Skip to main content

Hirano and Katsura Win National Junior High School Ekiden Championships

http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/sports/201612/0009761574.shtml

translated and edited by Brett Larner

The 24th National Junior High School Ekiden Championships took place Dec. 18 at Kibogaoka Cultural Park in Yasu, Shiga.  Hyogo's Hirano J.H.S. won its first national title in the six stage, 18 km boys' race in 57:31. Katsura J.H.S. of Kyoto won the five stage, 12 km girls' race in 41:01 to become just the second school in history to win three-straight titles, beating rival Arai J.H.S. of Hyogo by 56 seconds.

In the boys' race Hirano did not get off to a great start in the first half.  Its fourth runner Kentaro Kishimoto began in 10th place 24 seconds behind the leader, but passing 9 people over the 3 km stage he put Hirano ahead by 3 seconds.  Fifth runner Masaya Tamai dropped back to 2nd, 2 seconds behind the leader, but Hirano's anchor Yuta Kamikariya turned it around to take the win by 4 seconds.  Ryoke J.H.S. of Kanagawa was 2nd, with Ehime's Niihama Nishi J.H.S. 3rd another 3 seconds back.

In the girls' race Katsura's Mayu Matsumuro started in 5th, 29 seconds behind the leader.  Its second runner Kazuha Kobayashi ran the fastest time on her short 2.0 km stage to move Katsura into 2nd with 6 seconds to 1st. Third runner Nonoka Sone followed up by putting Katsura out front by 26 seconds, and from there to the finish its lead only grew.  Arai J.H.S. likewise moved up steadily throughout the race, going from 9th to 2nd.  Ono Higashi J.H.S. of Hiroshima took 3rd.

24th National Junior High School Ekiden Championships
Kibogaoka Cultural Park Sports Zone, Yasu, Shiga, 12/18/16
boys: 48 teams, six stages, 18.0 km
girls: 48 teams, five stages, 12.0 km
click here for complete results: boys / girls

Top Boys' Team Results
1. Hirano J.H.S. (Hyogo) - 57:31
2. Ryoke J.H.S.  (Kanagawa) - 57:35
3. Niihama Nishi J.H.S. (Ehime) - 57:38
4. Hakusan J.H.S. (Chiba) - 57:41
5. Nakashima J.H.S. (Nagano) - 57:45

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (3.0 km): Kaishin Hattori (Chikusa J.H.S.) - 8:59
Second Stage (3.0 km): Taiga Hashikawa (Niihama Nishi J.H.S.) - 9:18
Third Stage (3.0 km): Takuma Miyashita (Mishima J.H.S.) - 9:22
Fourth Stage (3.0 km): Hayato Arai (Fujimi J.H.S.) - 9:09
Fifth Stage (3.0 km): Makoto Yoshida (Mishima J.H.S.) - 9:40
Sixth Stage (3.0 km): Kyosuke Hanao (Sakuragaoka J.H.S.) - 9:22

Top Girls' Team Results
1. Katsura J.H.S. (Kyoto) - 41:01
2. Arai J.H.S. (Hyogo) - 41:57
3. Ono Higashi J.H.S. (Hiroshima) - 42:10
4. Kaminoyama Minami J.H.S. (Yamagata) - 42:11
5. Horikawa J.H.S. (Toyama) - 42:11

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (3.0 km): Akari Yamamoto (Kotoura J.H.S.) - 9:48
Second Stage (2.0 km): Kazuha Kobayashi (Katsura J.H.S.) - 6:41
Third Stage (2.0 km): Maki Ueda (Ono Higashi J.H.S.) - 6:39
Fourth Stage (2.0 km): Saki Kamata (Katsura J.H.S.) - 6:55
Fifth Stage (3.0 km): Momoko Ichimoto (Kotoura J.H.S.) - 10:16

Comments

Most-Read This Week

Kawabata Over Kawauchi at Takashimadaira 20 km

Like a distant echo of the thunder of yesterday's Yosenkai 20 km reverberating across the city, Tokyo's other major 20 km road race took place this morning in the northwestern suburb of Takashimadaira. Narrowly surviving the loss of its main sponsor last year, the Takashimadaira Road Race offers a unique 5 km loop course that delivers fast times. Now in its 42nd year, Takashimadaira is a favorite for upper-tier universities that don't have to run the Yosenkai to requalify for the Hakone Ekiden, for other schools' second-stringers, and for top-level independents and amateurs.

This year's race was fronted by a group of runners from Izumo Ekiden winner Tokai University who didn't make Tokai's final Izumo roster, by London World Championships marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) and others from yesterday's Yosenkai winner Teikyo University and the Hakone-qualified Juntendo University and Komazawa University. In the same cool and lightly rainy…

Kawauchi and Kanematsu Win Rainy Shimantogawa 100 km

The 23rd edition of the Shimantogawa Ultramarathon took place Oct. 15 in Shimanto, Kochi. 1822 runners started the 100 km division, where Yoshiki Kawauchi (26, Saitama T&F Assoc.) and Aiko Kanematsu (37, Team RxL) took the men's and women's titles for the first time.

The 100 km division started under a heavy downpour at 5:30 a.m. in front of Warabioka J.H.S. The 576 participants in the 60 km division got off 4 1/2 hours later from Koinobori Park, with both races finishing at Nakamura H.S.

Kawauchi, the younger brother of "civil servant runner" Yuki Kawauchi, ran Shimantogawa for the second time, improving dramatically on last year's run to win in 6:42:06. "Last time I was 21st, a total disaster," Kawauchi said afterward. "My brother told me, 'Don't overdo it on the uphills,' and his advie helped me get through it. The scenery around Iwama Chinkabashi was really beautiful."

Kanematsu began running with her husband around age 30…

Osaka Marathon Elite Field

One of the world's ten biggest marathons, in its six runnings to date the Osaka Marathon has continued to avoid the addition of a world-class elite field of the same caliber as at equivalently-sized races like Tokyo, Berlin and Boston. In place of doling out cash to pros, Osaka's women's field has developed into a sort of national championship race for amateur women.

In the field this year are six, probably all six, of the amateur Japan women to have broken 2:40 in the last three years. Last year's top three, Yoshiko Sakamoto (F.O.R.), Yumiko Kinoshita (SWAC) and Hisae Yoshimatsu (Shunan City Hall) lead the way at the 2:36 +/- level, with a second trio of Marie Imada (Iwatani Sangyo), Mitsuko Ino (R2 Nishin Nihon) and Chika Tawara (RxL) all around the 2:39 level.

Last year's winner Sakamoto and 3rd placer Yoshimatsu squared off in September at Germany's Volksbank Muenster Marathon, Yoshimatsu tying Sakamoto's Osaka winning time of 2:36:02 to take 3rd over …