Coaching Athletics Quarterly
Monday, 14 January 2019 18:14

Bor earns hard-fought men’s title at 2019 SimplyHealth Great Stirling XCountry

Rate this item
(0 votes)

STIRLING, Scotland -- Against the impressive backdrop of Stirling Castle, Team USATF’s Hillary Bor (Colorado Springs, Colorado) battled tough competitors and a brief misstep to come back and win his first SimplyHealth Great Stirling XCountry title.

The international competition, featuring athletes from the U.S., Great Britain and other European countries, changed venues after being held in Edinburgh for several years. Fans can watch videos from Saturday’s meet now on demand on USATF.TV+.

The senior men’s 8k included an impressive field from Team USATF including previous multi-time event winners Garrett Heath (Seattle, Washington) and Leonard Korir (Colorado Springs, Colorado, as well as David Elliott (Bellingham, Washington) and Ryan Mahalsky (Rochester, Michigan).

For the first lap, a large pack of competitors stuck together at a steady pace, crossing at around 4:34. By the end of the second lap, just over nine minutes, Korir looked poised to make a run for his third consecutive title. The 2016 Olympian sat behind Ross Millington of Team Great Britain and Adel Mechaal of Team Europe. The trio of Bor, Korir and Heath made moves toward the front in powerful fashion, overtaking Team Europe’s Napoleon Solomon.

Korir and Bor ran nearly side-by-side until Bor took off and established a small lead in the race’s latter half. Poised to finish 1-2, two Americans on the podium seemed guaranteed until Bor appeared unsure of where to turn, causing both to briefly run in the wrong direction before being redirected onto the course. The setback placed Heath in contention for the win with less than 600m to go.

With 200m remaining, Bor pushed to make up ground and made his way back up from fifth to take the win in 23:48, slightly ahead of Solomon. Korir, Heath and Elliott finished 4-5-6 in 23:49, 23:56 and 24:00, respectively.

Team USATF senior women battled the 6k field and were unable to catch Team Europe’s Elena Burkard runaway 20:01 performance. Anne-Marie Blaney (Rochester Hills, Michigan) was the highest-finishing American woman, earning 11th place in 20:29.

The mixed 4x1.5km relays ran both senior and junior teams together, giving the younger athletes a chance to compete against the elites in an exciting format. While the U.S. senior team, led by Craig Nowalk (Cypress, Texas), ran an impressive 18:01 to earn third, the junior athletes clinched second (fifth overall) just ten seconds behind their older Team USATF counterparts. Drew Bosley (Thiensville, Wisconsin), Katelynne Hart (Glen Ellyn, Illinois), Kelsey Chmiel (Greenfield Center, New York) and Jake Renfree (Knoxville, Tennessee) finished in 18:11.

Click here for the event website.

Read 423 times