin, Texas, and a former NCAA track athlete who specializes in fitness, wellness, and endurance sports coverage. Her work has appeared in Runner’s World, SELF, Bicycling, Outside, and Podium Runner.