Skip to main content

Chuo Gakuin Wins National University Ekiden Kanto Region Qualifier

by Brett Larner
video by naoki620

Saturday saw the first event on the university men's ekiden circuit with regional qualifier action for November's National University Men's Ekiden.  Universities across the country that finished outside the seeded top six at last November's Nationals competed on the track in their regions, eight runners from each school split into four heats and their team score determined by the combined times of all eight.

The biggest event, needless to say, was in the Tokyo-area Kanto Region, home of the Hakone Ekiden, where twenty schools competed for nine places at Nationals.  Led by senior Hironori Tsuetaki, the double 5000 m and 10000 m D2 champ at last month's Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, Chiba's Chuo Gakuin University came out on top as the only school to clear 3:59, its eight runners totalling 3:58.58.68.  Tsuetaki, on the entry list for both 3000 mSC and 5000 m at next weekend's National Track and Field Championships, went head-to-head with Kanto Regionals D1 Half Marathon champion Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Nihon Univ.) in the fourth heat, following Muiva's opening 2:45 km and staying on sub-28 pace through 4000 m to burn off all competition.

After a 14:04 split at halfway, well ahead of Tsuetaki's two month-old PB of 28:36.61, Muiva slowed slightly, and after two 2:51 splits in a row Tsuetaki went past the Kenyan to take the lead.  Muiva tried to retake the front position but Tsuetaki surged and refused to let him go by until another move from Muiva around 8000 m proved too much.  Tsuetaki dropped over 40 m behind, but with the same kick that won him both Kanto titles he closed back to within 3 seconds of Muiva, who took the win in 28:28.64 and led Nihon University into a 2nd-place finish behind Chuo Gakuin.  Tsuetaki's 28:31.84 for 2nd was a PB by 5 seconds.



Last year's Hakone Ekiden Qualifier winner Kanagawa University took 3rd overall with two runners in the top five in both heats three and four.  Pre-race favorite Waseda University led team scoring in the early heats, but in the fourth heat its star senior Koki Takada, the 2014 Ageo City Half Marathon winner and with a 28:49.59 best, struggled over the second half, finishing 28th in 29:52.48 after running with Muiva and Tsuetaki through 3000 m.  Waseda finished 4th in 3:59:40.00, less than 42 seconds behind winner Chuo Gakuin.  A run more up to Takada's potential and things might have been different.  Tiny Koku Gakuin University took the final qualifying position at 9th in 4:01:34.76, 10th-placer Hosei University sent home disappointed after scoring 4:01:55.43.

Regional qualifying races also happened in the Osaka-area Kansai Region and Fukuoka-area Kyushu Region.  In Kansai, Ritsumeikan University led the four qualifying schools in 4:04:17.19 thanks in part to a fourth heat win by senior Shu Hamano, who unexpectedly beat Kansai Region collegiate half marathon record holder Kentaro Hirai (Kyoto Univ.) in 29:32.14.  Perennial Kyushu Region winner Daiichi Kogyo University took the lone Kyushu qualifying spot again in 4:12:39.84, with Kenyan John Kariuki winning the fastest heat by over a minute in 29:56.32.  As an indication of the Kanto Region's stranglehold on top talent, Ritsumeikan would have finished 17th among the twenty schools in the Kanto qualifier, while Daiichi Kogyo would have been almost 4 minutes behind last-place Kanto team Asia University.  Both Kansai and Kyushu will also send select teams to Nationals made up of top-placing finishers like Hirai whose schools did not make the team qualifying brackets in their regions. 

47th National University Men's Ekiden Kanto Region Qualifier
Keio University, Hiyoshi, Kanagawa, 6/20/15
click here for complete results

Team Results - sum of each school's 8 runners; top 9 schools qualify
1. Chuo Gakuin Univ. - 3:58:58.68
2. Nihon Univ. - 3:59:19.28
3. Kanagawa Univ - 3:59:23.36
4. Waseda Univ. - 3:59:40.00
5. Teikyo Univ. - 3:59:50.69
6. Juntendo Univ. - 4:00:15.14
7. Nittai Univ. - 4:00:33.17
8. Daito Bunka Univ. - 4:01:15.07
9. Koku Gakuin Univ. - 4:01:34.76
-----
10. Hosei Univ. - 4:01:55.43
11. Jobu Univ. - 4:02:08.30
12. Senshu Univ. - 4:02:44.55

Heat Four
1. Daniel Muiva Kitonyi (Kenya/Nihon Univ.) - 28:28.64
2. Hironori Tsuetaki (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 28:31.84 - PB
3. Hiroki Matsueda (Juntendo Univ.) - 29:05.71
4. Ryohei Nishiyama (Kanagawa Univ.) - 29:06.24
5. Kengo Suzuki (Kanagawa Univ.) - 29:09.04 - PB
6. Yuta Takahashi (Teikyo Univ.) - 29:09.76 - PB
7. Shinnosuke Ogino (Nihon Univ.) - 29:19.45
8. Koki Ido (Waseda Univ.) - 29:20.24
9. Sho Tokunaga (Chuo Univ.) - 29:20.40
10. Kento Hanazawa (Juntendo Univ.) - 29:21.08
-----
13. Workneh Derese (Ethiopia/Takushoku Univ.) - 29:23.91
28. Koki Takada (Waseda Univ.) - 29:52.48

Heat Three
1. Kazuma Ganaha (Kanagawa Univ.) - 29:38.35
2. Soma Ishikawa (Nihon Univ.) - 29:39.19
3. Stanley Siteki (Kenya/Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) - 29:39.42
4. Kazuma Kitamura (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 29:41.30
5. Atsushi Yamato (Kanagawa Univ.) - 29:43.02 - PB

Heat Two
1. Takumi Komatsu (Nittai Univ.) - 30:00.21
2. Yuta Hamano (Senshu Univ.) - 30:01.69
3. Hiroya Inoue (Jobu Univ.) - 30:02.71
4. Hiroki Nagayama (Waseda Univ.) - 30:03.08 - debut
5. Shoatsu Kakimoto (Nittai Univ.) - 30:04.52

Heat One
1. Toshiyuki Yanagi (Waseda Univ.) - 29:56.51
2. Daiki Hatanaka (Koku Gakuin Univ.) - 29:59.02
3. Kazuya Shiojiri (Juntendo Univ.) - 30:06.57 - debut
4. Kazuya Isoda (Hosei Univ.) - 30:07.07 - PB
5. Yuki Murakami (Chuo Gakuin Univ.) - 30:11.31


47th National University Men's Ekiden Kansai Region Qualifier
Nishikyogoku Field, Kyoto, 6/20/15
click here for complete results

Team Results - sum of each school's 8 runners; top 4 schools qualify
1. Ritsumeikan Univ. - 4:04:17.19
2. Kyoto Sangyo Univ. - 4:05:07.76
3. Kwansei Gakuin Univ. - 4:06:01.12
4. Kansai Univ. - 4:08:48.55
-----
5. Kyoto Univ. - 4:08:53.22

Heat Four
1. Shu Hamano (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 29:32.14
2. Ryusei Takahashi (Osaka Keizai Univ.) - 29:34.83
3. Kentaro Hirai (Kyoto Univ.) - 29:37.91
4. Ken Nakanishi (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 30:01.95
5. Ryo Inagaki (Kansai Univ.) - 30:08.68

Heat Three
1. Masatoshi Teranishi (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) - 30:34.09
2. Masato Doi (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 30:35.39
3. Hikari Hondo (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 30:39.61

Heat Two
1. Naoki Fujiwara (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 30:28.22
2. Naoto Nakanouchi (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 3:28.70
3. Daisuke Hiramatsu (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 30:44.59

Heat One
1. Kota Tamura (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 31:41.14
2. Kosuke Tsujimura (Ritsumeikan Univ.) - 31:42.17
3. Hiroki Yoshioka (Kwansei Gakuin Univ.) - 31:42.86


47th National University Men's Ekiden Kyushu Region Qualifier
Fukuoka University, Fukuoka, 6/20/15
click here for complete results

Team Results - sum of each school's 8 runners; top school qualifies
1. Daiichi Kogyo Univ. - 4:12:39.84
-----
2. Nippon Bunri Univ. - 4:13:48.77
3. Shiga Kukan Univ. - 4:19:46.44

Heat Three
1. John Kariuki (Kenya/Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 29:56.32
2. Keisuke Saito (Kyushu Univ.) - 31:12.40
3. Hiromu Kitamura (Nippon Bunri Univ.) - 31:13.70

Heat Two
1. Takuto Miyakuni (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 31:36.62
2. Kota Miyamoto (Nippon Bunri Univ.) - 31:41.13
3. Kaito Beppu (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 31:56.81

Heat One
1. Chikara Ono (Nippon Bunri Univ.) - 32:13.04
2. Tomohiro Nagai (Daiichi Kogyo Univ.) - 32:13.37
3. Yuto Miyazaki (Nippon Bunri Univ.) - 32:16.02

(c) 2015 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Morita Goes Sub-32 in 10000 m Debut

Running her track 10000 m debut of a 32:27 road 10 km in the spring, Kaori Morita (Panasonic) closed hard off a slow opening pace to win the National Corporate Federation Women's Long Distance Time Trials 10000 m Friday afternoon in Yamaguchi.

A new filler meet to take up space on the calendar following the National Corporate Women's Ekiden's move to November, the Corporate Time Trials meet featured one heat of 3000 m and three 5000 m heats before its main focus, the 10000 m. After a 3:19 first 1000 m Morita's teammate Yuka Hori, winner of the 10.9 km Third Stage at Nationals, took over, leading the field at 3:12 to 3:14 / km pace through 7000 m. Morita, who won the 7.0 km First Stage, went to the front at that point with a 3:14 to 8000 m before taking off.

Clocking her fastest split up to that point with a 3:07 between 8 and 9000 m, Morita closed impressively with a 3:01 final km to dip under 32 minutes as she won in 31:59.94. Steepler Chikako Mori (Sekisui Kagaku) w…

Saitama International Marathon Top Two's Times Annulled Due to Last-Minute Misdirection by Race Officials

At the Nov. 12 Saitama International Marathon, Kenyan Flomena Cheyech Daniel won a sprint finish over Bahraini Shitaye Habtegebrel by 3 seconds to take her second-straight Saitama title in 2:28:39. On Dec. 11 race organizers announced that both runners' times had been annulled.

In the midst of the pair's battle for the win, race officials misdirected the pair into the righthand lane on the final corner instead of the lefthand lane in which the finish line was located. Both ran over the curb dividing the two lanes and returned to the original course before finishing.

At the time JAAF executive director Mitsugi Ogata said, "This was a mistake by the organizers and the athletes did nothing wrong. There was no effect on the finishing order and no advantage gained in terms of the distance run." After later consultation with JAAF officials, race organizers decided that Cheyech and Habtegebrel had not covered the complete distance and that their times should be annulled. N…

Tokyo Marathon to Move to March Date Beginning in 2019

At a press conference in Tokyo on Dec. 12, the Tokyo Marathon Foundation announced that beginning in 2019, the Tokyo Marathon will move from its current date on the last Sunday of February to the first Sunday of March. The next Imperial succession is set to take place in 2019, meaning that February 23 will become the Emperor's Birthday national holiday starting in 2020. The race date is being preemptively moved to avoid any potential overlap.

According to the Foundation, setting up and breaking down the facilities necessary to hold the Tokyo Marathon takes several days. With the finish area being positioned in front of the Imperial Palace there were concerns that problems would arise due to the large number of people who would gather in the area to celebrate the Emperor's birthday.

Translator's note: The Tokyo Marathon previously experimented with a March race date in 2009 but abandoned it to return to February the next year. Since 1994 the first Sunday of March has been t…