by Brett Larner
Stanford University's Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational holds a special place in the Japanese record books, being the meet where both the current men's and women's 10000 m national records were set. Last year 5000 m national record holder Takayuki Matsumiya (Team Konica Minolta) fell just short of breaking the 10000 m national record, with Satoshi Irifune (Team Kanebo) a short distance back, likewise clearing the 28-minute mark. This year Irifune was slated to run again, but the outbreak of the swine flu pandemic caused Team Kanebo management to pull him at the last minute. The decision left seven mostly young, lesser-known Japanese runners to compete in three events.
Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) was first up in the men's 3000 m SC. Running a stable pace in the middle of the pack Umegae appeared to be on course for a slim PB and even looked to be advancing in the final km, but he faded over the final lap and lost seven places to come home in 14th in 8:42.15, a disappointing six seconds off his PB.
In the men's 5000 m, Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) completed his six-week California tour with his best time of the trip. After frontrunning last week's Brutus Hamilton Invitational 5000 m only to drop back to a 13:48 in the depths of the field, at Stanford he was patient and took his time working his way up in the later stages of the race. His time of 13:33.68 was his best this season but still far from his best of 13:21.49 and showing that he still has ground to make up after taking 2008 off due to illness. Also in the 5000 m, Team Honda captain Suehiro Ishikawa likewise wrapped up his California stay with another PB a week after clocking a new 10000 m best at the Brutus Hamilton Invitational. Ishikawa was 15th in 13:45.95, a PB by three seconds.
Ishikawa's teammate Seigo Ikegami (Team Honda) was in the men's 10000 m along with Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota), Tomoaki Bungo (Team Asahi Kasei) and Yuki Iwai (Team Asahi Kasei). Ikegami, who just off his PB in the 10000 m last week at Brutus Hamilton, went out in the lead pack at Japanese national record pace while Iwai, Oda and Bungo hung back and ran as a bloc. When Ikegami faded it was Iwai's turn to move up, but although he maintained contact with the leaders for a brief time he was not up to the challenge and faded to 6th, clipped at the line by American James Carney. All four Japanese runners finished in the 28-minute range.
Complete results for the 2009 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational are available here. Selected results are listed below.
2009 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational - Top Finishers
Men's 3000 m SC
1. Ben Bruce (U.S.A.) - 8:26.08
2. Josh McAdams (U.S.A.) - 8:27.52
3. Robin Watson (U.S.A.) - 8:29.63
14. Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) - 8:42.15
Men's 5000 m
1. Alistair Cragg (Ireland) - 13:22.36
2. Matt Tegenkamp (U.S.A.) - 13:22.60
3. Sam Chelanga (Kenya / Liberty Univ.) - 13:28.31
11. Yuichiro Ueno (Team S&B) - 13:33.68
15. Suehiro Ishikawa (Team Honda) - 13:45.95 - PB
Men's 10000 m
1. Tim Nelson (U.S.A.) - 27:36.99
2. Simon Bairu (Canada) - 27:50.76
3. Shawn Forrest (U.S.A. / Arkansas Univ.) - 27:52.10
6. Yuki Iwai (Team Asahi Kasei) - 28:23.97
8. Yoshinori Oda (Team Toyota) - 28:39.15
9. Seigo Ikegami (Team Honda) - 28:40.53
13. Tomoaki Bungo (Team Asahi Kasei) - 28:57.45
(c) 2009 Brett Larner
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