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Regional Qualifiers Set Up July's National High School Track and Field Championships

by Brett Larner

Just over a month out from the 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships regional qualifying action has wrapped up, with most regions holding their qualifiers the June 20-23 weekend after an earlier round in other regions the weekend before.  Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) brought one of the best performances of the weekend with a 9:10.08 to win the Kinki region girls' 3000 m, but with Nao Yamamoto (Tokuha Gakuen Kikugawa H.S.) running 9:10.39 to win the Tokai region qualifier the national meet should be close. Along with earlier standout results like the 13:56.55 win by Silas Kingori (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) and 14:13.67 runner-up finish by Hiroki Miura (Tohoku H.S.) last weekend in the Tohoku region boys' 5000 m, this weekend's best performances included:

  • Haruko Ishizuka (Higashi Osaka Prep Keiai H.S.) running 2:08.47 to win the Kinki girls' 800 m.
  • Naoto Ozawa (Kusatsu Higashi H.S.) winning the Kinki boys' 1500 m in 3:49.95 before doubling to win the 5000 m in 14:29.34.
  • Motoi Nabeshima (Katsura H.S.) taking the Kinki boys' 800 m in 1:51.75.
  • Azusa Sumi (Toyokawa H.S.) winning the Tokai region girls' 1500 m in 4:21.33 by less than 0.20 seconds over teammate Hinano Yamada.
  • Paul Kamais (Sera H.S.) winning the Chugoku region boys' 5000 m in 14:09.83, the fastest time of the weekend's high school meets.
  • Ryuya Kajiya (Hakuoh Prep Ashikaga H.S.) running the weekend's fastest time by a Japanese boy, 14:19.42, to win the North Kanto region 5000 m after picking up the 1500 m title in a more conservative 4:04.26.

Overall the results in distance and other events compared very favorably to those at the simultaneous Brooks PR Invitational high school meet in the U.S., where the top Japanese high schoolers' marks would have put them in the top three in almost every event.  A great database covering the top results at each regional meet along with extensive coverage of other Japanese high school track and field results is maintained by Bruce Carrick on the Athletic.net site, essential reading for anyone interested in the depth and quality of another underdocumented area of Japanese athletics.

Kinki Regional Qualifier
National H.S. Track and Field Championships
Kyoto, June 20-22

Girls 3000 m Final - June 22
1. Nozomi Musembi Takamatsu (Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 9:10.08
2. Kureha Seki (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:21.28
3. Ena Kagayama (Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 9:21.82
4. Yuki Maehata (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 9:22.38
5. Fukiko Ando (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 9:22.51

Girls 1500 m Final - June 20
1. Maiko Konishi (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 4:27.17
2. Aki Manabe (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 4:27.97
3. Aiko Moriguchi (Nishinomiya H.S.) - 4:28.08
4. Karin Yasumoto (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 4:28.69
5. Kyoka Mori (Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 4:28.80

Girls 800 m Final - June 22
1. Haruko Ishizuka (Higashi Osaka Prep Keiai H.S.) - 2:08.47
2. Hina Takahashi (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 2:10.26
3. Moe Kawaharada (Hieizan H.S.) - 2:10.59
4. Moyu Tashiro (Nagata H.S.) - 2:10.73
5. Asaka Sugiura (Saikyo H.S.) - 2:10.98

Boys 5000 m Final - June 22
1. Naoto Ozawa (Kusatsu Higashi H.S.) - 14:29.34
2. Tomoya Morita (Higashi Harima H.S.) - 14:31.60
3. Kensuke Horio (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 14:34.02
4. Yuichiro Nishikawa (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 14:34.93
5. Taisei Hashizume (Wakayama Kita H.S.) - 14:36.79

Boys 1500 m - June 20
1. Naoto Ozawa (Kusatsu Higashi H.S.) - 3:49.95
2. Haruki Nishimura (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 3:50.87
3. Yuta Bando (Tsuna H.S.) - 3:50.91
4. Motoi Nabeshima (Katsura H.S.) - 3:51.05
5. Taisei Hashizume (Wakayama Kita H.S.) - 3:51.45

Boys 800 m - June 22
1. Motoi Nabeshima (Katsura H.S.) - 1:51.75
2. Haruki Nishimura (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) -1:52.38
3. Keita Ueda (Ikuno H.S.) - 1:53.00
4. Shion Yamori (Tenoji H.S.) - 1:53.37
5. Keiji Fujiwara (Akashi Josai Prep H.S.) - 1:53.52

Tokai Regional Qualifier
National H.S. Track and Field Championships
Aichi, June 20-22

Girls 3000 m - June 21
1. Nao Yamamoto (Tokuha Gakuen Kikugawa H.S.) - 9:10.39
2. Nodoka Aoki (Mashita Seifu H.S.) - 9:12.77
3. Chiaki Nakane (Chukyo Prep H.S.) - 9:24.17
4. Haruka Nishiyama (Iga Hakuho H.S.) - 9:26.77
5. Yuka Kanamori (Gifu Shogyo H.S.) - 9:28.84

Girls 1500 m Final - June 20
1. Azusa Sumi (Toyokawa H.S.) - 4:21.33
2. Hinano Yamada (Toyokawa H.S.) - 4:21.52
3. Yuka Sarumida (Toyokawa H.S.) - 4:22.09
4. Nao Yamamoto (Tokuha Gakuen Kikugawa H.S.) - 4:22.24
5. Chiaki Nakane (Chukyo Prep H.S.) - 4:22.25

Girls 800 m Final - June 21
1. Nanako Matsumoto (Hamamatsu Municipal H.S.) - 2:09.61
2. Chika Mukai (Shigakukan H.S.) - 2:09.99
3. Naoko Muto (Hamamatsu Nishi H.S.) - 2:13.18

Boys 5000 m Final - June 22
1. Fuminori Shimo (Iga Hakuoh H.S.) - 14:29.25
2. Atsushi Yamato (Aichi H.S.) - 14:31.98
3. Kazuma Ohata (Shimada H.S.) - 14:33.28
4. Hirotomo Obata (Toyokawa Kogyo H.S.) - 14:33.69
5. Tatsuya Sumide (Iga Hakuoh H.S.) - 14:34.10

Boys 1500 m Final - June 20
1. Namiki Oishi (Fujieda Meisei H.S.) - 3:55.96
2. Ryosuke Tawada (Aichi H.S.) - 3:57.14
3. Yuto Aoki (Aichi H.S.) - 3:57.21

Boys 800 m Final - June 21
1. Ryo Asai (Zuiryo H.S.) - 1:56.71
2. Shun Hakamata (Hamamatsu Konan H.S.) - 1:56.86
3. Kazuki Kawamura (Ogaki Nihon Prep H.S.) - 1:57.22

South Kanto Regional Qualifier
National H.S. Track and Field Championships
Kanagawa, June 20-23

Girls 3000 m - June 23
1. Mina Kato (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 9:19.42
2. Sae Harada (Narita H.S.) - 9:19.70
3. Natsuki Sekiya (Funabashi Municipal H.S.) - 9:22.21
4. Miyu Hatakeyama (Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.) - 9:22.97
5. Nozomi Terauchi (Hadano H.S.) - 9:23.09

Girls' 1500 m Final - June 21
1. Mina Ueda (Narita H.S.) - 4:33.25
2. Mina Kato (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 4:33.37
3. Kana Sugiyama (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 4:33.56

Girls 800 m Final - June 22
1. Shizuka Okuda (Tokyo H.S.) - 2:11.51
2. Mina Ueda (Narita H.S.) - 2:11.79
3. Kana Sugiyama (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 2:13.15

Boys 5000 m - June 21
1. Takuya Hanyu (Yachiyo Shoin Gakuen H.S.) - 14:34.90
2. Kohei Namba (Senshu Prep Matsudo H.S.) - 14:38.11
3. Takumi Kato (Narita H.S.) - 14:41.86
4. Kengo Yajima (Funabashi Municipal H.S.) - 14:52.63
5. Shogo Ise (Funabashi Municipal H.S.) - 14:52.96

Boys 1500 m Final - June 20
1. Kenta Umetani (Tokai Prep Boyo H.S.) - 3:56.79
2. Renya Maeda (Funabashi Municipal H.S.) - 3:56.90
3. Takeshi Okada (Koku Gakuin Prep Kugayama H.S.) - 3:57.91

Boys 800 m Final - June 22
1. Kenta Umetani (Tokai Prep Boyo H.S.) -1:57.01
2. Renya Maeda (Funabashi Municipal H.S.) -1:57.48
3. Atsushi Nada (Nihon Prep H.S.) - 1:58.45

North Kanto Regional Qualifier
National H.S. Track and Field Championships
Kanagawa, June 20-23

Girls 3000 m - June 23
1. Ayaka Nakagawa (Shohei H.S.) - 9:24.02
2. Harumi Okamoto (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:25.78
3. Yuki Sato (Ibaraki Christian H.S.) - 9:26.64
4. Yuka Kobayashi (Tokiwa H.S.) - 9:26.86
5. Yuka Ando (Hakuoh Prep Ashikaga H.S.) - 9:28.52

Girls 1500 m Final - June 21
1. Ayaka Nakagawa (Shohei H.S.) - 4:24.49
2. Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S.) - 4:26.01
3. Yuki Kometani (Tokiwa H.S.) - 4:26.63
4. Yuka Kobayashi (Tokiwa H.S.) - 4:27.80
5. Moeko Takagi (Nasu Takuyo H.S.) - 4:28.49

Girls 800 m Final - June 22
1. Airi Hagiwara (Niijima Gakuen H.S.) - 2:15.68
2. Rika Takamizawa (Sakado Nishi H.S.) - 2:15.91
3. Ayaka Nakagawa (Shohei H.S.) - 2:16.15

Boys 5000 m - June 21
1. Ryuya Kajiya (Hakuoh Prep Ashikaga H.S.) - 14:19.42
2. Kenta Shimizu (Chuo Chuto Kyoiku H.S.) - 14:20.18
3. Kohei Nakajima (Suijo H.S.) - 14:23.63
4. Ryoji Tatezawa (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 14:25.19
5. Kazuya Shiojiri (Isesaki Seimei H.S.) - 14:33.54

Boys 1500 m Final - June 20
1. Ryuya Kajiya (Hakuoh Prep Ashikaga H.S.) - 4:04.26
2. Ko Kobayashi (Toyo Prep Ushiku H.S.) - 4:04.60
3. Shin Saito (Isesaki Shogyo H.S.) - 4:04.61

Boys 800 m Final - June 22
1. Takumi Yokokawa (Nakanojo H.S.) - 1:54.25
2. Ko Kobayashi (Toyo Prep Ushiku H.S.) - 1:54.38
3. Rikuto Iijima (Midorioka H.S.) - 1:54.63

Chugoku Regional Qualifier
National H.S. Track and Field Championships
Hiroshima, June 20-22

Girls 3000 m - June 21
1. Shinobu Koyoshigawa (Sera H.S.) - 9:23.29
2. Sayaka Takarada (Kojokan H.S.) - 9:24.89
3. Kanako Takemoto (Saikyo H.S.) - 9:26.53
4. Koma Adachi (Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S.) - 9:28.56
5. Yuki Munehisa (Saikyo H.S.) - 9:29.18

Girls 1500 m Final - June 20
1. Arisa Yamamoto (Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S.) - 4:37.92
2. Sara Takahashi (Kojokan H.S.) - 4:39.00
3. Sumire Kuramoto (Kojokan H.S.) - 4:39.36

Girls 800 m Final - June 22
1. Shoko Fukuda (Matsue Kita H.S.) - 2:13.17
2. Saki Kamioka (Okayama Joto H.S.) - 2:13.24
3. Airi Ikezaki (Funairi H.S.) - 2:13.38

Boys 5000 m - June 21
1. Paul Kamais (Sera H.S.) - 14:09.83
2. Shiki Shinsako (Sera H.S.) - 14:25.87
3. Daiju Nakashima (Sera H.S.) - 14:33.13
4. Kiyosumi Higashijima (Yonago Shoin H.S.) - 14:43.49
5. Kakeru Nakamura (Saikyo H.S.) - 14:44.72

Boys 1500 m Final - June 20
1. Kakeru Nakamura (Saikyo H.S.) - 4:01.44
2. Kenshiro Harada (Takagawa Gakuen H.S.) - 4:03.51
3. Shuto Tomita (Tokuyama Kogyo H.S.) - 4:03.69

Boys 800 m Final - June 22
1. Shusei Matsuo (Keishin H.S.) - 1:56.90
2. Rito Yasuda (Fuchu H.S.) - 1:57.05
3. Tsubasa Tokunaga (Okayama Sozan H.S.) - 1:58.33

Hokushinetsu Regional Qualifier
National H.S. Track and Field Championships
Nagano, June 20-22

Girls 3000 m - June 22
1. Rino Kojima (Seiryo H.S.) - 9:35.92
2. Yukine Oguchi (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 9:36.88
3. Kanna Tamaki (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 9:41.72

Girls 1500 m Final - June 20
1. Aoi Mukara (Mikata H.S.) - 4:32.69
2. Rino Kojima (Seiryo H.S.) - 4:32.97
3. Kana Tsuchida (Niigata Meiken H.S.) - 4:33.26

Girls 800 m Final - June 22
1. Shiho Hasegawa (Nanao H.S.) - 2:13.79
2. Ai Hagihara (Tokamachi H.S.) - 2:14.65
3. Yuika Murotani (Tonami H.S.) - 2:15.23

Boys 5000 m - June 22
1. Isaac Mbugul (Kaishi Kokusai H.S.) - 14:29.94
2. Shun Izawa (Tokai Prep Daisan H.S.) - 14:42.82
3. Takahiro Horii (Sabae H.S.) - 14:44.88
4. Kazuya Azegami (Sekine Gakuen H.S.) - 14:47.07
5. Hikari Yamazaki (Nagano Nihon Prep H.S.) - 14:49.07

Boys 1500 m Final - June 20
1. Isaac Mbugul (Kaishi Kokusai H.S.) - 3:58.46
2. Takehiro Matsuda (Sabae H.S.) - 4:00.54
3. Shun Yuzawa (Tokai Prep Daisan H.S.) - 4:00.88

Boys 800 m Final - June 22
1. Kento Masuda (Hokuriku H.S.) - 1:52.70
2. Daichi Nakajima (Kiso Seiho H.S.) - 1:52.80
3. Kazuomi Hanaoka (Niigata Meiken H.S.) - 1:53.26
4. Masaya Tezuka (Tokai Prep Daisan H.S.) - 1:53.53
5. Takao Kitao (Nyuzen H.S.) - 1:53.65

Hokkaido Regional Qualifier
National H.S. Track and Field Championships
Kushiro, June 17-20

Girls 3000 m - June 20
1. Momoko Tokuya (Sapporo Nihon Prep H.S.) - 9:34.22
2. Airi Tanaka (Asahikawa Ryukoku Prep H.S.) - 9:38.15
3. Nagisa Kato (Sapporo Nihon Prep H.S.) - 9:53.12

Girls 1500 m Final - June 18
1. Saya Shiraishi (Asahikawa Ryukoku Prep H.S.) - 4:33.37
2. Mizuki Kato (Sapporo Nihon Prep H.S.) - 4:33.60
3. Mayu Okuna (Sapporo Nihon Prep H.S.) - 4:35.14

Girls 800 m Final - June 19
1. Saya Shiraishi (Asahikawa Ryukoku Prep H.S.) - 2:14.19
2. Mizuki Kato (Sapporo Nihon Prep H.S.) - 2:14.91
3. Kazuna Uke (Kitami Hokuto H.S.) - 2:17.03

Boys 5000 m - June 19
1. Charles Ndungu (Sapporo Yamanote H.S.) - 14:13.08
2. Yohei Komatsu (Tokai Prep Daiyon H.S.) - 15:19.44
3. Naoya Katsuragawa (Sapporo Nihon Prep H.S.) - 15:19.78

Boys 1500 m Final - June 17
1. Yohei Komatsu (Tokai Prep Daiyon H.S.) - 3:58.95
2. Yuki Niizeki (Sapporo Yamanote H.S.) - 3:59.42
3. Ryotaro Kawakami (Tokai Prep Daiyon H.S.) - 4:00.48

Boys 800 m Final - June 19
1. Yusuke Nakagawa (Takikawa Nishi H.S.) - 1:56.68
2. Arata Koga (Hakodate Municipal H.S.) - 1:57.58
3. Koki Shimazu (Hakodate Prep Yuto H.S.) - 1:57.59

Shikoku Regional Qualifier
National H.S. Track and Field Championships
Kagawa, June 14-16

Girls 3000 m - June 16
1. Minori Tani (Naruto H.S.) - 9:39.83
2. Ikumi Fukura (Tomioka Higashi H.S.) - 9:43.59
3. Chihoka Nakazato (Yamada H.S.) - 9:43.81

Girls 1500 m Final - June 14
1. Minori Tani (Naruto H.S.) - 4:29.07
2. Noa Ito (Yawatahama H.S.) - 4:29.65
3. Ikumi Fukura (Tomioka Higashi H.S.) - 4:34.51

Girls 800 m Final - June 15
1. Kako Okada (Yawatahama H.S.) - 2:16.38
2. Masaki Tokunaga (Imabari Kita H.S.) - 2:16.60
3. Misaki Ogata (Komatsushima Nishi H.S.) - 2:17.30

Boys 5000 m - June 15
1. Taku Tomihara (Jinsei Gakuen H.S.) - 15:11.06
2. Tomoaki Wake (Yawatahama H.S.) - 15:12.33
3. Shin Takeuchi (Matsuyama Kogyo H.S.) - 15:13.33

Boys 1500 m Final - June 14
1. Taku Tomihara (Jinsei Gakuen H.S.) - 3:56.28
2. Koichi Saijo (Tomioka Higashi H.S.) - 3:57.74
3. Shingo Kagawa (Jinsei Gakuen H.S.) - 3:57.94

Boys 800 m Final - June 15
1. Issei Murakami (Imabari Nishi H.S.) - 1:55.44
2. Ryohei Iio (Yawatahama H.S.) - 1:55.52
3. Kodai Kiyomura (Niihama Nishi H.S.) - 1:55.63

Tohoku Regional Qualifier
National H.S. Track and Field Championships
Miyagi, June 13-16

Girls 3000 m - June 16
1. Mariam Waithera (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 9:19.35
2. Monica Margaret (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 9:33.81
3. Kanako Yahagi (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 9:36.95

Girls 1500 m Final - June 14
1. Monica Margaret (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 4:23.43
2. Kanako Yahagi (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 4:27.06
3. Yuzuna Endo (Yamagata Johoku H.S.) - 4:29.42

Girls 800 m Final - June 16
1. Asami Nishida (Iwaki Sakuragaoka H.S.) - 2:13.47
2. Ayane Kumagai (Morioka Seio H.S.) - 2:14.43
3. Karen Mori (Kosei Gakuin H.S.) - 2:16.16

Boys 5000 m - June 14
1. Silas Kingori (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 13:56.55
2. Hiroki Miura (Tohoku H.S.) - 14:13.67
3. John Kariuki (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 14:14.62
4. Hayate Kurumada (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 14:18.02
5. Haruki Minatoya (Akita Kogyo H.S.) - 14:21.64

Boys 1500 m Final - June 13
1. John Kariuki (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 3:50.03
2. Yota Endo (Yamagata Minami H.S.) - 3:52.48
3. Takanori Hayashi (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 3:52.53
4. Tsubasa Komuro (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 3:53.02
5. Katsutoshi Monoe (Kitakata H.S.) - 3:53.22

Boys 800 m Final - June 15
1. Ryusei Sakuraoka (Morioka Minami H.S.) - 1:54.11
2. Kazuyoshi Tamogami (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 1:54.63
3. Ren Takahashi (Shioko H.S.) - 1:54.65

South Kyushu Regional Qualifier
National H.S. Track and Field Championships
Okinawa, June 12-15

Girls 3000 m - June 15
1. Haruka Tobimatsu (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:26.33
2. Rui Maenohara (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:27.40
3. Sayaka Onitsuka (Miyazaki Nihon Prep H.S.) - 9:28.06
4. Yuri Nozoe (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 9:28.78
5. Kyoka Nakagawa (Kumamoto Shinai Joshi Gakuin H.S,) - 9:28.97

Girls 1500 m Final - June 13
1. Nana Kuraoka (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 4:24.76
2. Yuri Nozoe (Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 4:25.80
3. Sayaka Onitsuka (Miyazaki Nihon Prep H.S.) - 4:27.76

Girls 800 m Final - June 14
1. Nanami Shigeyama (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 2:12.40
2. Nana Kuraoka (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 2:12.58
3. Sumire Inudo (Kumamoto Shogyo H.S.) - 2:13.55

Boys 5000 m - June 13
1. Ryota Tanaka (Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S.) - 14:46.49
2. Taku Hirosue (Kobayashi H.S.) - 14:49.67
3. Yusho Miyazaki (Kumamoto Chiharadai H.S.) - 14:49.75

Boys 1500 m Final - June 12
1. Taku Hirosue (Kobayashi H.S.) -3:55.72
2. Ryota Tanaka (Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S.) - 3:55.91
3. Yuta Kanbayashi (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 3:56.26

Boys 800 m Final - June 14
1. Suguru Otakuro (Taragi H.S.) - 1:53.42
2. Kaisei Kakino (Yatsushiro Kogyo H.S.) - 1:55.13
3. Kohei Yamashiro (Maehara H.S.) - 1:56.09

North Kyushu Regional Qualifier
National H.S. Track and Field Championships
Oita, June 12-15

Girls 3000 m - June 15
1. Ayame Kazu (Kita-Kyushu Municipal H.S.) - 9:30.63
2. Wakaba Kawakami (Isahaya H.S.) - 9:32.28
3. Ryoko Matsukawa (Kita-Kyushu Municipal H.S.) - 9:32.97

Girls 1500 m Final - June 12
1. Yuka Matsumura (Kita-Kyushu Municipal H.S.) - 4:29.79
2. Hikari Fukuda (Tokai Prep Daigo H.S.) - 4:30.60
3. Kyoko Tokunaga (Shimahara H.S.) - 4:30.60

Girls 800 m Final - June 14
1. Sae Shuto (Oita Nishi H.S.) - 2:09.69
2. Saki Miyata (Nagasaki Minami H.S.) - 2:10.36
3. Yukino Tsutsumi (Sasebo Nishi H.S.) - 2:10.44
4. Wakako Ikeda (Koka H.S.) - 2:10.66
5. Yuka Matsumura (Kita-Kyushu Municipal H.S.) - 2:11.06

Boys 5000 m - June 13
1. Shota Onizuka (Omuta H.S.) - 14:38.69
2. Kiyoshi Koga (Tosu Kogyo H.S.) - 14:39.99
3. Takaki Soejima (Shiroishi H.S.) - 14:40.26

Boys 1500 m Final - June 12
1. Shota Funatsu (Fukuoka Prep Ohori H.S.) - 3:58.47
2. Shota Onizuka (Omuta H.S.) - 3:58.80
3. Yuichiro Sugi (Yanagawa H.S.) - 3:59.44

Boys 800 m Final - June 14
1. Shunichi Takaki (Koka H.S.) - 1:53.01
2. Shinki Ogawa (Isahaya H.S.) - 1:54.08
3. Daiki Matsuo (Keitoku H.S.) - 1:54.18

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

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Defending champion Charles Ndirangu (JFE Steel) suffered some sort of injury in the late going, shuffling down the home straight and almost walking across the finish line to take 5th in 1:03:39. Just behind him, 2017 Gold Coast Marathon winner Takuya Noguchi (Konica Minolta) nicked 2018 Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) at the line after sitting on Kawauchi the entire race, both…

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There’s a woman in her 30s who has been breaking marathon course records left and right. A native of Saga, her name is Hiroko Yoshitomi (34, Memolead). In the last year she has broken course records at three domestic marathons including a 2:33:57 at March’s Saga Sakura Marathon. “In terms of my age, I’ve still got years left to be breaking records,” Yoshitomi says. “If you approach your running in terms of that kind of thinking then it’s totally natural that the times are going to come.” At one point she had thought about retiring this season, but for now she’s determined to push on.

Tokyo-based running Industry conglomerate Rbies recently launched the Marathon Challenge Cup (MCC) series, a grouping of 33 domestic marathons across the country. In the 2017 season 19 of those member races saw a total of 23 new course records. The only person to set multiple new course records was Yoshitomi. Along with these records, at December’s Honolulu Marathon, February’s Tokyo Marathon and April’s…