ST. LOUIS – Jan. 22, 2013 – National titles in cross country will be on the line in St. Louis in two weeks.  The USA Cross Country Championships, one of the nation’s most prestigious running events, takes place at Forest Park’s Central Fields on Saturday, Feb. 2. 

Races will feature many of the country’s elite and Olympic runners.

The field includes 2004 Olympic bronze medalist Deena Kastor, who returns to the site where her Olympic journey began.  She was a silver medalist at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Forest Park.  Kastor is the American record holder in the 8K, 12K, 15K, 10-mile, 20K, half marathon and marathon.

Other notable entries include: 2-time U.S. Olympian and Missouri native Matt TegenkampShalane Flanagan, a 3-time U.S. Olympian and 5-time USA Cross Country Champion; and Bobby Mack, who aims to defend his national title in the Open Men’s 12K.

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 atwww.usacrosscountrychampionships.com.  

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.

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.