Matt Baxter, Kiya Dandena, Nick Hilton and Sid Vaughn join one of the nation’s top professional teams

FLAGSTAFF, (AZ) – January 8, 2019 – HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite has announced the signing of four athletes to its roster, heading into the new year. The class is headlined by five-time NCAA first-team All American, Matt Baxter, from Northern Arizona University.

In addition to Baxter, the team has signed 2:12 marathoner, Kiya Dandena, as well as 1:03 half marathoners, Nick Hilton and Sid Vaughn. Dandena, who has been training in Flagstaff since 2016, has run 46:58 for 10 miles and recently finished third at the 2018 USATF 20k Championships. Hilton, who will try to defend his title at the Walt Disney World Marathon this Sunday, is a veteran road racer who competed at the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon. Vaughn, last year, won the Mt Sac Relays 10,000, the SACTOWN 10 mile, and the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon.

Baxter was a consistent leader on the Northern Arizona squads that won the last three NCAA Cross Country Championships. He was 11th at the 2016 Championships, second in 2017 and 15th this past November. On the track, Baxter set personal bests at 5,000 meters (13:31.00) and 10,000 meters (28:10.05) in 2018. He said he is looking forward to moving on to professional running in Flagstaff.

“I have lived in Flagstaff for three years now and I have truly come to see it as a home away from home,” Baxter said. “After doing every necessary bit of research I knew that HOKA NAZ Elite would be a perfect transition for me.”

HOKA NAZ Elite head coach Ben Rosario said Baxter, Dandena, Hilton and Vaughn all bring attributes that will make the team better.

“The beauty of these four for us is that they are all great team guys,” Rosario said. “We now have four more athletes that I believe will improve individually, but that will also help us improve collectively as a result of their work ethic, their positivity and their willingness to help one another.”

HOKA Senior Sports Marketing Manager Mike McManus shared his thoughts on the signings.

“The quality of performances put out by the HOKA NAZ Elite can only be enhanced when they strengthen their roster and include more teammates who can push each other in both training and races,” McManus said. “The addition of these world-class athletes further solidifies the team’s status as contenders on the national stage, and we look forward to seeing the results in the seasons to come.”

The HOKA NAZ Elite roster currently includes the seventh-fastest American female marathoner of all time, Kellyn Taylor, as well as nine-time national champion, Aliphine Tuliamuk and reigning USATF 10k champion, Stephanie Bruce. On the men’s side, the team features 2:12 marathoners Aaron Braun, Scott Fauble and Scott Smith. Other athletes include Ben Bruce, Erin Clark, Grayson Murphy, Danielle Shanahan, and Alice Wright.

About Northern Arizona Elite
HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite is a professional sports organization whose mission is to recruit, develop and produce distance runners to compete at the very highest level of international athletics and operate as a successful business by building a global fan base for the team and its athletes through comprehensive and ongoing marketing efforts on a local, national and international level.

HOKA ONE ONE® produces premium performance footwear for athletes of all types. Initially distinguished by their extra-thick midsoles, HOKA shoes were first embraced by competitive ultrarunners because of their enhanced cushioning and inherent stability, and today are designed to meet the running, walking and fitness needs of a wide variety of users. HOKA’s road running, trail running, hiking and fitness shoes appeal to serious runners and fitness enthusiasts alike who enjoy the shoes’ unique ride and performance characteristics. For more information, visit hokaoneone.com or follow @HOKAONEONE #timetofly

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