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Karemi Over Ndungu for National H.S. Boys' 5000 m Title

by Brett Larner

Summer heat couldn't stop the fast times in the 5000 m final on the fourth day of the 2012 National High School Track & Field Championships Aug. 1 in Niigata.  After a Kenyan-dominated round of qualifying heats, #1 seed Charles Ndungu (Kenya/Sapporo Yamanote H.S.), #2 Jeremiah Karemi (Kenya/Toyokawa H.S.), #4-ranked Kazuma Taira (Toyokawa Kogyo H.S.) and four others took the final out hard, starting at 13:07 pace and gradually slowing.  As the rest of the field faded away, first-year Ndungu and the experienced Karemi battled for the lead as top-ranked Japanese Taira struggled to stay with them.  Over the last kilometer Taira fell behind, and in the final sprint down the home straight Karemi emerged a fraction of a second ahead of Ndungu to take the 2012 national title in a solid 13:46.30 to Ndungu's 13:46.56.  Taira held on to 3rd in 13:55.64, just outrunning #3 seed John Maina (Kenya/Aomori Yamada H.S.).  1500 m champion Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) was never a factor, only 6th in 14:03.85.

The distance events continue on the final day of competition with the final of the girls' 3000 m, where 22 girls ran under 9:30 in the qualifying rounds led by Ngatia's teammate Mary Waithira (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) in 9:17.07.

2012 National High School T&F Championships
Niigata, July 29-Aug. 2, 2012
click here for complete results

Boys' 5000 m Final
1. Jeremiah Karemi (Kenya/Toyokawa H.S.) - 13:46.30
2. Charles Ndungu (Kenya/Sapporo Yamanote H.S.) - 13:46.56
3. Kazuma Taira (Toyokawa Kogyo H.S.) - 13:55.64
4. John Maina (Kenya/Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 13:57.69
5. Keisuke Nakatani (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 14:02.55
6. Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 14:03.85
7. Yusuke Nishiyama (Iga Hakuho H.S.) - 14:16.51
8. Soma Ishikawa (Sano Nittai Prep H.S.) - 14:17.77
9. Tsubasa Uchida (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 14:17.92
10. John Gathaiya (Kenya/Sera H.S.) - 14:20.70

Boys' 1500 m Final
1. Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 3:45.37
2. Kojiro Tomikoshi (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 3:46.29
3. Yusuke Nishiyama (Iga Hakuho H.S.) - 3:46.48
4. Tsukasa Anzai (Komyo Gakuen Sagamihara H.S.) - 3:46.68
5. Takumi Ichida (Kyushu Kokusai Fuzoku H.S.) - 3:48.78

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
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