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Takayanagi's National Jr. and Collegiate SC Record Leads University Regional Championship Results

by Brett Larner

The bulk of the regional university championship track meets took place the weekend of May 14-15, including Tokyo's highly competitive Kanto Regional University T&F Championships. The most noteworthy result of the weekend, however, came at the small Chugoku-Shikoku Regionals, where first-year Aya Takayanagi (Matsuyama Univ.) set a new national junior and national collegiate record in the women's 3000 mSC. Takayanagi, coached by Keiichi Murai, the husband of two-time World Championships marathon medalist Reiko Tosa, ran 10:21.41 to set the pair of new marks, and excellent start to her university career.



The Kanto region is the site of the toughest men's racing in Japan, and the 10000 m is always the highlight of the meet. This year did not disappoint as junior Tsubasa Hayakawa (Tokai Univ.) overcame strong winds to beat defending champion Benjamin Gandu (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) for the win in a PB of 28:41.26 in the Div. 1 race. Hayakawa ran a patient race, ignoring a mid-race surge by Gandu and gradually pulling him back before running away with a long push over the last km. Senior Ryuji Kashiwabara (Toyo Univ.) was 3rd, with six of the top ten setting PB marks despite the conditions.

The Div. 2 race came down to a three-way battle between Takushoku Univ. second-years Duncan Muthee and John Maina and newcomer Joseph Onsarigo (Sozo Gakuen Univ.), a first-year coached by Stephen Mayaka. Although both Muthee and Maina have broken 28 minutes, Onsarigo was aggressive in attacking the pair and ultimately lost out by only 0.03 seconds as Muthee took the win in 28:52.42. Shinobu Kubota (Komazawa Univ.) was the top Japanese runner, 4th in 29:04.62.

In the women's 10000 m, first-year Mai Shinozuka (Chuo Univ.) had an outstanding debut as she took the win in 33:57.83, the only woman under 34 minutes. Shinozuka outkicked pre-race favorite Miki Yamada (Josai Univ.) by 11 seconds after the pair ran much of the race together.



The 1500 m at Kanto has seen a trend in recent years of more and more long-distance men moving down for the spring season. Stars of the Hakone Ekiden, where university run roughly a half-marathon distance, won both the Div. 1 and Div. 2 races over the true middle-distance runners. Hakone champion Waseda University's Yuki Yagi and Tatsuro Okazaki went 1-2 in the very slow Div. 1 final, Kokushikan University ekiden ace Taku Fujimoto 3rd. While the final was slow, the Div. 1 Heat 3 saw the top five, including Fujimoto and Asian half-marathon jr. area record holder Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) set PBs under 3:48. This means that all five qualified for the 1500 m at next month's National Track & Field Championships and may choose to line up in the 1500 m there.

The Div. 2 1500 m final was one of the best races of the meet, a duel between two more Hakone big names. Second-year John Maina (Takushoku Univ.) led throughout, tailed by fellow second-year Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa). Maina eventually opened a large gap and Yufu was overtaken by little-known Yusuke Umeki (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) with 200 m to go, but entering the home straight Yufu summoned up a superb kick to pass both competitors and claim the win. Chikako Mori (Daito Bunka) took the win in the women's 1500 m.

The Kanto Regionals continue next weekend with the men and women's 5000 m, the men's half-marathon, and the men's 4 x 100 m relay featuring 2010 World Jr. 200 m champion Shota Iizuka (Chuo Univ.).

While Kanto is the center of university men's running, the Kansai region is similarly a hub for collegiate women's distance running. While most of #1-ranked Bukkyo University's best sat the meet out, Ritsumeikan University leader Hanae Tanaka dominated, taking both the 5000 m and 10000 m in strong times of 15:57.43 and 33:06.75. Sayuri Oka (Osaka Taiku Univ.) took the runner-up spot in both races, while Ritsumeikan's outstanding Risa Takenaka could do no better than 3rd in the 5000 m in her first main race back from injury.

Chugoku-Shikoku Regional University T&F Championships
Okayama, 5/14-15/11
Women's 3000 mSC
1. Aya Takayanagi (Matsuyama Univ.) - 10:21.41 - NUR, NJR
2. Rena Yamaoka (Matsuyama Univ.) - 10:38.24
3. Sayaka Yamauchi (Aitan Joshi Univ.) - 11:45.37

Kanto Regional University T&F Championships
National Stadium, Tokyo, 5/14-15/11
click division headers for video
1. Tsubasa Hayakawa (Tokai Univ.) - 28:41.26 - PB
2. Benjamin Gandu (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 28:49.40
3. Ryuji Kashiwabara (Toyo Univ.) - 28:56.37
4. Hirotaka Tamura (Nihon Univ.) - 28:58.50 - PB
5. Yo Yazawa (Waseda Univ.) - 28:58.83
6. Keita Shitara (Toyo Univ.) - 29:04.61 - PB
7. Yuta Shitara (Toyo Univ.) - 29:08.39 - PB
8. Sho Matsueda (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 29:09.98 - PB
9. Cosmas Ondiba (Kenya/Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 29:23.77
10. Daichi Motomura (Tokai Univ.) - 29:25.25 - PB

1. Duncan Muthee (Kenya/Takushoku Univ.) - 28:52.42
2. Joseph Onsarigo (Kenya/Sozo Gakuen Univ.) - 28:52.45
3. John Maina (Kenya/Takushoku Univ.) - 28:58.99
4. Shinobu Kubota (Komazawa Univ.) - 29:04.62
5. Aritaka Kajiwara (Shorin Univ.) - 29:24.30

1. Mai Shinozuka (Chuo Univ.) - 33:57.83 - debut
2. Miki Yamada (Josai Univ.) - 34:08.65
3. Mayumi Watanabe (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 34:10.40 - debut
4. Chitose Shibata (Tokyo Gakuin Univ.) - 34:19.15 - PB
5. Moeno Nakamura (Josai Kokusai Univ.) - 34:21.50 - PB

1. Ikuto Yufu (Komazawa Univ.) - 3:48.27
2. John Maina (Kenya/Takushoku Univ.) - 3:48.68
3. Yusuke Umeki (Ryutsu Keizai Univ.) - 3:49.79

1. Yuki Yagi (Waseda Univ.) - 3:53.14
2. Tatsuro Okazaki (Waseda Univ.) - 3:53.21
3. Taku Fujimoto (Kokushikan Univ.) - 3:53.32

Men's 1500 m Div. 1 Heat 3
1. Hideyuki Tanaka (Juntendo Univ.) - 3:47.51
2. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 3:47.56
3. Yuta Minakawa (Hosei Univ.) - 3:47.73
4. Taku Fujimoto (Kokushikan Univ.) - 3:47.75
5. Hiroyuki Uno (Toyo Univ.) - 3:47.83

1. Chikako Mori (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 4:24.55
2. Yuki Arai (Chuo Univ.) - 4:25.70
3. Haruka Mochizuki (Juntendo Univ.) - 4:27.36

Kansai Regional University T&F Championships
Nagai Stadium, Osaka, 5/12-15/11
Women's 10000 m
1. Hanae Tanaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:06.75
2. Sayuri Oka (Osaka Taiku Univ.) - 33:13.12
3. Machiko Iwakawa (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 33:30.59

Women's 5000 m
1. Hanae Tanaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 15:57.43
2. Sayuri Oka (Osaka Taiku Univ.) - 16:02.73
3. Risa Takenaka (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 16:02.94

Men's Half-Marathon
1. Jackson Kwarai (Tanzania/Nara Sangyo Univ.) - 1:07:19
2. Masashi Okuno (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 1:07:21

Men's 10000 m
1. Titus Kihara (Kenya/Nara Sangyo Univ.) - 30:29.89

Men's 5000 m
1. Toshiki Imazaki (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 14:26.04

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

誠人 said…
According to Waseda's website, Yazawa's PR for the 10,000 is 28:45.56; so today's race wasn't his PR.
Brett Larner said…
Whoops, right you are. The start list had his SB down at 28:58.9.

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