Leo Young and Irene Riggs Win U20 USATF Cross Country Titles Impressively

by LetsRun.com
January 21, 2023

Mechanicsville, Virginia – high school star Leo Young Powerful Newbury Park High School and NXN Champion Eileen Riggs The West Virginia native won the U20 title at the USATF Cross Country Championships and will lead the Team USA U20 team at the World Cross Country Championships in Australia next month.

Riggs’ victory cemented her position as the top junior cross-country runner in America. After a dominant high school season that culminated in an NXN crown, today she beat not only her best u20 XC collegiate runner in the country, but also the Champs (Foot Locker) cross-country her champion. Carrie Baloga Who was 5th place today?

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Leo Young’s victory was a sweet redemption after the NXN Nationals, who were in the lead with 400m to go, but dropped back to 11th. Today he raced the times very well and won his final 400 meters by a commanding hand.

Women’s U20 race: Riggs dominates

Eileen Riggs (pictures later)

A month after dominating the field with NXN, Eileen Riggs The Morgantown, Virginia, woman added the US U20 title to her growing trophy cabinet by winning the 6k race in 19:45.0. Riggs moved in her 4k and quickly got away from everyone except a high school senior in Massachusetts. Ellie ShayBy 5k (hit by Riggs with a quick split at 16:40), Riggs had 5 meters on Shea. Shea held his second place with 16:42.1.

There wasn’t much drama in Team USA’s remaining four spots at the World XC Champs next month.On the way, Riggs’ lead group, Shay, 2022 champions Sariel Macchia, Abby NechanickyFoot Locker Champion Carrie Balogaand UNC Freshmen Eva Klingvale Get away from the field and finish in the top 6 in 7th place Peyton Shippe Bradley is 15 seconds behind Clingvale in sixth.

Women's U20 Results 2023 USATF Cross Country Championships

Quick take: Riggs was definitely the best high school XC runner of the year

Riggs, with his course record at NXN Southeast, Kaitlyn Tuohy course record) and her dominant 13-second win at the NXN Nationals was considered the top high school XC runner of the year. However, she never got the chance to compete with Baroga. Baroga last month won the Rockers by foot in 16:49, making her the only female champion in San Diego to do so in the past 28 years. Today they squared off and it wasn’t a contest as Riggs seemed to be in control of the whole thing and wasn’t seriously challenged in the final kilometer. It’s exciting to see how they fight against.

Riggs said over the phone that despite the high stakes, she was less nervous than during her high school XC season. She said, “I was trying not to see it that way. [as a match-up vs Baloga]I love social media, but I also hate it. They put a lot of pressure on this tournament, so I took a break from Instagram for a bit.

Men’s U20 race: Leo Young bounces back from NXN disappointment with impressive victory

At NXN a month ago, Leo Young I ran aggressively to win, but it backfired.After picking up the pace in windy conditions, Young had a 3-second lead with 400m to go, but he was a teammate at Newbury Park High School Aaron Sahlman Blown by him coming down the last hill as Young ran out of gas and faded out to 11th.

U20 USA Team (Leo Young on the left)

Young learned from his NXN experience and ran an impressive first 8000m race, beating out a number of college students to win the men’s U20 race by 7 seconds in 23:47.0.

Young, who had never raced more than 5km before, opted for a much more conservative race over NXN, finishing just 17th in the 1km. However, he gradually worked his way up the field, and by 5000 his 9-man lead was part of his pack, including his twin brother. RexFoot Locker Champion Cole Mathisonand six college freshmen.

That pack reached 5,000 as both Lex Young and Mathison dropped quickly. By 6k, he finally had a six-man World XC team with his members off the field and the next question was who would win the race. It ended up in a battle between a pair of Leo Young and a college student. Micah Wilson Wisconsin and Marco Langon of Villanova. Wilson and Langone traded blows in his final kilometer and traded the lead on numerous occasions. Young was undeterred by any movement and just hung around until the last hill with 300 meters to go.

At that point, Young hit hard. Wilson and Langone, spent fighting each other, had no reaction and Young scored a comfortable victory.

Men's U20 Results 2023 USATF Cross Country Championships

Quick Take: This Was A Very Impressive Race By Leo Young

In the final mile of the race, Young was the only high school student battling a horde of college students for the win, but he ran like a savvy veteran. He measured his efforts perfectly today when he did.

This result wasn’t all that shocking on paper – remember, Young finished second at the 2021 RunningLane Nationals Cross Country when today’s opponent was a high school senior. – But going out and beating a bunch of college runners is no easy task. Great high school runner. In the last 16 years, he is the only three high school boys to win an U20 race. German Fernandez In 2008, Conor Muntz 2015, and Leo Young today.

Lex and Leo Young’s passion for Team USA

Leo and Rex, two of the best high school runners ever, were both very passionate about representing Team USA.

When Leo was asked by the LRC after the race why he did this race instead of the indoor track season, he said: How awesome is it to represent your country in a race? Exactly. I want to one day run for the US national team, like the Olympic team or the World team. And I think junior teams are exactly the way to get there. I couldn’t be more excited about this opportunity. ”

If you want to know why Lex Young, who ran 7:57/13:43 in his junior years last year, didn’t make the team either (he finished 12th in 24:26), Leo has NXN Lex battling for the next he said. Having had hip issues, wisdom teeth extraction, and knee issues, he had only started running again a week and a half ago, and recently he hadn’t run more than 7 miles. But the team he qualified for USA Leo said Rex told him.

Quick take: college athletes dominated mostly on the male side

In the women’s U20 race, high school students swept the first five places, with only one college student in the top six. . This makes sense because it is easier for a high school girl to transition from her 5000 to 6000 kilos than it is for a high school boy to transition from her 5000 to 8000 kilos.

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