Monday, April 18, 2016

Weekend Track Highlights

by Brett Larner

Although many events in Kyushu were cancelled as a series of major earthquakes and aftershocks hit the Kumamoto and Oita areas, track season went ahead as usual in the rest of Japan despite high winds and rain that kept times relatively slow.  Some highlights at home and abroad:
  • Former Sera H.S. ace Charles Ndirangu (Team JFE Steel) delivered the fastest 5000 m of the weekend, running 13:40.34 to win the Chugoku Corporate Time Trials meet's fastest heat.  High schooler Joel Mwaura (Kurashiki H.S.) was the only other runner under 14 minutes, running 13:48.20 for 2nd.
  • The lone entrant in the women's 5000 m at the Chugoku meet, Sera's Yuka Mukai ran a solo 15:58.62.
  • Suguru Osako (Nike Oregon Project) was the only Japanese man to break 14 over the weekend, winning Friday's Oregon Relays 5000 m in 13:45.39.
  • Masaru Aoki (Team Kanebo) narrowly missed joining him, running 14:00.47 to win the Challenge Meet in Kumagaya 5000 m A-heat.
  • 17-year-old Hyuga Endo (Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.), Japan's top current high schooler, won the 3000 m in Kumagaya in 8:06.29 over Kenyans Stanley Siteki (Tokyo Kokusai Univ.) and Willy Kipselem (Team Hitachi Butsuryu).
  • Yukari Abe (Team Shimamura) delivered Kumagaya's fastest women's 3000 m, running 9:19:12.
  • In nearby Gunma, Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S.) ran 9:23.50 to win the Gunma Prefecture Championships Women's 3000 m.
  • Marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) was 6th in Kumagaya's 1500 m A-heat, running 3:59.70 for 6th.
© 2016 Brett Larner
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