USATF Men’s XC Champs — Teare Can Tear In Cross Too

The USATF 1500 titlist in ’22, Cooper Teare claimed his second crown as a harrier, putting 30 meters on the field over the final kilometer. (KEVIN MORRIS)

MECHANICSVILLE, VIRGINIA, January 20 — In a controlled effort with a well-timed finish, Cooper Teare showed that he is just as dangerous in cross country as he is on the track, winning the USATF title in 29:06.2 on a mostly flat but muddy course in cold conditions. It was a far cry from his last previous harrier race, a painful 247th-place finish at the ’21 NCAA Championships in Tallahassee.

Cooper’s triumph also shut up any doubters who might have thought that his move from the Bowerman TC back to the guidance of his college coach, Ben Thomas, was a mistake.

Cooper and teammate Cole Hocker led early — before it really mattered — passing through the first K in 2:53.6 at the head of a huge pack. Before the first loop was finished, the real cross country vets, led by brothers Hillary and Emmanuel Bor (the defending champion), took over. They passed 2K in 5:56.7. Behind them ran Colorado alum Morgan Pearson, Ahmed Muhumed of HOKA NAZ Elite, Benard Keter and BYU’s Christian Allen. Cooper passed the post 8th.

Not a lot changed over the next two laps. Emmanuel Bor stayed at the front until near the end of lap 3, when Muhumed and Pearson moved ahead. The tempo remained steady, with kilos passing in the 2:54–2:59 range. Over lap 4, however, the pace got faster up front (2:52.2) as the lead pack thinned down from 13 to 9. Muhumed and Pearson traded exploratory surges.

Then Pearson made a break. A 4-time All-America while at Colorado, he’s already got his Paris berth locked up in the triathlon, where he has spent most of his time since ’21. Here at Pole Green Park he ran hard and kept shifting his trajectory to try to keep the opposition from hanging onto his shirttails, so to speak. It nearly worked.

A lead that stretched to nearly 10m concerned Teare, who left the pack to come after Pearson. At 8K, Pearson led, 23:32.3–23:33.0. Though his torrid pace was doing plenty of damage downstream, he could not shake Teare. With a kilometer to go, Teare went wide around Pearson in a devastating surge. He looked back plenty, but all he saw over his shoulder was a growing margin.

Teare celebrated early before crossing 5.1 seconds ahead of fast-finishing Anthony Rotich (29:11.3). Muhumed fought past Pearson in the final stages to take 3rd in 29:12.3. The remaining team spots —tentative, pending who accepts the call to Serbia in March — went to Emmanuel Bor (29:26.5) and Allen (29:27.0), with Reid Buchanan (29:28.1), a veteran from last year’s World Cross team, just missing.


10K: 1. Cooper Teare (Virginia) 29:06.2; 2. Anthony Rotich (Colorado) 29:11.3; 3. Ahmed Muhumed (HokaNAZ) 29:12.3; 4. Morgan Pearson (Colorado) 29:15.5; 5. Emmanuel Bor (Colorado) 29:26.5; 6. Christian Allen (Utah) 29:27.0; 7. Reid Buchanan (NWoodsAC) 29:28.1; 8. Anthony Camerieri (Ohio) 29:34.8; 9. Drew Hunter (Colorado) 29:37.2; 10. Ryan Ford (ZapE) 29:39.8; 11. Hillary Bor (Colorado) 29:46.7; 12. Cole Hocker (Oregon) 29:52.3; 13. Chris Maxon (HPointAC) 30:06.9; 14. John Aho (Illinois) 30:07.1; 15. John S. Tatter (North Carolina) 30:12.7.

Junior Men

8K: 1. Kevin Sanchez (Texas) 24:06.6; 2. Kole Mathison (unat) 24:17.9; 3. Noah Breker (Minnesota) 24:20.5; 4. Aidan Jones (Minnesota) 24:22.8; 5. Birhanu Harriman (Virginia) 24:24.3; 6. Berkley Nance (Virginia) 24:25.2; 7. Matthew Donis (California) 24:34.7; 8. Aidan Cox (New Hampshire) 24:36.8; 9. Liam Newhart (Wisconsin) 24:38.5.