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Hasegawa Hits World Champs 10000 m B-Standard, 17 Collegiates Sub-29 in Tokyo

text and Kanto video by Brett Larner
Hachioji video by B1853264


Two major time trial meets focusing on the men's 10000 m took place in Tokyo Nov. 24, the pro-oriented Hachioji Long Distance Time Trials meet in Tokyo's western suburbs, and the Kanto Region University Long Distance Time Trials meet at the National Stadium.



The focus in the A-heat in Hachioji was on the 2013 World Championships A and B qualifying times of 27:40.00 and 28:05.00.  With impeccable pacing from Bitan Karoki (Kenya/Team S&B) in 14:00 through 5000 m, former Jobu University ace Yusuke Hasegawa (Team S&B), 2011 year-leader Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) and Kenyans Patrick Mwaka (Team Aisan Kogyo) and Alex Mwangi (Team YKK) cleared the B-standard, Hasegawa going sub-60 on his final lap to deliver a 15-second PB of 27:50.64.  With outstanding conditions four other men in the top ten ran PBs of 20 to 45 seconds, led by 2012 Waseda University graduate Yusuke Mita (Team JR Higashi Nihon) in 28:15.02 for 5th.  11th place finisher Shota Shinjo (Chuo Univ.) was the top collegiate in the A-heat in 28:49.37 just six days after running 1:03:32 for 11th at the Ageo City Half Marathon.  In the D-heat, sophomore Kazuto Nishiike (Hosei Univ.), just out of the medals at the 2010 Youth Olympics 3000 m and a blank during his first year at Hosei, delivered a big run to win by a margin of over 20 seconds in 28:43.69, just 4 seconds off his best from his junior year of high school.



The Kanto meet, a day-long event with fifteen men's 10000 m heats plus women's 5000 m and 10000 m heats, played an important role for the coaches of schools running January's Hakone Ekiden, helping them pare down their rosters to the fittest as the season approaches its peak.  Just a few years ago it was noteworthy if a team had runners with 10000 m PBs uner 29 minutes.  In a sign of the continued evolution of Kanto region university men's distance running, the Kanto Region University Federation offered scholarship money this year to any runner who ran a sub-29 PB at the Nov. 24 meet.  And repeated this fact many times over loudspeakers during the A-heat.

The athletes responded, with fifteen men in Heat 15 breaking 29, almost all in PB times or debuts thanks in part to the excellent conditions and in part to the outstanding pacing by members of the Meiji University team.  All five of Meiji's runners in Heat 15 took turns leading, splitting 2:54 for every single km in the first half of the race to keep things dead on 29-flat pace.  Ace sophomore Yuki Arimura went to the front after 5000 m to push things faster with a 2:52 split, and all fifteen men in the top pack went along to negative split their way to sub-29 marks.  Arimura took the top position in the fastest collegiate time of the weekend, 28:41.75, with three of his four teammates joining him under 29.  Meiji's second man, junior Kaido Kita, ran 28:43.82 for 4th but missed his best by 1 second, the only man in the top fifteen not to PB.  2012 national university half marathon champion Toshikatsu Ebina was 2nd in 28:42.90 to lead three Teikyo University men under 29, 3rd-placer Tatsuya Oike one of two Juntendo University men to run 28.

Hakone Ekiden course record holder Toyo University had two men sub-29 in new bests, star first-year Yuma Hattori and second-stringer Norihisa Imai, but the big surprise of the day was minor Chuo Gakuin University with two first-years under 29. Unknown Hironori Tsuetaki led the way, 5th in 28:44.60 to position himself ahead of Hattori and Izumo Ekiden course record-setter Aoyama Gakuin University's Kazuma Kubota as the fastest rookie on the Kanto scene.  His fellow first-year Keita Shioya just squeezed under 29, 15th in 28:59.55, but did it six days after running 1:03:19 for 7th in Ageo.  With fourteen men running new bests under 29 the Kanto university federation is sure to be paying out more scholarship money than they expected.

2012 Hachioji Long Distance Time Trials
Hachioji, Tokyo, 11/24/12
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m Heat 1
1. Yusuke Hasegawa (Team S&B) - 27:50.64 - PB
2. Patrick Mwaka (Kenya/Team Aisan Kogyo) - 27:54.82
3. Alex Mwangi (Kenya/Team YKK) - 27:54.86
4. Tsuyoshi Ugachi (Team Konica Minolta) - 27:55.29
5. Yusuke Mita (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 28:15.02 - PB
6. Naohiro Domoto (Team JR Higashi Nihon) - 28:16.92 - PB
7. Paul Kuira (Kenya/Team Konica Minolta) - 28:18.81
8. Ryo Matsumoto (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 28:24.62 - PB
9. Sota Hoshi (Team Fujitsu) - 28:24.68 - PB
10. Kenta Murozuka (SDF Academy) - 28:25.19
11. Shota Shinjo (Chuo Univ.) - 28:49.37

Men's 10000 m Heat 4
1. Kazuto Nishiike (Hosei Univ.) - 28:43.69
2. Shigeki Tsuji (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 29:04.52
3. Ryosuke Fukuyama (Team Honda) - 29:10.89

2012 Kanto Region University Long Distance Time Trials
National Stadium, Tokyo, 11/24/12
click here for complete results

Men's 10000 m Heat 15
1. Yuki Arimura (Meiji Univ.) - 28:41.75 - PB
2. Toshikatsu Ebina (Teikyo Univ.) - 28:42.90 - PB
3. Tatsuya Oike (Juntendo Univ.) - 28:43.82 - PB
4. Kaido Kita (Meiji Univ.) - 28:43.92
5. Hironori Tsuetaki (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 28:44.60 - PB
6. Junji Katakawa (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 28:44.81 - PB
7. Kento Tanaka (Teikyo Univ.) - 28:45.03 - PB
8. Shuho Dairokuno (Meiji Univ.) - 28:46.12 - PB
9. Tsukasa Koyama (Teikyo Univ.) - 28:46.20 - PB
10. Kei Fumimoto (Meiji Univ.) - 28:47.54 - debut
11. Yuma Hattori (Toyo Univ.) - 28:52.55 - PB
12. Yuji Osuda (Chuo Univ.) - 28:54.01 - PB
13. Norihisa Imai (Toyo Univ.) - 28:54.77 - PB
14. Kazuma Ozawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 28:54.92 - PB
15. Keita Shioya (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 28:59.55 - PB

(c) 2012 Brett Larner
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