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Komazawa Adds Another 28-Minute Man to Roster

by Brett Larner

A week out from the National University Ekiden Championships, the Kanto region men's scene became even more complicated as Izumo Ekiden runner-up Komazawa University, already holding ten men with sub-14 PBs for 5000 m, six of them with 10000 m bests under 29 minutes, added another name to its top ranks.  Junior Toshiaki Nishizawa took nearly a minute off his 10000 m PB as he finished 13th in the Nittai Univ. Time Trials 10000 m A-heat in 28:51.05 to give Komazawa crucial depth beyond the ten men necessary for January's Hakone Ekiden.  Nishizawa's step up puts further pressure on defending national and Hakone champ Waseda University and on this year's Izumo winner Toyo University.

The injury-plagued Waseda's chances did take a turn for the better as sub-29 senior Takuya Nakayama, son of former 10000 m and marathon national record holder Takeyuki Nakayama, returned to competition after sitting out most of his sophomore and junior years.  Nakayama finished only 28th in the 10000 m A-heat in a modest 29:27.59, but as a step toward finally making Waseda's Hakone team it was a welcome return to the public eye.

Four other Kanto region schools which failed to make the grade for Nationals had runners under 29 minutes at Nittai, chief among them Takushoku University sophomore Duncan Muthee who finished 2nd in an excellent 27:58.26, his first solid run of the year after an outstanding debut as a first-year in 2010.  Chuo Gakuin University's Keisuke Fujii also came through with a big run, 3rd in 28:42.42 to finish as the top Japanese man in the heat.

In the other Nittai races of the weekend, Toshika Tamura (Matsuyama Univ.) had a good run in the women's 5000 m A-heat, winning in 15:42.18 over pros Kumi Ogura and Yoko Aizu.  Members of Team S&B took three of the top four spots in the men's 5000 m A-heat, Yusuke Hasegawa coming out on top in a good 13:38.70.  Kenyan newcomer Joseph Onsarigo (Sozo Gakuen Univ.) was the only one to break up the S&B block, 3rd in 13:47.19.  Twins Shiori and Kaori Morita (Eda H.S.) went 1-2 in the women's 3000 m A-heat, with junior high schooler Anri Matsumoto (Midorigaoka J.H.S.) 3rd in a very strong 9:28.51.

219th Nittai Univ. Time Trials
Nittai Univ., Yokohama, 10/29-30/11
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m
1. Alex Mwangi (Kenya/Team YKK) - 27:55.62
2. Duncan Muthee (Kenya/Takushoku Univ.) - 27:58.26
3. Keisuke Fujii (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 28:42.42
4. Shinichi Yamashita (Takigahara SDF Base) - 28:42.62
5. Yusuke Kawaminami (Team Osaka Gas) - 28:43.07
6. Yohei Yamamoto (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 28:43.23
7. Kosuke Murasashi (Team YKK) - 28:44.29
8. Yoshiyuki Oseki (Team Subaru) - 28:45.15
9. Sho Matsueda (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 28:45.68
10. Yoshihiro Hinomoto (Team YKK) - 28:46.07
-----
13. Toshiaki Nishizawa (Komazawa Univ.) - 28:51.05
17. Yuki Matsumura (Juntendo Univ.) - 28:54.89
28. Takuya Nakayama (Waseda Univ.) - 29:27.59

Women's 5000 m Heat 20
1. Toshika Tamura (Matsuyama Univ.) - 15:42.18
2. Kumi Ogura (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 15:45.15
3. Yoko Aizu (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 15:52.40
4. Narumi Shirataki (Nihon Univ.) - 15:52.93
5. Erika Ikeda (Meijo Univ.) - 15:54.01
6. Aki Odagiri (Meijo Univ.) - 15:57.43
7. Kaori Akagawa (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 15:58.43
8. Akane Mutazaki (Team Edion) - 16:00.53
9. Misaki Sango (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 16:01.19
10. Yukie Nagata (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) - 16:01.64

Men's 5000 m Heat 26
1. Yusuke Hasegawa (Team S&B) - 13:38.70
2. Yuta Takahashi (Team S&B) - 13:44.31
3. Joseph Onsarigo (Kenya/Sozo Gakuen Univ.) - 13:47.19
4. Kensuke Takezawa (Team S&B) - 13:52.16
5. Masaki Sekido (Team NTT Nishi Nihon) - 13:58.51
-----
13. Arata Fujiwara (Tokyo T&F Assoc.) - 14:15.58

Women's 3000 m Heat 4
1. Shiori Morita (Eda H.S.) - 9:26.69
2. Kaori Morita (Eda H.S.) - 9:28.10
3. Anri Matsumoto (Midorigaoka J.H.S.) - 9:28.51

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
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