Skip to main content

High Schools Thrash Corporate League Ekiden Competition

by Brett Larner

Championship ekiden season has come and gone, but Sunday saw high-level action at two popular and long-running ekidens at opposite ends of Japan.  In western Japan, course record-setting 2015 National High School Ekiden champion Sera H.S. of Hiroshima definitively took the win at the 79th Chugoku Yamaguchi Ekiden, beating Mazda, Chugoku Denryoku, JFE Steel, Chudenko and other corporate team competition with ease.  Sera third-year Paul Kamais opened a lead of over two minutes with a course record 42:04 for the 15.1 km First Stage, and from there Sera never lost the top position.  Mazda came the closest, closing to within 3 seconds by the end of the Fourth Stage, but a Fifth Stage win by Sera's Taiju Nakashima put them back out front with a margin that Sera's remaining two runners held onto until the end.  Sera covered the seven-stage, 84.4 km course in 4:07:29, the best-ever by a high school team, with Mazda ending up nearly two minutes back in 4:09:24.  Chugoku Denryoku, missing star Takehiro Deki who is in training for the Tokyo Marathon, was 3rd in 4:10:17.

Northwest of Tokyo in Saitama, the local Saitama Sakae H.S. boys ran away from the Police Department corporate team for the win at the 62nd Okumusashi Ekiden.  A pair of stage records from Saitama Sakae's Ryoji Tatezawa and Hidekazu Tsujikata put the school almost two minutes ahead of the Police after four of the race's six stages, but despite a strong finish from the Police Saitama Sakae held on to a lead of almost a minute to take the win in 1:56:16 for 38.5 km.  Running for his employer, the Saitama Prefectural Government, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi was 2nd behind Tatezawa on the hilly 5.4 km Second Stage, running 16:45 to Tatezawa's 16:17 record.

79th Chugoku Yamaguchi Ekiden
Ube, Yamaguchi, 1/31/16
47 teams, 7 stages, 84.4 km

Top Team Results
1. Sera H.S. - 4:07:29
2. Mazda - 4:09:24
3. Chugoku Denryoku - 4:10:17
4. JFE Steel - 4:12:11
5. Chudenko - 4:14:26

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (15.1 km) - Paul Kamais (Sera H.S.) - 42:04 - CR
Second Stage (11.3 km) - Charles Ndirangu (JFE Steel) - 31:21 - CR
Third Stage (11.9 km) - Teressa Nyakora (Mazda) - 34:48
Fourth Stage (10.4 km) - Takumi Kiyotani (Chugoku Denryoku) - 31:04
Fifth Stage (8.7 km) - Taiju Nakashima (Sera H.S.) - 24:56
Sixth Stage (15.9 km) - Joel Mwaura (Kurashiki H.S.) - 46:01
Seventh Stage (11.1 km) - Yuji Osuda (Mazda H.S.) - 32:21

62nd Okumusashi Ekiden
Hanno, Saitama, 1/31/16
201 teams, 6 stages, 38.5 km

Top Team Performances
1. Saitama Sakae H.S. - 1:56:16
2. Police Department - 1:57:12
3. Kanto Gakuin Univ. A - 1:58:09
4. Tokyo Kokusai Univ. B - 1:58:19
5. Shindengen Kogyo - 1:58:30

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (9.8 km) - Takashi Hirose (Kanto Gakuin Univ. A) - 29:33
Second Stage (5.4 km) - Ryota Tatezawa (Saitama Sakae H.S. A) - 16:17 - CR
Third Stage (4.3 km) - Takahisa Mitsui (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 12:45
Fourth Stage (4.5 km) - Hidekazu Tsujikata (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 12:50 - CR
Fifth Stage (5.2 km) - Shota Umemoto (Tokyo Kokusai Univ. A) - 15:07
Sixth Stage (9.3 km) - Takato Suzuki (Ryutsu Keizai Prep Kashiwa H.S.) - 27:56 - CR

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

TokyoRacer said…
Here's a comment: Wow!
Looking for women high school track and field runners senior in 2016.To
run track in USA UNIVERSITY. Looking for top 200m, 400m ,800m, 1500 and 3000m runner. long jumper and high jumers 19plus in longjump and high jumper (5"5 to 5-10)
sent information to cbsportsacademy@gmail.com
levin

Most-Read This Week

Aoyama Gakuin Back on Top of Izumo Ekiden

Leading start to finish, 2015-2016 Izumo Ekiden champ Aoyama Gakuin University overcame last year's winner Tokai University and a tough challenge from Toyo University to win Izumo's 30th anniversary edition.

In hot and sunny conditions that followed the passing of Typhoon #25 AGU's Taisei Hashizume got things rolling, opening a six-second lead over Toyo's Akira Aizawa on the 8.0 km First Stage. Tokai's Yuichiro Nishikawa was 20 seconds back in 6th.

Takato Suzuki increased AGU's lead on the 5.8 km Second Stage with a 16:26 stage win. Indoor mile national record holder Ryoji Tatezawa was next-fastest in 16:29, running down four teams including Toyo to put the defending champs into 2nd. The lone crack in Toyo's armor, Kazuya Nishiyama ran only 16:54 to drop Toyo back to 3rd some 34 seconds off the lead.

Back in 4th place, Takushoku University captain Workneh Derese ran a 25:17stage best on the 8.5 km Third Stage to overtake both Toyo and Tokai, but with AGU…

Kisaisa Wins Second-Straight Yosenkai Half Marathon in 1:00:44, Komazawa University Averages Ten Men Under 1:03

The Hakone Ekiden Yosenkai is the qualifying race for Japan's most prestigious road race, the Jan. 2-3 Hakone Ekiden. University men's teams in the Tokyo area that didn't make the top ten at Hakone the year before square off in Tokyo's Showa Kinen Park with teams of up to twelve. The top ten score, their cumulative times determining the team's placing with the top eleven teams advancing and high-placing individuals from schools that don't make the cut rounded up to form a select team.

The Yosenkai has long been the world's #1 20 km road race by a wide margin, with winning times among the fastest in the world for the distance and the same kind of incredible depth seen at November's Ageo City Half Marathon and March's National University Men's Half Marathon. In light of changes in the IAAF's ranking system and the level of performance at the Yosenkai, this year organizers took the historic step of changing it from its traditional distance to …

Osako Brings Japanese National Record Back to Chicago

Just over seven months since Yuta Shitara broke Toshinari Takaoka's longstanding 2:06:16 national record from the 2002 Chicago Marathon with a 2:06:11 in Tokyo in February, U.S.-based Suguru Osako brought the record back home to Chicago with a 3rd-place finish in 2:05:50.

Running the same pattern as in his first two marathons, Osako sat back in the lead men's pack, never exerting himself as it whittled down to the core members. Just past the turn into Chinatown near 35 km his Nike Oregon Project teammate and 2017 Chicago winner Galen Rupp fell off the front group to leave Osako in contention with former NOP member Mo Farah, 2:04 Ethiopian Mosinet Gemerew, former Asahi Kasei runner Kenneth Kipkemoi and 2017 world champion Geoffrey Kirui.

As in Boston and Fukuoka last year, when the real move came, this time in the form of a surge by Farah and Gemerew, Osako was left behind to battle it out for 3rd. While Farah kicked away for the win by 13 seconds in a European record 2:05:11,…