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Yuta Shitara Over Kawauchi at Satte 10-Miler

by Brett Larner

Ritzenhein and Shitara in NYC. Photo by Brett Larner.

On a quiet weekend between the end of Japan's road season and the start of track season, three minor road races saw noteworthy results from university runners across the country.  Just two weeks after outkicking 2009 World Half Marathon Championships bronze medalist Dathan Ritzenhein (U.S.A.) to run a 1:01:48 PB at the NYC Half Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Toyo Univ.) marked the first day of his junior year by beating popular marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) by 44 seconds at the Satta Sakura 10-Miler in Saitama.

 Aoyama Gakuin University's Naohisa Matsuda likewise had a big win at the Nihondaira Sakura Road Race, setting a new record of 1:12:22 for the tough 23 km course featuring a nearly 300 m uphill. At the Saga Sakura Half Marathon, Fukuoka University's Takuro Nakanishi, a former member of the pro Team JR Higashi Nihon, won easily in 1:04:19. Superb amateur Hiroko Yoshitomi (First Dream AC) won the women's division by six minutes in 1:13:18.

21st Satte Sakura 10-Mile Road Race
Satte, Saitama, 4/1/12
click here for complete results
1. Yuta Shitara (Toyo Univ.) - 47:23
2. Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref.) - 48:07
3. Saeki Makino (Kawauchi T&F Assoc.) - 50:37

28th Nihondaira Sakura 23 km Road Race
Shizuoka, 4/1/12
click here for top results
1. Naohisa Matsuda (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:12:22 - CR
2. Shun Gorotani (Toyo Univ.) - 1:14:06
3. Atsushi Komine (Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) - 1:15:10

2012 Saga Sakura Half Marathon
Saga, 4/1/12
click here for complete results
Men
1. Takuro Nakanishi (Fukuoka Univ.) - 1:04:19

Women
1. Hiroko Yoshitomi (First Dream AC) - 1:13:18

text and photo (c) 2012 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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