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High School Regionals Girls' 3000 m National Roundup - 33 Under 9:30

by Brett Larner

The regional qualifier meets for next month's National High School Track and Field Championships took place across Japan between June 17 and 20. Of particular note as an illustration of the depth and development of Japanese distance running at the high school level, the girls' 3000 m event featured thirty Japanese and three Kenyan girls under 9:30 between nine regional meets over the weekend. By contrast, according to the ARRS database only four American high school girls broke 9:30 for 3000 m in all of 2010, with three so far this season.

Kenyan Susan Wylim of Sera H.S. was the top of the crowd with a meet record 9:03.89 at the Chugoku regional meet. Sera's Charles Ndirangu also won the boys' 5000 m with a meet record of 13:44.61. Sera H.S. is most well-known for producing Bitan Karoki (Kenya/Team S&B), who earlier this season won Stanford Univesity's Cardinal Invitational 10000 m in stunning style.

Three other girls, all Japanese, broke 9:10 in the Chugoku and North Kyushu regional meets, the fastest of them Tomoka Kimura (Chikushi Jogakuen H.S.) who clocked 9:05.19 for the win in North Kyushu. With nine girls nationwide at 9:15 or faster and another half-dozen close behind the National Championships 3000 m should be dramatic and fast-paced. Kimura and Chugoku runner-up Katsuki Suga (Kojokan H.S.) will represent Japan in the 3000 m at next month's World Youth Championships in Lille, France.

Regionals action continues with the Hokkaido Regional H.S. T&F Championships June 21-24.

2011 Chugoku Regional H.S. T&F Championships
Hiroshima, 6/17-19/11
Girls' 3000 m
1. Susan Wylim (Kenya/Sera H.S.) - 9:03.89
2. Katsuki Suga (Kojokan H.S.) - 9:09.53
3. Miyuki Oka (Kojokan H.S.) - 9:15.48
4. Yuki Maekawa (Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S.) - 9:20.49
5. Yoshie Fukuya (Saikyo H.S.) - 9:25.82

2011 North Kyushu Regional H.S. T&F Championships
Kitakyushu, 6/16-19/11
Girls' 3000 m
1. Tomoka Kimura (Chikushi Jogakuen H.S.) - 9:05.19
2. Shiori Yano (Kitakyushu Shiritsu H.S.) - 9:07.19
3. Shiho Mihara (Isahaya H.S.) - 9:29.83

2011 Tokai Regional H.S. T&F Championships
Ecopa Stadium, Fukuroi, 6/17-19/11
Girls' 3000 m
1. Wainaina Murgi (Kenya/Toyokawa H.S.) - 9:10.80
2. Mai Shoji (Okazaki Gakuen H.S.) - 9:14.99
3. Yuka Ando (Toyokawa H.S.) - 9:15.18
4. Maki Sakakibara (Hamakitanishi H.S.) - 9:15.63
5. Saria Kurokawa (Toyokawa H.S.) - 9:19.00
6. Masao Kiyota (Chukyo Prep H.S.) - 9:19.52

2011 South Kanto Regional H.S. T&F Championships
Chiba Sports Center Stadium, Chiba, 6/17-20/11
Girls' 3000 m
1. Yuriko Kosaki (Narita H.S.) - 9:17.16
2. Momoko Akiyama (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 9:18.41
3. Sakiko Naito (Shiritsu Funabashi H.S.) - 9:28.91

2011 Kinki Regional H.S. T&F Championships
Nagai Stadium, Osaka, 6/16-19/11
Girls' 3000 m
1. Mika Kobayashi (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 9:21.22
2. Ayano Ikeuchi (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:21.51
3. Nanako Kanno (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:21.61
4. Moe Kyuma (Abe H.S.) - 9:23.92
5. Mizuki Matsuda (Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 9:25.01
6. Haruka Kyuma (Abe H.S.) - 9:26.41
7. Ayana Takeuchi (Nara Ikuei H.S.) - 9:29.39

2011 North Kanto Regional H.S. T&F Championships
Chiba Sports Center Stadium, Chiba, 6/17-20/11
Girls' 3000 m
1. Miyuki Gokan (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:23.09
2. Miki Kobayashi (Inagakuen H.S.) - 9:25.49
3. Asuka Nagai (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:31.75

2011 South Kyushu Regional H.S. T&F Championships
Kagoshima, 6/16-18/11
Girls' 3000 m
1. Nozomi Nishiyama (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:23.83
2. Misuzu Nakahara (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:26.05
3. Ayano Kubo (Kobayashi H.S.) - 9:26.71
4. Marina Otsu (Kobayashi H.S.) - 9:28.77
5. Mio Chijiwa (Chiharadai H.S.) - 9:29.96

2011 Tohoku Regional H.S. T&F Championships
Aomori, 6/17-20/11
Girls' 3000 m
1. Rosemary Wanjiru (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 9:24.23
2. Natsumi Yoshida (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 9:30.09
3. Rina Koeda (Tamura H.S.) - 9:33.59

2011 Shikoku Regional H.S. T&F Championships
Naruto, 6/18-20/11
Girls' 3000 m
1. Yui Okada (Mima H.S.) - 9:29.35
2. Rina Nabeshima (Yamada H.S.) - 9:31.73
3. Sena Takahashi (Yamada H.S.) - 9:39.94

2011 Hokushinetsu Regional H.S. T&F Championshipsi
Fukui, 6/17-19/11
Girls' 3000 m
1. Miwa Yokoyama (Niigata Meikun H.S.) - 9:30.27
2. Nao Takahashi (Takada H.S.) - 9:30.71
3. Saki Fukui (Toyama Shogyo H.S.) - 9:31.08

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Bruce said…
By my tabulations, we have at least 39 under 9:30 in Japan at this point in the season (see English listing at http://www.athletic.net/TrackAndField/Division/Event.aspx?DivID=28382&Gender=F&Event=24 ). At present, there are 4 US American girls under 9:30 (add 3 for being under 10:10 3200m). You can check www.athletic.net or www.milesplit.com. No Canadians that I know of. (btw - The ratio for the 1500m under 4:30 [& under 4:48 1600m] is 43 Japanese to 12 USA) There certainly were a lot of great marks at these regionals, but the two (North and South) Kanto races I think had the deepest middle distance fields and the most season PRs, if not the country's leading times.
[Note to self: kick yourself if you forget again to pack the video camera for the Kanto regionals. You will never see tight packs finishing blistering 1500m and 3000m races anywhere else in the world.]
Ten of the top 25 Japan 1500m marks belong to Kanto region girls. And with 5 Kanto boys in the second 10 nationally in the 5000m, will we see a Kanto medal at nationals in the 5000m. There is a much better chance for Kanto boys in the 1500m, having 7 of the top 12 marks nationally. Maybe the late season start has turned to East Japan's advantage.
My question: where do these girls go after high school? So few colleges have girls squads.
Brett Larner said…
Bruce--

Please contact me via the email address on my profile. Thanks.
Brett Larner said…
And thanks for your comments, by the way. It's relatively common for top high school girls to go straight to a corporate team, more so than for boys. I think until fairly recently this was actually more common, but university women's running has been making a lot of improvements the last few years, especially thanks to Ritsumeikan and Bukkyo.

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