Skip to main content

Nishiyama and Minatoya to Make U.S. Debut at United Airlines NYC Half

by Brett Larner

coach Atsushi Fujita, Yusuke Nishiyama and Haruki Minatoya in New York

For the fifth year in a row the NYRR have invited the top two Japanese university finishers at November's Ageo City Half Marathon to make their U.S. debuts at the United Airlines NYC HalfLast year in Ageo Kenya Sonota and Yusuke Nishiyama from four-time National University Ekiden champion Komazawa University went 1-2 in 1:02:48 and 1:02:52 to seal up their invites to New York, just outkicking Japan's best first-year Haruki Minatoya of Tokai University.  Three weeks ago Sonota sustained an injury that forced him to withdraw.  19-year-old Minatoya, already entered for the National University Half Marathon, was ready to take over.

In New York with support from JRN and Komazawa coach Atsushi Fujita, the former Japanese marathon national record holder at 2:06:51, Nishiyama was a star runner at Iga Hakuho H.S. with a win on the First Stage at the 2012 National High School Ekiden Championships his senior year.  He comes to New York off a strong junior year at Komazawa, winning the Fifth Stage at October's Izumo Ekiden and taking first in the university race at last month's Chiba X-Run cross country meet.

Minatoya coach Hayashi Morozumi was the high school coach of Yuki Sato, the Nike Oregon Project's Suguru Osako, and other current top-level Japanese men before taking over at Tokai.  Under his coaching Minatoya ran 13:54.07 for 5000 m, 28:46.59 for 10000 m and 1:02:54 in his half marathon debut in Ageo, the only Japanese first-year to clear 14 minutes, 29 minutes and 1:03:00 this year.

With past Komazawa runners Kenta Murayama and Ikuto Yufu having run 1:02:02 and 1:02:50 in New York Nishiyama hopes to break 1:02:30.  Minatoya, the first runner from Tokai to make it to New York, looks to end his first college season with a new PB.  With possible snow forecast for the day a lot will depend on the weather.  JRN will be on-hand to cover their performances.  Watch live on ABC7 starting at 7:30 a.m. local time.

United Airlines NYC Half 
Elite Men's Field
New York City, 3/20/16

Wilson Chebet (Kenya) - 59:15
Zane Robertson (New Zealand) - 59:47
Stephen Sambu (Kenya) - 1:00:41
Juan Luis Barrios (Mexico) - 1:00:46
Diego Estrada (U.S.A.) - 1:00:51
Sam Chelanga (U.S.A.) - 1:01:04
Daniele Meucci (Italy) - 1:01:06
Lusapho April (South Africa) - 1:01:16
Kevin Chelimo (Kenya) - 1:01:21
Girma Mecheso (U.S.A.) - 1:02:16
Jordan Chipnagama (Zambia) - 1:02:24
Yusuke Nishiyama (Japan/Komazawa Univ.) - 1:02:43
Ian Burrell (U.S.A.) - 1:02:51
Haruki Minatoya (Japan/Tokai Univ.) - 1:02:54
Yonas Mebrahtu (Eritrea) - 1:02:59
Herbert Okuti (Uganda) - 1:03:52
Matthew Kiplagat (Kenya) - 1:03:59
Byron Piedra (Ecuador) - 1:04:09
Lee Merrien (Great Britain) - 1:04:12
John Beattie (Great Britain) - 1:04:48

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Laimoi and Yoshida Break CR, Nilsson Breaks Swedish NR, Shitara, Kamino and Kawauchi Set Up for Fukuoka at Ageo City Half Marathon

Every year it seems like the question is how much further can Ageo go? The answer still seems to be more. More further.

The Ageo City Half Marathon is the world's greatest half marathon, the place where Hakone Ekiden-bound universities line up most of their rosters to help coaches whittle down the contenders for the final sixteen-man Hakone lineup. Perfect conditions at this year's race meant something special.

Four runners from Chuo Gakuin University led by Takumi Yokokawa took it out hard, splitting 5:47 at 2 km, 1:01:00 pace, well ahead of last year's CR with the entire field in tow. A field that included national record holder Yuta Shitara (Honda), Boston Marathon winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't), Hakone uphill hero Daichi Kamino (New Balance), 2017 London World Championships marathoner David Nilsson (Sweden), Kenyans Michael Githae (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC), Vincent Laimoi (Kokushikan Univ.) and Paul Gitonga (Kokushikan Univ.) and Ethiopian Workneh Derese (…

18-Year-Old Waithaka Runs 10000 m World Leading Time at Nittai - Weekend Roundup

photo by @tsutsugo55225

For the second time in the last three weeks, a Japan-based Kenyan ran the fastest time in the world this year for 10000 m at Yokohama's Nittai University Time Trials series. On October 20th it was 2015 World U18 Championships 3000 m gold medalist Richard Kimunyan (Hitachi Butsuryu), 20, with a 27:14.70  that surpassed Ugandan Joshua Cheptegei's world-leading mark by almost five seconds. This time it was 2018 World U20 Championships 5000 m silver medalist Stanley Waithaka (Yakult), 18, taking almost two minutes off his PB to break Kimunyan's mark with a 27:13.01 win.

Both winners received support from 2014 Commonwealth Games steeplechase gold medalist Jonathan Ndiku (Hitachi Butsuryu), who ran season bests for 2nd place each time, 27:50.38 three weeks ago and 27:28.27 on Saturday. 2013 World U18 Championships 3000 m bronze medalist Alexander Mutiso (ND Software) was also under 28 minutes, running just off his PB at 27:42.16 for 3rd. Kazuma Taira (Kan…

Yoshitomi Breaks Fukuoka Marathon Course Record by Over 7 Minutes

The 2018 Fukuoka Marathon took place Nov. 11 on a course from downtown Fukuoka to Itoshima. In the women's race winner Hiroko Yoshitomi (Memolead) ran 2:30:09, taking 7:01 off the course record and 7 seconds off her PB. Surprised and elated, she told reporters, "I never thought I'd run this kind of time here!"
Coming in the early part of the marathon season, Yoshitomi said, "This race was mostly about confirming my condition. I wasn't thinking about running a PB." Until 5 km she was running slower than the kind of pace that would make her tired in training. Mid-race she came across one of her regular training partners, Hiroaki Iwanaga (GGRC Kumamoto) and thought to herself, "If you run with him you might be able to just break 2:30." Never slowing down all the way until the end, Yoshitomi's run turned out what she called "unexpectedly" well.
Yoshitomi will run the 4th Saitama International Marathon on Dec. 9 as part of its invite…