by Brett Larner
For the second year in a row, 13:23.57 man Yuki Sato (Team Nissin Shokuhin) stepped down to the 5000 m B-heat at the Mt. SAC Relays in Walnut, CA. Last year Sato ran his pro debut at Mt. SAC, clocking an undistinguished 13:48.71 and finishing 3rd. Not until the following week, when he clocked an almost identical split for the first half of the Brutus Hamilton Invitational 10000 m on his way to a 27:38.25 PB three seconds off the Japanese national record, was it clear that Mt. SAC was only a pace run and not an indication that he was in poor shape. At this year's Mt. SAC Relays on Apr. 16 Sato won the B-heat 5000 m in 13:44.70, blowing out the rest of the field by over 3 seconds over the last 400 m after keeping himself comfortable in 2nd for the entire race. Sato is also on the entry list for next weekend's Brutus Hamilton Invitational 10000 m, raising the question of whether he is planning on going for the national record of 27:35.09. We'll know on the 23rd. Click here to watch Sato's race.
Former Josai University ace Yuta Takahashi (Team S&B) made his pro debut in the 5000 m A-heat, running a six-second PB of 13:31.37 for 9th behind winner Dan Huling's 13:24.72. Takahashi's time was two seconds faster than star teammate Kensuke Takezawa's season-opening time at last weekend's Kanaguri Memorial Meet. Click here for the Mt. SAC 5000 m A-heat.
Kazue Kojima (Team Toyota Jidoshoki), the top university woman in recent years, also made her pro debut in the Mt. SAC women's 5000 m A-heat. She finished a decent 5th in 15:40.95, five seconds off her PB and a good start to the season but 38 seconds behind winner Sally Kipyego of Kenya. Click here to see the race.
Yoshiaki Arai was 4th in the women's 3000 mSC in 10:07.25, while women's 1500 m national record holder Yuriko Kobayashi (Team Toyota Jidoshoki) was ten seconds off her form, 6th in 4:13.88.
For complete results from this year's Mt. SAC Relays, click here.
(c) 2010 Brett Larner
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