* Karrie Baloga won the Champs Sports Nationals girls race in 2022
Photo Credit: Raymond Tran/MileSplit
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In recent years, the final national championship race of the high school season has taken on various forms of title-sponsors. All were under the same umbrella.
In 2021, the long-held Foot Locker Nationals changed its name to Eastbay Nationals. In 2022, Eastbay Nationals became Champs Sports Nationals.
In 2023, Champs Sports Nationals is back to Foot Locker Nationals ...though with one hitch. This year, HOKA is a presenting sponsor of the national championship race.
Foot Locker announced the partnership on Wednesday, settling naming rights for the oldest national high school cross country race in the country. On Dec. 9, the 44th edition of the race will take place and it will be called Foot Locker Nationals presented by HOKA.
"HOKA is thrilled to partner with Foot Locker to support this historical meet and the next generation of great U.S. distance runners. The Cross Country Championship competition has always celebrated the tenacity and passion of high school athletes, and we are excited to help recognize their achievements," said Steve Doolan, Vice President and General Manager of HOKA U.S.
"Foot Locker has already proven themselves to be an invaluable ally as we work to grow our business with them, and we are elated that this partnership allows us to work together in a meaningful, expanded capacity."
Three of Foot Locker's four regional races kick off on November 25 -- Northeast, Midwest and South -- while Foot Locker West will take place on Dec. 2 and will conclude qualifiers for the four regions. The national championship, which takes place annually at Balboa Park in San Diego, California, will feature the top 10 finishers from each region and will crown a national champion.