Skip to main content

Toyokawa Returns to Top in National High School Girls Ekiden Championships

by Brett Larner

Toyokawa H.S. senior Beatrice Murugi Wainaina for the win at the 2011 National High School Girls Ekiden Championships. Click photo for video highlights via broadcaster NHK.

For the second time in three years, Kenyan Beatrice Murugi Wainaina led Toyokawa High School to the National High School Girls Ekiden Championships title as she crossed the line in 1:07:29, the fifth-fastest time ever on the five-stage, 21.0975 km course through Kyoto on Dec. 25.  Defending champion Kojokan High School ace Katsuki Suga faltered on the 6.0 km opening stage, the day's longest, finishing only 6th on the stage and putting Kojokan permanently out of contention.  Only one second behind the lead at the handoff, Toyokawa's Kanayo Miyata had little trouble taking over on the 4.0975 km Second Stage.  After a brief challenge from the strong Suma Gakuen High School's Yui Fukuda on the 3.0 km Third Stage, Toyokawa's Fourth Stage runner Shiho Fukuzawa blew the race apart, opening a 13-second gap before handing over to anchor Wainaina.

Wainaina, suffering from a mild injury, ran steadily without pushing.  Kojokan anchor Miyuki Oka closed to within 9 seconds, but Wainaina mustered up a strong last km to reopen the lead to 24 seconds and return Toyokawa to the victory stand.  Oka still managed to get Kojokan under 68 minutes, holding on to 2nd in 1:07:53, just 3 seconds slower than its winning time last year.  A short distance back, Sendai Ikuei High School's Mary Waithira ran the fastest time on the 5.0 km closing leg, 15:20, to overtake Suma Gakuen's Mika Kobayashi on the track for 3rd in 1:08:19, an impressive feat considering the stress and difficulties Sendai Ikuei has faced this year following March's tsunami.

2011 National High School Girls Ekiden Championships
Kyoto, 12/25/11
five stages, 21.0975 km
click here for complete results

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (6.0 km) - Yuriko Kosaki (Narita H.S.) - 19:21
Second Stage (4.0975 km) - Risa Yokoe (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 12:55
Third Stage (3.0 km) - Yui Fukuda (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 9:44
Fourth Stage (3.0 km) - Fumika Sasaki (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 9:32
Fifth Stage (5.0 km) - Mary Waithira (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 15:20

Top Team Performances
1. Toyokawa H.S. (Aichi) - 1:07:29
2. Kojokan H.S. (Okayama) - 1:07:53
3. Sendai Ikuei H.S. (Miyagi) - 1:08:19
4. Suma Gakuen H.S. (Hyogo) - 1:08:25
5. Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. (Kyoto) - 1:08:29
6. Hakuho Joshi H.S. (Kanagawa) - 1:08:51
7. Narita H.S. (Chiba) - 1:08:57
8. Nagano Higashi H.S. (Nagano) - 1:09:12
9. Osaka Kunei H.S. (Osaka) - 1:09:12
10. Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S. (Fukuoka) - 1:09:35

(c) 2011 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Koech and Maeda Run Year's Best 10000 m Times in Fukagawa

Conditions were on the humid side for the second meet in the four-part Hokuren Distance Challenge series Wednesday in Fukagawa, Hokkaido, but that didn't stop the fast times.

In the race of the day, Benard Kibet Koech (Kyudenko) went out front in the men's 10000 m from the gun, opening a lead of more than 5 seconds over a small chase pack led by Bedan Karoki (Toyota) at just over 27:20 pace. Karoki reeled Koech in over the second half, but when he was caught Koech didn't lie down, fighting back and retaking the lead repeatedly. With 200 m to go it looked like Karoki would get away, but in the home straight Koech came back again to win in 27:14.84, a PB and the fastest time in the world so far this year. Karoki was next in a quality 27:15.97, with Cleophas Kandie (MHPS) 3rd in 27:51.19. Tatsuhiko Ito (Honda), one of the stars of the Second Stage at this year's Hakone Ekiden, running a 60-second final lap to clear 28, taking 4th in 27:58.43 in his corporate league debut…

Today's Race - Live Streaming of 2020 Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa Meet

Live streaming of today's Hokuren Distance Challenge Fukagawa meet starting at 15:30 local time. Timetable here. Although the start time for the live streaming is listed as 15:30 the first race begins at 15:00, so the live stream may begin earlier. Start lists here. The main races start at 18:25, with highlights including:

*1:05:34 half marathoner Rosemary Monica Wanjiru (Starts) and Sayaka Sato (Sekisui Kagaku) in the women's 5000 m A-heat at 18:25.
Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu), Hideyuki Tanaka (Fujitsu), Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) and Masaki Toda (Sunbelx) in the men's 5000 m A-heat at 18:45.
*Olympic marathon trials winner Shogo Nakamura (Fujitsu) and 2:06 man Daisuke Uekado (Otsuka Seiyaku) in the men's 10000 m B-heat at 19:15.
*Top-level marathoners Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal), Honami Maeda (Tenmaya) and Yuka Ando (Wacoal) in the women's 10000 m at 19:50.
*3000 m world leader Dan Kiplangat (JFE Steel) in the men's 10000 m A-heat at 20:30 with pacing from B…

Baire and Kiplangat Drop World-Leading Times, Endo Just Off - Weekend Track Review

As the numbers in Tokyo's second wave go up and up the likelihood that we're going to get many more weekends like this one goes down, but for this little window of opportunity, at least, there was action on the track at at least five elite-level meets across the country.

At the 75th Kagoshima Prefecture Championships, 17-year-old Cynthia Baire (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) ran U20 world-leading times in both the women's 1500 m and 5000 m, running 4:10.67 to win the 1500 m Saturday and then 15:14.30 Sunday to win the 5000 m. Both times were also meet records. On Friday 36-year-old amateur Takahiro Nakamura, who ran a 1:00:57 half marathon in February, won the men's 10000 m for the fifth year in a row, running a meet record 29:23.09. Sunday he was back to try to score the 5000 m title too but was outrun by Kanta Tokumaru (Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S.) 14:18.21 to 14:28.36. Tokumaru was doubling off a win in the 1500 m Saturday in 3:57.17.
Across Kyushu at the Saga Prefecture Champi…