World Athletics

Sara Hall Headlines Team USA For World Athletics Road Running Championships

Sara Hall Headlines Team USA For World Athletics Road Running Championships

Some of the nation’s top milers, 5k runners, and half-marathoners will make up Team USA at the World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia.

Sep 13, 2023 by Joe Battaglia
Sara Hall Headlines Team USA For World Athletics Road Running Championships

(press release)

INDIANAPOLIS — Some of the nation’s top milers, 5km runners, and half-marathoners are set to hit the pavement at the inaugural World Athletics Road Running Championships in Riga, Latvia on October 1.

A veteran across each of Riga’s distances, Sara Hall leads the American squad headed to Latvia with her entry in the women’s half marathon. The 40-year-old Hall set an American record in the half marathon at Houston in 2022 with a 67:15 and has a best of 69:31 this season. She’s joined at the distance by Sarah Buchanan, who set her season best of 70:15 in Japan, along with Molly Grabill, the fourth-place finisher at the USATF Half Marathon Championships in Fort Worth. Amber Zimmerman set her PB of 70:55 at Houston in January and won the Philadelphia Marathon last year.

19-year-old Huntington University sophomore Addy Wiley is set to race the mile alongside 1500m NACAC bronze medalist Helen Schlachtenhaufen. Wiley has been on a tear recently, having won the women’s 1500 at the NACAC U23 Championships in July in 4:05.84 before clocking a 3:59.17 for eighth at the Memorial Van Damme Diamond League meeting in Brussels. On the road, Wiley clocked a PB of 4:31 for third at the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships. Schlachtenhaufen holds an outdoor mile PB of 4:27.09, set in June of 2018 and a road mile PB of 4:29.4, set at the 2018 Fifth Avenue Mile.

Weini Kelati and Fiona O’Keeffe will pair up to take on the 5 km to round out a strong women’s team in Riga. The pair’s 5km road personal bests both were set at the B.A.A. 5K - Kelati’s at 15:04 set as she placed second in 2022, and O’Keeffe’s at 15:24 in 2023. Earlier this summer, Kelati clocked a 14:53.41 for fourth at the Fast 5000 in Montesson, France. O’Keeffe showed some speed during the indoor season, clocking a 15:01.34 at the Boston University Valentine Invitational.

This year's USATF champion, Jacob Thomson, heads a strong contingent in the men's half marathon. Thomson edged Leonard Korir by one second to take the U.S. title in a PB 62:38, and Futsum Zienaselassie was third in that race in 62:39. Zienaselassie has a PB of 61:21 and won the USATF 10-mile title in 2019. He placed ninth at the Rotterdam Marathon in April in a PB 2:09:40. Biya Simbassa placed fourth at the USATF Championships and has the fastest PB of the U.S. quartet at 60:37, set last year at Valencia, Spain. Simbassa won the USATF seven-mile title in July and set a marathon PB of 2:10:34 at Prague in May. Winner of the Chicago half in June, Reed Fischer has a PB of 61:37 from 2020 and sports a season best of 61:51.

Two-time USATF road mile national champion Sam Prakel teams up with youngster Hobbs Kessler to give Team USATF a potent duo in the mile. On the track, Prakel was fourth in the 1500 at the Toyota USATF Championships and lowered his PB at that distance to 3:34.63 in June. He won the USATF Indoor Championships 3000 at Albuquerque in February and has a career best of 3:48 in the road mile. Kessler, 20, has won a pair of road miles this season and dropped his 1500 track PB to 3:32.61 at the USATF LA GP in May. He set a U.S. U20 record in the 1500 in 2021 with a 3:34.36 clocking.

Last year's NCAA 5000 champion, Olin Hacker has a track best of 13:09.94 and has also run 13:27 in 2023 for a road 5k. He placed third in the 3000 at the USATF Indoor Championships and was seventh in the 5000 at the Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships. Ahmed Muhumed finished right behind Hacker at the BAA 5k and had the same time at 13:27. Muhumed took eighth in the 5000 at the Toyota USATF Outdoor Championships.

Competition begins at 11:50 a.m. EET on October 1 with the women’s 5km. A full timetable and live results can be found here.