Eastbay Is The New Title Sponsor Of Nationals

For the first time in nearly three decades, the country's top individual national championship race has a new name. 

And for the first time in 18 years, there will be a race tweak, too. 

Adam Herstig, the Vice President of Champs Sports Eastbay, announced on Wednesday night that Eastbay, a subsidiary of Foot Locker, would be replacing the parent company as the new title sponsor of the year-end national high school championship race at Balboa Park in San Diego, California. 

Beyond the name change, though, ECCC will go also back to its roots, as Herstig announced only the top eight qualifiers from each region -- Northeast, South, Midwest and West -- will make the national final in San Diego, California on Dec. 11. 

After the race's initial year featured just 10 runners from around the country, a field of 32 was welcomed in 1980 and that format stuck around for 23 years. The last time a nationals race qualified 32 individuals was in 2003. Since then, each Foot Locker field has included 10 athletes from each region, totaling 40 runners in total. 

Foot Locker became the title sponsor of the national championship race in 1992, taking over from its previous sponsor Kinney, which began as the race's initial sponsor. The Kinney Cross Country Championships ran from 1979 to 1992. 

Better yet, though, registration for the ECCC region races will begin on October 15. 

Herstig announced locations and dates for the ECCC regions below: 

Northeast: Bronx, New York -- Saturday, Nov. 27

Midwest: Kenosha, Wisconsin -- Saturday, Nov. 27

South: Charlotte, North Carolina -- Saturday, Nov. 27

West: Walnut, California -- Saturday, Dec. 4