Skip to main content

Onizuka and Ichiyama Score National Cross Country Titles

by Brett Larner

Japan's main selection race for the 2017 Kampala World Cross Country Championships happened Saturday at Fukuoka's National Cross Country Championships.  On fire this season with top three finishes in every race since November and wins at both January's National Men's Ekiden and the Karatsu 10-Miler two weeks ago, Tokai University first-year Shota Onizuka won a photo finish over pro Yuma Higashi (Team Kyudenko) to score the national title in the senior men's 12 km.  Burning just as hot with top three finishes all the way since October including two wins, Mao Ichiyama (Team Wacoal) won the senior women's 8 km national title by three seconds over Yuka Hori (Team Panasonic).

The junior men's 8 km was nearly as close as the senior race.  Yuhi Nakaya of 2017 National High School Ekiden runner-up Saku Chosei H.S. won a three-way sprint finish over Ryo Saito (Akita Kogyo H.S.) and Kazuya Nishiyama (Tokyo Nogyo Prep Daini H.S.), running 24:02 to his rivals' 24:03.  Just two days after turning 17, the talented Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu, leader of 2017 National High School Ekiden champ Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S., soloed her way to the junior women's 6 km national title, winning by 10 seconds in 19:51.

2nd National Cross Country Championships
Fukuoka, 2/25/17
click here for complete results

Senior Men's 12 km
1. Shota Onizuka (Tokai Univ.) - 36:07
2. Yuma Higashi (Kyudenko) - 36:07
3. Kosei Yamaguchi (Aisan Kogyo) - 36:15
4. Yamato Otsuka (Kanagawa Univ.) - 36:21
5. Haruki Ono (Kanagawa Univ.) - 36:22
6. Shota Maeda (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 36:28
7. Shuhei Shirota (Kanebo) - 36:29
8. Kazuma Taira (Waseda Univ.) - 36:37
9. Katsutoshi Monoe (Komazawa Univ.) - 36:48
10. Hiroyoshi Umegae (NTN) - 36:51

Senior Women's 8 km
1. Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) - 26:46
2. Yuka Hori (Panasonic) - 26:49
3. Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) - 26:56
4. Kaori Morita (Panasonic) - 27:04
5. Natsuki Sekiya (Daito Bunka) - 27:12
6. Fumika Sasaki (Daiichi Seimei) - 27:16
7. Reno Okura (Hokuren) - 27:23
8. Misaki Sango (Suzuki Hamamatsu AC) - 27:28
9. Anju Takamizawa (Matsuyama Univ.) - 27:37
10. Sayaka Ikegame (Hokuren) - 27:38

Junior Men's 8 km
1. Yuhi Nakaya (Saku Chosei H.S.) - 24:02
2. Ryo Saito (Akita Kogyo H.S.) - 24:03
3. Kazuya Nishiyama (Tokyo Nogyo Prep Daini H.S.) - 24:03
4. Ryunosuke Chigira (Tokyo Nogyo Prep Daini H.S.) - 24:09
5. Sodai Shimizu (Rakunan H.S.) - 24:12
6. Keita Yoshida (Sera H.S.) - 24:12
7. Yoji Sakai (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 24:25
8. Takumi Yoshida (Rakunan H.S.) - 24:27
9. Haruka Onodera (Kato Gakuen H.S.) - 24:28
10. Ryota Natori (Saku Chosei H.S.) - 24:35

Junior Women's 6 km
1. Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 19:51
2. Wakana Kabasawa (Tokiwa H.S.) - 20:01
3. Hayaka Suzuki (Tokoha Gakuen Kikuha H.S.) - 20:02
4. Rika Kaseda (Narita H.S.) - 20:03
5. Hikari Onishi (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 20:07
6. Yuka Sarumida (Toyokawa H.S.) - 20:08
7. Miku Moribayashi (Isehaya H.S.) - 20:13
8. Momoka Kawaguchi (Okazaki Gakuen H.S.) - 20:18
9. Yumika Katayama (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 20:23
10. Mikuni Yada (Luther Gakuin H.S.) - 20:29

© 2017 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


Most-Read This Week

Tokyo Experiments With Spraying Water Along 2020 Marathon Course to Combat Heat

As part of its measures to deal with the hot conditions expected at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, on Aug. 13 the Tokyo Metropolitan Government conducted an experiment to measure the effects on pavement surface temperature of spraying the road surface with water. Data from the experiments were released to the media.

The experiment was conducted from 4:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. along a 120 m section of sidewalk along Uchibori Street in the Imperial Palace's outer gardens in Chiyoda Ward.  In the experiment, open-ended tubes used in agricultural work eres placed at the edge of the sidewalk  to supply water. Surface temperature readings were taken every 30 minutes for three different experimental scenarios:
spraying water beginning at 4:00 a.m.spraying water beginning at 7:00 a.m.not spraying any water The experiment found that where water had been sprayed, the road surface temperature remained in the 27 to 29˚C range even when the air temperature exceeded 30˚C. Where no wa…

On Broadcast Commentary

It's been 122 days since the 122nd Boston Marathon. Of what the two exceptional people who won that day accomplished, WilliamShakespeare summed it up better than any other commentator in his Sonnet 122:

Beyond all date, even to eternity;
     Or at the least, so long as brain and heart
     Have faculty by nature to subsist;
     Till each to razed oblivion yield his part
     Of thee, thy record never can be miss'd.

What else needs to be said? But the other thing that remains from that day is, of course, this:

Worst punditry ever? — Xempo Running (@xempouk) April 16, 2018
In the 122 days since Boston this clip has been on my mind a lot. The commentary here by Larry Rawson and Al Trautwig was exceptionally bad, but it wasn't unique to them and highlighted many of the problems with marathon TV broadcasts and especially their hosts and commentators. I'm fortunate to live in Japan where the announcers for the countless marathon live TV broadcas…

Kazami Breaks 100 km World Record at Lake Saroma

Running on the same course where Japan's Takahiro Sunada set the road 100 km world record of 6:13:33 twenty years ago, 2:17:23 marathoner Nao Kazamibested a deep and competitive field to win the Lake Saroma 100 km Ultramarathon in a world record 6:09:14.

Part of a front group of at least five that went through the marathon split in 2:33:36, on pace for 6:04:01, Kazami lost touch with the lead as rivals Koji Hayasaka and Takehiko Gyoba surged just before halfway to open a roughly 30 second lead that lasted until nearly 75 km. But in the last quarter of the race Kazami, a graduate of Hakone Ekiden powerhouse Komazawa University, was the only one who could sustain anything close to the early pace, overtaking Hayasaka and Gyoba before pulling away to open a lead of over 11 minutes. Kazami's mark took more than 4 minutes off the world record, and he also bettered the 100 km track world record of 6:10:20 set in 1978 well before he was born by the late Don Ritchie.
Trying to stay wi…