2013 USA Cross Country Championships Should Be Stellar on Saturday In St. Louis – 13 Sub 13:30/28:00 Men Will Compete

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Deena Kastor And Shalene Flanagan Will Compete In Women’s Race

By LetsRun.com
January 31, 2013

We’ve always felt that cross country is the heart and soul of distance running.

Everyone lines up and tries to beat each other in a single race over a single distance running on real terrain and not some manufactured track. World cross country is about – who is the #1 best man or woman the world? Not about who is the best in each of five different mid-d/distance events.

But because there is very little money is in cross country these days (not sure if that is the cause or result of the African domination of the event), fewer people seem to be doing it and sadly world cross is now a bi-annual instead of annual affair. That’s a real shame.

Cross country is inherently more interesting than a 5,000 or 10,000 on the track and recently we have been wondering if cross country can’t be added to the Winter Olympics, if maybe it could replace say the 10,000 at the Olympics.

We’ve always sort of gone out of our way to promote xc – hell we even spent a ton of money to go to Amman Jordan to cover the event in 2009 and may go to Poland this year – and thus wanted to promote Saturday’s USA XC championships.

Cross country on the world level may be in decline, but the field for the men’s race at Saturday’s 2013 USA Cross country championships is absolutely stellar.

We took a quick look at the entrants and came up with 10 guys who have broken 28:00 for 10,000 and another three who have gone sub-13:30 for 5,000.

Scott Bauhs – 13:28/27:48
Robert Cheseret – 13:13/28:20
Joseph Chirlee – 27:43
Chris Derrick – 13:19/27:31
Elliott Heath – 13:26/28:47
Bobby Mack – 13:39/27:53
Hassan Mead –
Ben True – 13:20/27:41
Luke Puskedra – 13:46/27:56
Sean Quigley – 13:27/28:02
Dathan Ritzenhein – 12:56/27:22
Matt Tegenkamp – 12:58/27:28
Ryan Vail – 13:32/27:51

And that list doesn’t even include say someone like 4-time world xc team member Max King or Jake Riley of Hansons/Brooks who has run 13:32/28:08 (if we missed anyone else with a big PB, please email us and we’ll add it).

But ten sub-28 minute guys is a lot. A sub-28 10,000 doesn’t have the same appeal as a 4-minute mile but it’s a lot more rare.

Consider this stat that we came up with.

Before we share it with you, we’ll make you guess. Guess how many Americans have gone sub-4 in the mile and then guess how many Americans have gone sub-28 in the 10,000.

The answer?

387 American men have gone sub 4 in the mile.

Only 56 American men have gone sub 28 and 10 of them will be in St. Louis on Saturday.

The Women’s Race

Women’s running isn’t quite as deep as men’s yet but there are some big names competing on the women’s front. Only four US women have ever medalled in an Olympic distance event and two of them will be competing in St. Louis on Saturday.

Deena Kastor wins the 2007 USA XC Championship *More 2007 USA XC Coverage/Photos

Deena Kastor wins the 2007 USA XC Championship
*More 2007 USA XC Coverage/Photos

8-time USA XC champion and 2004 Olympic marathon medallist Deena Kastor returns to the US champs for the first time since 2007. She’ll have some good company as at least three other US Olympians will be competing, including race favorite and 2008 Olympic 10,000 bronze medallist Shalane Flanagan, who won bronze the last time the world cross country championships were held in 2011.

2008 US Olympic marathoner Magdalena Lewy Boulet, who was born in Poland, is looking to return to her homeland to compete at Worlds and 2012 US 5000 Olympian Kim Conley would like to punch her ticket as well.

Other ‘names’ scheduled to compete include 2012 USA Xc champ Sarah Hall,  2012 NCAA indoor 3k champ Emily Infeld, 8-time NCAA d2 champ Neely Spence-Gracey of Hansons/Brooks who ran a 32:16 10,000 in December, 2012 US club xc champ Mattie Suver, and Delilah DiCrescenzo of “Hey There” fame, who also is quite a runner nowadays (9:40 steeple).

For more info and full entries, we suggest you check out the 2013 USA XC meet page. If you live near St. Louis, we suggest you get your butt out to the event. Meet management is trying to be fan friendly as they have a weekend guide for fans going to the event and even even have a prediction contest you can enter. Sounds like they must read LetsRun.com as those are two of our staples- fans’ guides and event prediction contests!!

More previews of the junior races, see MO milesplit: *Boys preview
*Girls preview

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