Skip to main content

World Juniors Silver Medalist Kitagawa Leads First Day of National High School Track and Field Championships

by Brett Larner

With temperatures clipping 35 degrees the 2014 National Track and Field Championships kicked off July 30 in Kofu, Yamanashi, home ground of 2013 National High School Boys' Ekiden champion Yamanashi Gakuin Prep H.S.  The biggest news on the first of the meet's five days of competition came in the boys' 400 m.  48 hours after helping the Japanese team win silver in the 4x400 m relay at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene, U.S.A., Takamasa Kitagawa (Uruga H.S.) swept through the competition, winning his opening round heat in 48.22 and his semi-final in 47.23 before taking the final in 46.57, the 10th-fastest time ever by a Japanese high schooler.  Satoshi Yamamoto (Amakusa Kogyo H.S.) gave Kitagawa a solid challenge in the final but had to settle for 2nd in 46.61.  Seika Aoyama (Matsue Shogyo H.S.) had a clearer margin of victory in the girls' 400 m final, winning the national title in 53.73 by 0.21 seconds over runner-up Nanako Matsumoto (Hamamatsu Civic H.S.).

The day's hottest temperatures came in time for the boys' and girls' 1500 m qualifying heats.  Masahide Saito (Waseda Prep Jitsugyo H.S.) and Renya Maeda (Funabashi Civic H.S.) led the way in the boys' qualifiers, both going under 3:52 in Heat 3.  Five more runners in Heats 2 and 3 cleared 3:53, with Heat 1 winner Tsubasa Komuro (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) and Heat 4 winner Motoki Nabeshima (Katsura H.S.) both over 3:55.  Kenyan Monica Margaret (Aomori Yamada H.S.) led the girls' qualifiers in 4:23.96 in Heat 2, the only girl to clear 4:24, but eight other runners including Heat 2 runner-up Karin Yasumoto (Suma Gakuen H.S.), Heat 4 winner Mina Kato (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) and Heat 3 winner Yuka Kobayashi (Tokiwa H.S.) finished within 0.68 seconds of her time, promising an exciting final.

The 2014 National High School Track and Field Championships continue through Aug. 3.  The entire meet is being streamed live over four channels, one each for track events, jumps, throws and combined events.  Click here to watch the live streams, which are continuous virtually all day Japanese time.  Click here for a complete meet schedule.

2014 National High School Track and Field Championships Day One
Kofu, Yamanashi, July 30
click here for official results
click here for comprehensive results in English

Boys' 400 m Final
1. Takamasa Kitagawa (Uruga H.S.) - 46.57
2. Satoshi Yamamoto (Amakusa Kogyo H.S.) - 46.61
3. Manato Sasaki (Morioka Minami H.S.) - 47.37
4. Kazuki Ota (Numazu Higashi H.S.) - 47.71
5. Takeshi Iwamoto (Kyoto Ryoyo H.S.) - 47.79
6. Shota Terai (Isahaya H.S.) - 47.93
7. Yuto Asakawa (Nagano Prefectural H.S.) - 48.28
8. Kazuki Nomura (Miyazaki Kogyo H.S.) - 48.44

Girls' 400 m Final
1. Seika Aoyama (Matsue Shogyo H.S.) - 53.73
2. Nanako Matsumoto (Hamamatsu Civic H.S.) - 53.94
3. Haruko Ishizuka (Higashi Osaka Prep Keiai H.S.) - 54.63
4. Miyu Mori (Tohoku H.S.) - 54.79
5. Yuna Iwata (Niijima Gakuen H.S.) - 55.00
6. Ayaha Kimoto (Higashi Osaka Prep Keiai H.S.) - 55.11
7. Masumi Okuda (Tokyo H.S.) - 56.10
8. Yuka Kyotani (Kushiro Konan H.S.) - 57.28

Boys' 1500 m Qualifiers
Masahide Saito (Waseda Prep Jitsugyo H.S.) - 3:51.35 (Heat 3)
Renya Maeda (Funabashi Civic H.S.) - 3:51.83 (Heat 3)
Haruki Nishimura (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 3:52.59 (Heat 3)
Takanori Hayashi (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 3:52.75 (Heat 2)
Ko Kobayashi (Toyo Prep Ushiku H.S.) - 3:52.88 (Heat 2)
Kaito Yamamura (Kobayashi H.S.) - 3:52.93 (Heat 3)
Yota Endo (Yamagata Minami H.S.) - 3:52.98 (Heat 2)
Ryuya Kajiya (Hakuo Prep Ashikaga H.S.) - 3:53.08 (Heat 2)
Naoto Ozawa (Kusatsu Higashi H.S.) - 3:53.37 (Heat 2)
Taisei Hashizume (Wakayama Kita H.S.) - 3:53.38 (Heat 3)
Motoki Nabeshima (Katsura H.S.) - 3:55.46 (Heat 4)
Takehiro Matsuda (Sabae H.S.) - 3:55.56 (Heat 4)
Shoma Funatsu (Fukuoka Prep Ohori H.S.) - 3:55.57 (Heat 4)
Tsubasa Komuro (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 3:56.81 (Heat 1)
Takeshi Okada (Koku Gakuin Prep Kugayama H.S.) - 3:56.95 (Heat 1)
Kohei Arai (Urawa Jitsugyo H.S.) - 3:57.05 (Heat 1)

Girls' 1500 m Qualifiers
Monica Margaret (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 4:23.96 (Heat 2)
Karin Yasumoto (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 4:24.06 (Heat 2)
Mina Kato (Hakuho Joshi H.S.) - 4:24.11 (Heat 4)
Hinano Yamada (Toyokawa H.S.) - 4:24.12 (Heat 2)
Arisa Yamamoto (Tottori Chuo Ikuei H.S.) - 4:24.33 (Heat 2)
Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S.) - 4:24.38 (Heat 2)
Mina Ueda (Narita H.S.) - 4:24.49 (Heat 4)
Yuka Kobayashi (Tokiwa H.S.) - 4:24.59 (Heat 3)
Yuki Kometani (Tokiwa H.S.) - 4:24.64 (Heat 4)
Nodoka Aoki (Mashita Seifu H.S.) - 4:25.07 (Heat 4)
Yuka Sarumida (Toyokawa H.S.) - 4:25.10 (Heat 4)
Kanako Yahagi (Aomori Yamada H.S.) - 4:25.74 (Heat 3)
Sayuri Shiratori (Sahara H.S.) - 4:26.17 (Heat 3)
Ayaka Nakagawa (Shohei Gakuen H.S.) - 4:26.79 (Heat 1)
Nana Kuraoka (Kagoshima Joshi H.S.) - 4:26.85 (Heat 1)
Azusa Sumi (Toyokawa H.S.) - 4:26.99 (Heat 1)

(c) 2014 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

How it Happened

Ancient History I went to Wesleyan University, where the legend of four-time Boston Marathon champ and Wes alum Bill Rodgers hung heavy over the cross-country team. Inspired by Koichi Morishita and Young-Cho Hwang’s duel at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics I ran my first marathon in 1993, qualifying for Boston ’94 where Bill was kind enough to sign a star-struck 20-year-old me’s bib number at the expo.

Three years later I moved to Japan for grad school, and through a long string of coincidences I came across a teenaged kid named Yuki Kawauchi down at my neighborhood track. I never imagined he’d become what he is, but right from the start there was just something different about him. After his 2:08:37 breakthrough at the 2011 Tokyo Marathon he called me up and asked me to help him get into races abroad. He’d finished 3rd on the brutal downhill Sixth Stage at the Hakone Ekiden, and given how he’d run the hills in the last 6 km at Tokyo ’11 I thought he’d do well at Boston or New York. “If M…

The Kawauchi Counter

Yuki Kawauchi's 2018 race results: Jan. 1: Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon, U.S.A.: 2:18:59 - 1st - CR
Jan. 14: Okukuma Road Race Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:03:28 - 7th
Jan. 21: Yashio Isshu Ekiden, Saitama: 1:01:03 - 1st - ran entire 20.0 km ekiden solo and beat all 103 teams of 6 runners each
Jan. 28: Okumusashi Ekiden First Stage (9.9 km), Saitama - 29:41 - 6th
Feb. 4: Saitama Ekiden Third Stage (12.1 km), Saitama - 36:54 - 4th
Feb. 11: Izumo Kunibiki Half Marathon, Shimane - cancelled due to heavy snow
Feb. 18: Kitakyushu Marathon, Fukuoka - 2:11:46 - 1st - CR
Feb. 25: Fukaya City Half Marathon, Saitama - 1:04:26 - 1st
Mar. 4: Kanaguri Hai Tamana Half Marathon, Kumamoto - 1:04:49 - 12th
Mar. 11: Yoshinogawa Riverside Half Marathon, Tokushima - 1:05:50 - 1st - CR
Mar. 18: Wan Jin Shi Marathon, Taiwan - 2:14:12 - 1st
Mar. 24: Heisei Kokusai University Time Trials, Saitama
              5000 m Heat 4: 14:53.95 - 1st
              5000 m Heat 6: 14:36.58 - 2nd
           …

Guinness Certifies Kawauchi's World Record 78 Career Sub-2:20 Marathons After Half Marathon in Panda Costume

Known as the Civil Servant Runner, Saitama Prefectural Government employee Yuki Kawauchi's career record of 78 sub-2:20 marathons was officially recognized as the Guinness World Record at a ceremony in his hometown of Kuki, Saitama on Mar. 25.  Raised in Kuki, Kawauchi began working for the Saitama Prefectural Government after graduating from university. Running while working full-time as a civil servant, he has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic trial race.

Earlier this month on the 18th Kawauchi ran Taiwan's Wan Jin Shi Marathon, winning in 2:14:12. His 78th time running faster than 2 hours and 20 minutes, his achievement was certified as the official Guinness World Record. He actually broke the previous record on Jan. 1 at the Marshfield New Year's Day Marathon in the U.S.A. with his 76th sub-2:20 but followed up with two performances, one in February and the other last week, before Guinness could ratify the record.

The official recognition ceremony took place Mar. 2…