FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Director of Communications & New Media
St. Louis Sports Commission
3-TIME U.S. OLYMPIAN DATHAN RITZENHEIN TO COMPETE IN UPCOMING USA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
THE NIKE-SPONSORED STAR IS COMING OFF A 2:07 MARATHON THIS PAST FALL
The men's field now includes three-time Olympian and three-time USA Cross Country Champion, Dathan Ritzenhein, who recently became the third-fastest American marathoner of all-time when he ran 2:07:47 at this fall's Bank of America Chicago Marathon. Ritzenhein has excelled in cross country throughout his career, having won the NCAA Cross Country title in college as well as a bronze medal at the 2001 IAAF World Junior Championships. He also captured back-to-back Foot Locker National High School titles in 1999 and 2000.
Ritzenehein will be challenged on the men's side by 2-time U.S. Olympian and Missouri native Matt Tegenkamp, 13-time NCAA All-American Chris Derrick and defending champion Bobby Mack. The open women's race will feature two Olympic Bronze Medalists in Shalane Flanagan and Deena Kastor as well as 2012 Olympian Kim Conley.
In addition to the national championship events, organizers are staging two races open to the public: the Big River Running Company High School 4K (open to 7th through 12th graders) and the FLEET FEET 4K for runners of all ages. Both races are on the same course as the Championship races. Registration is available at www.usacrosscountrychampionships.com.
PRE-RACE PASTA DINNER
On Friday, Feb. 1, the eve of the Championships, St. Louis University High School will host a pre-race pasta dinner and show a special presentation of the cross country documentary “The Long Green Line.” After the film, legendary cross country coach Joe Newton, who stars in the movie, will be part of a Q & A session. The movie follows the famous York High School team from Elmhurst, Ill., chasing the school’s 25th state title. The event is presented by Race STL and is open to the public. Admission is $20. Registration is available until Jan. 31 at www.usacrosscountrychampionships.com.
USA CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS SCHEDULE:
Friday, Feb. 1:
6:15 p.m. – Pre-race pasta dinner presented by Race STL at St. Louis University High School
7 p.m. – Special showing of “The Long Green Line” at St. Louis University High School
Saturday, Feb. 2:
8:30 a.m. – FLEET FEET 4K (Community Race)
9:15 a.m. – Masters Women’s 6K presented by the Running Center of Saint Louis
10 a.m. – Masters Men’s 8K presented by Toolen’s Running Start
11 a.m. – Big River Running Company High School 4K
11:30 a.m. – Junior Women’s 6K presented by the St. Louis Sports Commission
12:15 p.m. – Junior Men’s 8K presented by Missouri Running Company
1 p.m. – Open Women’s 8K presented by Michelob Ultra
1:45 p.m. – Open Men’s 12K presented by the SAINT LOUIS TRACK CLUB
The 2013 USA Cross Country Championships are produced by the St. Louis Sports Commission with support from Big River Running Company, FLEET FEET Sports, Missouri Running Company, Toolen's Running Start, The Running Center of St. Louis and the SAINT LOUIS TRACK CLUB. The event will draw more than 600 athletes to St. Louis. For more information on the 2013 USA Cross Country Championships, visit www.usacrosscountrychampionships.com.