translated by Brett Larner
Tohoku High School will hold a welcoming event for incoming students on May 11 in Sendai. Together with their friend and Tohoku head coach Takehiko Shibuya, 53, a number of coaches from top-finishing teams at this year's Hakone Ekiden will appear to take part in a panel discussion, including Kenji Beppu, 47, who led Nittai University to its first Hakone win in 30 years, runner-up Toyo University's Nao Sato, 60, and Takayuki Nakano of Teikyo University, whose 4th-place finish was its best showing since 2000. Tohoku H.S. alumnus Hatsuo Okubo, 58, who won the Hakone Ekiden's uphill Fifth Stage all four years of his university career, will also appear. The discussion of Hakone's run up the mountain should be a good one.
This year Tohoku's hopes are high with two superb athletes who ran well for Miyagi in last summer's National Junior High School Championships 3000 m entering the school. Both are also looking forward to the event. Taisei Nakamura commented, "As part of my mental preparations I want to learn about the main points of how to run the mountain." Koichiro Sasaki excitedly added, "I can't wait to meet some of the Hakone legends!"