Skip to main content

Hosei University Leads National University Men's Ekiden Qualifiers



The Kanto Region Qualifier for this fall's 50th National University Men's Ekiden happened Saturday at Saitama's Urawa Komaba Stadium. The meet is made up of four heats of 10000 m with two runners from each competing school in each heat, the aggregate times of its eight runners determining a school's total time. The eight fastest programs go on to join other regional qualifiers and the six seeded teams already on the bill for November's Nationals. Considering that it's been since 2009 since a school from outside Kanto made the top ten at Nationals and 1999 since one made the seeded top six, what happens at the Kanto Region Qualifier has a lot of weight on what happens come ekiden season.

10th at Nationals last year, Hosei University's fortunes continued to climb as it took the top spot in 4:06:08.63 by less than 12 seconds over last year's 11-th placer Koku Gakuin University. Hosei 4th-year Yuta Bando led the way with a win in Heat Three in 30:40.75, six of its eight men making the top six in their heats. Josai University and Meiji University guaranteed themselves return trips at 3rd and 4th, overtaking last year's Nationals 8th-placer Teikyo University which was down in strength this year at 5th despite heat wins by first-year Daichi Endo and third-year Issei Iwasa.

6th in the qualifying results, Nittai University was the top-placing school to make it back to Nationals after an absence last year. Led by 3000 mSC national champion Kazuya Shiojiri, Juntendo University picked up the 7th spot, with the final qualifying position going to the Nihon University squad fronted by Kenyan Patrick Mathenge Wambui, winner of the fastest heat in 29:13.11.

8th at the 2016 Nationals, Takushoku University was the firs non-qualifier, 9th at almost 24 seconds behind Nihon largely on a poor 15th-place run by Ethiopian captain Workneh Derese in the final heat.   14th at Nationals last year, Daito Bunka University was knocked out of this year's bracket at 10th. Missing Kenyan fourth-year Dominic Nyairo, last year's 9th-placer Yamanashi Gakuin University also finished outside the fold at 11th. High-ranked contender Chuo University was knocked out of competition when fourth-year Kohei Sekiguchi DNFd in the first heat.

50th National University Men's Ekiden Kanto Region Qualifier

Urawa Komaba Stadium, Saitama, 6/30/18
four heats of track 1000 m
complete results

Team Results - aggregate time of eight runners
1. Hosei University - 4:06:08.63
2. Koku Gakuin University - 4:06:20.02
3. Josai University - 4:06.50.86
4. Meiji University - 4:07:14.01
5. Teikyo University - 4:07:23.33
6. Nittai University - 4:08:18.59
7. Juntendo University - 4:08:47.52
8. Nihon University - 4:08:52.78
----- top 8 qualify for Nationals
9. Takushoku University - 4:09:29.94
10. Daito Bunka University - 4:09:34.21
11. Yamanashi Gakuin University - 4:09:55.12
12. Kokushikan University - 4:10:04.80
13. Soka University - 4:10:41.19
14. Tokyo Kokusai University - 4:11:18.30
15. Tokyo Nogyo University - 4:11:47.58
16. Tsukuba University - 4:12:29.91
17. Jobu University - 4:12:47.32
18. Asia Universtiy - 4:15:23.39
19. Senshu University - 4:15:39.00
DNF - Chuo University

Top Individual Results
Heat One - Daichi Endo (1st yr., Teikyo Univ.) - 30:48.58
Heat Two - Issei Iwasa (3rd yr., Teikyo Univ.) - 30:57.55
Heat Three - Yuta Bando (4th yr., Hosei Univ.) - 30:40.75
Heat Four - Patrick Mathenge Wambui (4th yr., Nihon Univ.) - 29:13.11

© 2018 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

Comments

Most-Read This Week

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…

Weekend Track Highlights

Distance action at the senior level was split between three main meets this weekend. One contingent of Japanese women and men headed to Europe for a mini tour of the circuit, starting things off Saturday at Belgium's Kortrijkse Guildensporenmeeting. One of Japan's top current half marathoners, Mao Ichiyama (Wacoal) ran a season best 15:36.11 for 4th in the women's 5000 m to lead the five Japanese women in the race. National XC runner-up Kosei Yamaguchi (Aisan Kogyo) led the Japanese men in the 3000 m SC in 8:37.81. The popular Hazuma Hattori (Toenec) was the fastest Japanese man in the 1500 m at 3:45.17, with Nokoka Hosaka (Tokyo Nogyo Univ.) delivering the fastest Japanese women's time at 4:25.40.

Also Saturday back home in Hokkaido, the Hokuren Distance Challenge series wrapped up with the Shibetsu meet. Women's 5000 m A-heat winner Yuka Hori (Panasonic) was just off Ichiyama's Belgian time in 15:37.51 just ahead of Honami Maeda (Tenmaya), who continued a gr…

Tanaka and Hashioka Win Gold - World U20 Championships Day Two Japanese Results

Working together to execute an aggressive frontrunning team strategy born from failure two years ago in Bydgoszcz, 2018 Asian U20 3000 m gold medalist Nozomi Tanaka and 2018 Asian Junior Cross Country gold medalist Yuna Wada opened a massive lead over the African Junior Cross Country medalist Ethiopian duo of Meselu Berhe and Tsige Gebreselama in the early going of the Tampere World U20 Championships women's 3000 m. Tanaka took the lead from the gun before Wada went out front at 200 m to set a fast pace. Through splits of 3:00 and 3:03 for the first 2000 m, Tanaka kicked hard from 300 m out to close with a 2:51 for Japan's first-ever gold medal in the event, winning in a PB of 8:54.01.

Berhe and Gebreselama caught Wada on the back corner but weren't even close to matching Tanaka, taking 2nd and 3rd in PBs just under the 9-minute mark. Wada just held off Kenyan Jenali Jemutai Yego for 4th in 9:00.50, seeming happy in post-race interviews to have helped a teammate score gol…