Call it the 8k race, because that's what it is.
If a track meet has a 5k and a 10k, and the 5k has a stronger field, does that mean everyone who runs the 10k is in a "JV race" or a "B race?"
There are two distances being offered at this cross country meet. One is a 4k. The other is an 8k. Rupp and Ritz have elected to run in the 8k. If there was a team component in the 4k, would they run that? Perhaps. Who knows? They're not running the 4k, they're doing the other event. It could be because 4k might require a little more sharpness than either runner will have then, it could be because of the team thing, it could be because Salazar doesn't want them racing 4k, it could even (horror of horrors!) be about MONEY (which, considering they're professional distance runners, shouldn't be so scandalous). Regardless of why they're doing it, the race Ritz and Rupp are running should be called the 8k. The other race should be called the 4k, because that's what he is.
Neither runner, to wit, has ever "dodged" African competition before. Ritz ran against all comers in the Belfast XC race he won a few years ago, and since then has taken on anyone who shows up in any race he's entered. He won the Healthy Kidney 10k against a pretty good field, he ran the two-mile at Pre in 07 against runners he knew would probably toast him, he ran with courage and toughness at Beijing to finish in the top 10 of an Olympic marathon, ran with the leaders until he blew up at London, and was 6th in the world over 10,000m in 2009. I think he had a pretty good late season 5k against some African runners as well. . .
Rupp, for all the jokes about Rupp-certification, has not shied away from competition either. While in college, he took on some African runners to set an AR for 5000i, and afterward, went under the old record in a losing effort to Lagat (and did Rupp just sit back? No, when the pace lagged, he went to the front and pushed). While in college, he ran in an Olympic Games, running near his PR and finishing faster than any American had run at the Games, and in a World Championships, finishing off a long and stellar year. Last year, in his first year as a pro, he PR'd at 3k, 5k, and 10k (and maybe the mile? Not sure off the top of my head). For all the hemming and hawing over the 10k AR attempt, it was Rupp who pushed the pace the latter half of the race. Let's not forget that Rupp did break the old AR, while of course giving credit to Solinsky's incredible run.
Sorry they don't live up to your standards, Wejo, but I think both of these runners have a pretty good record when it comes to racing the best in the world. I don't think electing to race an 8k over racing a 4k makes them JV runners or participants in a JV race.