The USA team consisted of 29 athletes in Belgrade, one of the biggest cities in Serbia. The World Cross Country Championships were held on March 30, 2024, in Belgrade. This is a report from USATF media communications on the performances of the US team in cross-country. 

BELGRADE — Ellie Shea placed 15th individually to lead the United States women’s U20 team to a fourth-place finish, and Weini Kelati matched that with a 15th-place effort in the senior women’s race to lead Team USATF in very warm conditions Saturday at the World Cross Country Championships in Serbia’s capital city.

Shea, last year’s USATF U20 champion on the track in the 1500 and 3000, who was 10th at the World XC meet the previous year in Australia to help the U.S. to a team bronze, was the first non-East African to cross the finish line in the U20 6K race, clocking 20:50, with teammate Allie Zealand next across the line in 16th. Mary Dalton was 28th, and Zariel Macchia was 29th, giving the Americans 88 points to edge Great Britain in the fourth position. Ethiopia swept the top three places and won 12 points, while Kenya (28 points) and Uganda (48) took the team silver and bronze.

Going through the first lap in 12th place in the senior women’s 10K, Kelati cranked up the pace in the second 2K lap and moved up to seventh with a 5:56 split. She kept that place through 6K in 18:29 and 8K in 24:47. Still, that rapid tempo took its toll on the final lap as Kelati dropped back and finished in 32:53. Equaling the performance of the U20 squad, the U.S. senior women were fourth in the team standings, with Allie Ostrander taking 30th, Abby Nichols 33rd and Emma Grace Hurley 35th to tally 113 points. Kenya dominated the podium, with all three medalists winning with a perfect score of 10, and Ethiopia edged Uganda for the silver.

Team USATF’s men placed seventh in both competitions, led by Anthony Rotich’s 22nd-place individual finish in the senior 10K and Kevin Sanchez’s 24th-place effort in the U20 8K race.

Rotich was 14th through the first 2K circuit before yielding a few places over the next loop. He was 25th with one lap remaining and picked up three places heading to the finish, going across the line in 29:22. Emmanuel Bor made up a lot of ground as the race progressed, going from 47th at 2K to 35th at 4K and then 25th at 6K, finishing 25th in 29:27. At the same time, Ahmed Muhumed was 36th in 29:53 and Christian Allen 37th in 29:54 as the U.S. scored 120 points in seventh. Kenya easily won the team title ahead of Uganda and Ethiopia.

In the U20 event, Sanchez and 2023 25th-place finisher Kole Mathison were in the middle of the pack through the first lap and moved into the top 30 on the next circuit. Sanchez held on to take 24th in 24:31, with Mathison 30th in 24:49. Noah Breker (45th) and Aidan Jones (54th) rounded out the American scorers, yielding a team total of 153 points. Kenya topped the podium with 15, six ahead of Ethiopia, and Uganda claimed the bronze.

The quartet of Kasey KnevelbaardElla DonaghuJohn Reniewicki, and Katie Izzo finished eighth in the mixed relay in 23:21. Eighth after the first lap, the U.S. moved into medal position on the next two carries, with Donaghu running the second-fastest second leg and Reniewicki the fifth-best third leg but couldn’t hold the position on the anchor. Kenya won over Ethiopia and Great Britain.


U20 WOMEN 6K (4TH – 88 POINTS)

15. Ellie Shea 20:50
16. Allie Zealand 21:08
28. Mary Dalton 21:40
29. Zariel Macchia 21:42
41. Jolena Quarzo 22:13
49. Maddie Gardiner 22:36

SENIOR WOMEN 10K (4TH – 113)

15. Weini Kelati 32:53
30. Allie Ostrander 34:11
33. Abby Nichols 34:27
35. Emma Grace Hurley 34:32
58. Cailie Logue 36:14
DNF. Katie Camarena

U20 MEN 8K (7TH – 153)

24. Kevin Sanchez 24:31
30. Kole Mathison 24:49
45. Noah Breker 25:22
54. Aidan Jones 25:48
68. Birhanu Harriman 26:13
DNF. Berkley Nance

SENIOR MEN 10K (7TH – 120)

22. Anthony Rotich 29:22
25. Emmanuel Bor 29:37
36. Ahmed Muhumed 29:53
37. Christian Allen 29:54
52. Anthony Camerieri 30:21
58. Reid Buchanan 30:27

MIXED RELAY (8TH – 23:21)

Kasey Knevelbaard 6:25 – 8th
Ella Donaghu 5:35 – 3rd
John Reniewicki 5:08 – 3rd
Katie Izzo 6:13 – 8th