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Ndirangu and Niiya Top Fukuoka XC

by Bret Larner

Sera H.S. grad Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/Team JFE Steel) followed up his win two weeks ago at the Chiba International Cross-Country Meet with another win Feb. 23 at the Fukuoka International Cross-Country Meet, narrowly outrunning #1-ranked Japanese collegiate Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) in the senior men's 10 km, 29:47 to 29:50 with Australian 10000 m national record holder Ben St. Lawrence 3rd in 30:21.  With Fukuoka a selection race for Japan's World Cross-Country teams, Osako and 4th and 5th place finishers Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) and Wataru Ueno (Komazawa Univ.) threw their hats into the ring for team consideration.  The top Japanese man from Chiba, Keigo Yano of 2013 Hakone Ekiden champion Nittai University, was 6th as Ueno just got him at the line.

In the senior women's 6 km race London Olympian Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.) took yet another Fukuoka title by a sweeping margin, clocking 20:00 to runner-up Ayumi Hagiwara's 20:37.  Mai Ishibashi (Team Denso) was 3rd in 20:40 to get into consideration for the Worlds team, with the top Japanese woman in Chiba, Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) 4th in 20:44 over Chiba runner-up Susan Wairimu (Kenya/Team Denso).

Chiba's top two junior men repeated their placings in the 8 km, Jeremiah Karemi of 2012 National High School Ekiden champion Toyokawa H.S. taking the win in 24:02 over Hakone champ Nittai's Hideto Yamanaka in 24:27.  Kazuki Takahashi (Omagari Kogyo H.S.) led Chiba 4th-placer Tatsuya Hayashi (Ishin H.S.) and national champion Toyokawa's Tadashi Isshiki across the line in 24:40 to round out the top five, all three likely names for the Worlds team.

Chiba junior women's winner Miyuki Uehara (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) faltered in the Fukuoka junior women's 6 km, finishing only 5th.  Winning in a close sprint finish was relative unknown Azusa Sumi (Toyokawa H.S.) in 20:28 with Saki Yoshimizu (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) a step behind in 20:29.    Chiba 4th-placer Yui Fukuda (Suma Gakuen H.S.) got into Worlds consideration as she took 3rd in 20:31.

Ryo Nishiyama (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) and Miina Kato (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) took the junior 4 km races, Nishiyama in 12:53 and Kato in 14:18.

2013 Fukuoka International Cross-Country Meet
Fukuoka, 2/23/13
click here for complete results

Senior Men's 10 km
1. Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/Team JFE Steel) - 29:47
2. Suguru Osako (Waseda Univ.) - 29:50
3. Ben St. Lawrence (Australia) - 30:21
4. Yuki Matsuoka (Team Otsuka Seiyaku) - 30:26
5. Wataru Ueno (Komazawa Univ.) - 30:35
6. Keigo Yano (Nittai Univ.) - 30:35
7. Hiroyuki Ono (Team Nissin Shokuhin) - 30:39
8. Minato Oishi (Team Toyota) - 30:42
9. Hiroyoshi Umegae (Team NTN) - 30:51
10. Shota Hattori (Nittai Univ.) - 30:55

Senior Women's 6 km
1. Hitomi Niiya (Team Univ. Ent.) - 20:00
2. Ayumi Hagiwara (Team Uniqlo) - 20:37
3. Mai Ishibashi (Team Denso) - 20:40
4. Hanae Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 20:44
5. Susan Wairimu (Kenya/Team Denso) - 20:45
6. Miho Ihara (Team Shikoku Denryoku) - 20:45
7. Kaho Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 20:48
8. Risa Takenaka (Team Shiseido) - 20:53
9. Tomomi Tanaka (Team Daiichi Seimei) - 20:55
10. Yuko Shimizu (Team Sekisui Kagaku) - 20:58

Junior Men's 8 km
1. Jeremiah Karemi (Kenya/Toyokawa H.S.) - 24:02
2. Hideto Yamanaka (Nittai Univ.) - 24:27
3. Kazuki Takahashi (Omagari Kogyo H.S.) - 24:40
4. Tatsuya Hayashi (Ishin H.S.) - 24:40
5. Tadashi Isshiki (Toyokawa H.S) - 24:40
6. Koki Yoshimura (Team NTN) - 24:44
7. Yusuke Nishiyama (Iga Hakuo H.S.) - 24:47
8. Ryoichi Yoshida (Omuta H.S.) - 24:47
9. Hazuma Hattori (Toyokawa H.S.) - 24:48
10. Soma Ishikawa (Sano Nittai Prep H.S.) - 24:56

Junior Women's 6 km
1. Azusa Sumi (Toyokawa H.S.) - 20:28
2. Saki Yoshimizu (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 20:29
3. Yui Fukuda (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 20:31
4. Nanami Aoki (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 20:31
5. Miyuki Uehara (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 20:39
6. Maki Izumida (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 20:44
7. Mizuki Matsuda (Osaku Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 20:45
8. Kotona Ota (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 20:48
9. Shoko Sonoda (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 20:51
10. Megumi Aoba (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 20:56

Junior Men's 4 km
1. Ryo Nishiyama (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 12:53
2. Shota Sugiyama (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 12:55
3. Atsushi Fujiwara (Kurashiki H.S.) - 12:57
4. Koki Mori (Kurashiki H.S.) - 12:59
5. Takatoshi Tanigawa (Toyokawa H.S.) - 13:00

Junior Women's 4 km
1. Miina Kato (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 14:18
2. Arisa Yamamoto (Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S.) - 14:26
3. Honami Maeda (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 14:27
4. Aoi Nakajima (Tokoha Gakuen Kikugawa H.S.) - 14:30
5. Chihiro Maeda (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 14:30

(c) 2013 Brett Larner
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