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Nishihara and Yoshimoto Lead Bukkyo to National University Women's Ekiden Title

by Brett Larner

Led by stage record performances by its pair of aces, 2010 national university 5000 m Kasumi Nishihara and national 10000 m collegiate record holder Hikari Yoshimoto, Bukkyo University won the 2010 National University Women's Ekiden on Oct. 24, covering the six-stage, 38.6 km distance in a new course record time of 2:02:44. Perpetual rivals Ritsumeikan University were second in a strong 2:04:20 after trailing Bukkyo from the start.

Bukkyo's Chinami Mori started things off with a 14-second lead over Ritsumeikan on the 5.8 km First Stage, and from there Bukkyo's next three runners progressively extended the lead to 1:18 thanks in large part to Nishihara's 28:56 stage record on the 9.1 km Third Stage. Ritsumeikan's Akane Yabushita managed to make a dent with a 12:38 stage record on the 4.0 km Fifth Stage, but anchor Yoshimoto delivered the win in style as she outran Ritsumeikan anchor Machiko Iwakawa by 50 seconds, running a new stage record of 25:14 for 8.0 km.

2010 National University Women's Ekiden Championships
click here for complete results
Stage Best Performances
First Stage (5.8 km) - Chinami Mori (Bukkyo Univ.) - 18:24
Second Stage (6.8 km) - Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 21:30
Third Stage (9.1 km) - Kasumi Nishihara (Bukkyo Univ.) - 28:56 - CR
Fourth Stage (4.9 km) - Rika Kawashima (Bukkyo Univ.) - 15:24
Fifth Stage (4.0 km) - Akane Yabushita (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 12:38 - CR
Sixth Stage (8.0 km) - Hikari Yoshimoto (Bukkyo Univ.) - 25:14 - CR

Top Team Results - 38.6 km
top six seeded for 2011
1. Bukkyo Univ. - 2:02:44 - CR
2. Ritsumeikan Univ. - 2:04:20
3. Meijo Univ. - 2:08:00
4. Matsuyama Univ. - 2:08:55
5. Josai Univ. - 2:09:18
6. Kanoya Taiku Univ. - 2:10:39
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7. Josai Kokusai Univ. - 2:10:43
8. Osaka Gakuin Univ. - 2:10:56
9. Hakuo Univ. - 2:11:16
10. Fukuoka Univ. - 2:11:19

(c) 2010 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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