15 DEC 2010 General News Edinburgh, Scotland

Ritzenhein and Rupp to lead USA squad at Edinburgh XC

Dathan Ritzenhein en route to national cross country title No. 3 (Kirby Lee)Dathan Ritzenhein en route to national cross country title No. 3 (Kirby Lee) © Copyright
Dathan Ritzenhein and Galen Rupp will lead the USA squad in the Men's International Team Challenge on 8 January at the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country, the fourth meeting of the IAAF Cross Country Permit series 2010/11.

Team Captain Ritzenhein, and Rupp form a nine-strong United States squad. They will take on the Great Britain and Northern Ireland senior under 23 and under 20 sides, and a European Select Team over eight kilometres in Holyrood Park.
 
Ritzenhein has a world class track profile. A seasoned cross country performer, he has a World Junior Championships bronze medal under his belt, and won his third National cross country crown earlier this year.
 
Rupp, 24, is one of the most exciting prospects to have ever emerged from the US. This year, the 2008 Olympic 10,000m finalist has significantly lowered his 3000m, 5000m and 10,000m personal bests, his self confidence soaring as a result.
 
Under the guidance of legendary Marathon runner Alberto Salazar, winner of three successive New York City victories in the 1980s, the pair have helped spearhead a revival in the flagging distance running reputation of their country.
 
They are both based in Portland, where Salazar's coaching, as head of the Nike Oregon Project is proving highly successful in the race to end the African domination of long distance running.
 
Many world class athletes have visited his training camp, including Great Britain's Paula Radcliffe, who still maintains contact with the Project after spending time there at the beginning of 2010.
 
"Salazar will also be coming to Edinburgh as an ambassador for the event. He sees the first ever staging of the Team Challenge as a welcome and important addition to the global calendar," said Andy Caine, the meeting's elite athletes manager.
 
"The Team Challenge is a major opportunity to build up standards, in a bid to challenge the ongoing domination of the African nations, particularly Ethiopia and Kenya.
 
"The inclusion of Ritzenhein and Rupp and the overall strength of its side is a clear indication that the Americans are taking this event very seriously."

The BBC televised meeting will also feature men and women's international 4km and 6km contests.

Organisers for the IAAF