Shelby Houlihan won the USATF Cross-Country Championships on Saturday, beating one of the deepest fields in recent history. Houlihan bested American half-marathon record-holder Molly Huddle, American steeplechase record-holder Courtney Frerichs and 2016 NCAA XC champion Karissa Schweizer. Saturday was the longest race of the 5,000m record-holder’s life so far, and her first cross-country race since 2014. Even more impressive, Houlihan closed in a 3:02 kilometre.
The Bowerman Track Club runner or Shelbo800 as she’s known on Instagram, is a name you should remember. This 800m runner turned distance phenom has won the USATF 1,500m, 5,000m and 10K cross-country races–and done that in the space of less than one year. She also set a new American 5,000m record this past summer at Heusden.
.@shelbo800 is so good at running that she makes other people who are good at running look like they’re not good at running.
Welcome to my TED talk.
— DUMBFLOTRACK (@DumbFlotrack) February 2, 2019
The runner’s Instagram handle has also become a bit of a joke in the running community. Houlihan was an 800m runner in college at Arizona State University, with a personal best of 2:01.12 from 2014. What was once a time she was very proud of has now become one of her weaker personal bests. She’s now run a shocking 3:57.34 for the 1,500m and 14:34.45 in the 5,000m.
Second place on Saturday went to Huddle, who’s preparing for the London marathon this April and third place went to Marielle Hall. With the 2019 world championships and 2020 Olympics looming, keep an eye out for Houlihan, because we have the feeling she’s just getting started. She will likely go on to represent the U.S. at the world cross-country championships in Denmark this March.