translated by Brett Larner
On Dec. 7 Tokai University publicly released its 16-man roster for the Jan. 1-2 Hakone ekiden ahead of the Dec. 10 deadline for schools to submit entry lists. Head coach Hayashi Morozumi said, "The Second Stage and Fifth Stage are the most critical. I plan to put [juniors Tsubasa] Hayakawa and [Akinobu] Murasawa on these stages. If Murasawa is in peak shape I plan to put him on Fifth Stage," the first official confirmation that the team's star may face the nearly 900 m of climb on the Fifth Stage. If he does run, the likelihood that he will run against the "God of the Mountain," Fifth Stage record holder Ryuji Kashiwabara (senior, Toyo Univ.), appears high.
Translator's note: Murasawa won the Second Stage at the 2011 Hakone Ekiden in one of the fastest times in the history of that stage. Kashiwabara has won the Fifth Stage all three years so far in his university career, with stage records his first two years.