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Osaka Kunei H.S. Beats Top Corporate and University Competition at Kitakyushu Women's Ekiden



In the last major women's ekiden of the season, 2016 National High School Ekiden champion Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S. made up for their loss at the 2017 Nationals last month as they outran top corporate and university competition to win the 29th Kitakyushu Invitational Women's Ekiden.

5th on the opening leg, Osaka Kunei moved up to 2nd behind the Toto corporate women's team on the Second Stage thanks to a strong run from third-year Tomomi Musembi Takamatsu. Building on Takamatsu's momentum, third runner Ayaka Murao put Osaka Kunei 7 seconds ahead of Toto, fourth runner Hikari Takeuchi opening up their lead to 34 seconds, and its last two women Ami Taniguchi and Mai Misaki extending that to 48 seconds by race's end.

Scored in separate divisions, Osaka Kunei and Toto were each awarded 1st-place trophies, but as the first across the line Osaka Kunei was only the 2nd high school in Kitakyushu's 29-year history to take the top spot overall. Local power Kitakyushu Municipal H.S. were 3rd, outrunning 2017 National Corporate Women's Ekiden winner Universal Entertainment by 5 seconds.

29th Kitakyushu Invitational Women's Ekiden

Kitakyushu, Fukuoka, 1/21/18
22 teams, 6 stages, 32.8 km
click here for complete results

Top Team Results - Open Division
1. Toto - 1:47:59
2. Universal Entertainment - 1:49:13
3. Kyudenko - 1:50:51
4. Canon AC Kyushu - 1:51:02
5. Osaka Gakuin Univ. - 1:51:32

Top Team Results - High School Division
1. Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S. - 1:47:11
2. Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S. - 1:49:08
3. Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S. - 1:49:19
4. Sera H.S. - 1:50:40
5. Kitakyushu Municipal H.S. - 1:51:41

Top Individual Stage Results
First Stage (4.2 km) - Hibiki Onishi (Sera H.S.) - 14:00
Second Stage (5.9 km) - Shuru Bulo (Toto) - 18:23
Third Stage (5.1 km) - Erika Ikeda (Higo Ginko) - 16:46
Fourth Stage (5.9 km) - Yume Goto (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) - 19:29
Fifth Stage (H.S. - 4. 9 km) -  Ami Taniguchi (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 16:23
Sixth Stage (H.S. - 6.8 km) - Mai Misaki (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 20:50
Sixth Stage (open - 11.7 km) - Mai Shinozuka (Universal Entertainment) - 37:47

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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