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Toyokawa Girls Win Record-Setting Fourth Title at 25th National High School Girls Ekiden

http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20131222-00000075-spnannex-spo

translated and edited by Brett Larner
click photo for video highlights courtesy of NHK


The 25th edition of the National High School Girls Ekiden Championships took place Dec. 22 in Kyoto.  In honor of the event's anniversary, eleven extra teams were added to the forty-seven champion high schools from each of Japan's prefectures to bring the field up to fifty-eight schools competing over five stages totalling 21.0975 km.

After missing out on defending its 2011 win last year, Toyokawa H.S. of Aichi returned to the top this year with its fourth national title, the most in Nationals history.  2010 national champion Kojokan H.S. (Okayama) took 2nd, battling Suma Gakuen H.S. (Hyogo) all the way to the final Fifth Stage before pulling ahead for the runner-up position.  Defending champion Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. (Kyoto) was 4th.

Winner Toyokawa's time of 1:06:54 tied the second-fastest mark ever at the National Championships, the first sub-1:07 clocking in eight years and blowing out the rest of the field by nearly a minute.  With its 2nd place finish Kojokan continued a ten-year streak of making it to the podium.

25th National High School Girls Ekiden Championships
Kyoto, Dec. 22, 2013
58 teams, 5 stages, 21.0975 km
click here for complete results

Top Team Performances
1. Toyokawa H.S. (Aichi) - 1:06:54
2. Kojokan H.S. (Okayama) - 1:07:51
3. Suma Gakuen H.S. (Hyogo) - 1:07:53
4. Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. (Kyoto) - 1:07:55
5. Aomori Yamada H.S. (Aomori) - 1:08:11
6. Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S (Yamanashi) - 1:08:21
7. Tokiwa H.S, (Gunma) - 1:08:33
8. Osaka Kunei Joshi H.S. (Osaka) - 1:08:33
9. Eda H.S. (Kanagawa) - 1:08:40
10. Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 1:09:09

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (6.0 km) - Saki Yoshimizu (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 19:28
Second Stage (4.0975 km) - Yui Fukuda (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 12:44
Third Stage (3.0 km) - Nanako Kajiya (Toyokawa H.S.) - 9:33
Fourth Stage (3.0 km) - Harumi Okamoto (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:10
Fifth Stage (5.0 km) - Rosemary Wanjiru (Kenya/Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 15:29

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