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Kamimura Gakuen Girls Win First-Ever National High School Ekiden Title, Kurashiki Boys Make in Two


video highlights by NHK

The National High School Ekiden Championships took place Dec. 23 in Kyoto on a course starting and finishing at Nishi Kyogoku Field. Kagoshima's Kamimura Gakuen H.S. won its first national title in the 30th anniversary edition girls' race, covering the five-stage, 21.0975 km course in 1:07:25. Okayama's Kurashiki H.S. won the seven-stage, 42.195 km boys' race in 2:02:09, its second national title in the event's 69-year history.

Starting the 5.0 km Fifth Stage in 5th place and 31 seconds back from leader Sendai Ikuei H.S. anchor Chinatsu Takeda, Kamimura Gakuen's Tabitha Kamau blasted a 15:06 just two seconds off the ten-year-old stage record to put Kamimura Gakuen 26 seconds ahead by the finish and all-time #9 in the record books. In the home straight Nagano Higashi H.S. anchor Narumi Kobayashi overtook Takeda to take 2nd in 1:07:51, knocking the defending national champions back to 3rd.


Kurashiki took the lead on the Third Stage as Kenyan Philemon Kiplagat tried in vain to do what so many before him have failed to achieve, breaking the late Samuel Wanjiru's 22:40 course record for the 8.1075 km stage. Course record holder Sera H.S. went to the front on the 8.0876 Fourth Stage with first-year John Mwaniki tying Sera grad Bedan Karoki's 22:32 course record and held on to the lead through the Fifth Stage. But on the Sixth Stage Kurashiki's Shotaro Ishihara overtook Sera's Sunao Kitamura for 1st, and anchor Shun Ida held on with a stage-winning run to bring Kurashiki home in an all-time #4 mark of 2:02:09.

Sera was next in 2:02:23 for all-time #6, with Gakuho Ishikawa H.S. 3rd in 2:02:52 for all-time #10. 2017 national champion Saku Chosei H.S. was 5th in 2:03:54, losing out in a sprint battle against 4th-placer Kyushu Gakuin H.S.

National High School Ekiden

Kyoto, 12/23/18
complete results

Girls
58 teams, 5 stages, 21.0975 km

Top Individual Stage Performances
First Stage (6.0 km) - Ririka Hironaka (3rd yr., Nagasaki Shogyo H.S.) - 19:01
Second Stage (4.0975 km) - Rebecca Mwangi (2nd yr., Kojokan H.S.) - 12:32
Third Stage (3.0 km) - Saho Aoki (3rd yr., Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 9:38
Fourth Stage (3.0 km) - Matsuri Kohara (2nd yr., Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 9:26
Fifth Stage (5.0 km) - Tabitha Kamau (3rd yr., Kamimura Gakuen H.S.) - 15:06

Top Team Performances
1. Kamimura Gakuen H.S. - 1:07:25
2. Nagano Higashi H.S. - 1:07:51
3. Sendai Ikuei H.S. - 1:07:51
4. Oita Tomei H.S. - 1:08:04
5. Suma Gakuen H.S. - 1:08:15
6. Toyokawa H.S. - 1:08:16
7. Ritsumeikan Uji H.S. - 1:08:20
8. Kojokan H.S. - 1:08:32
9. Narita H.S. - 1:08:34
10. Kita Kyushu Municipal H.S. - 1:09:03

Boys
47 teams, 7 stages, 42.195 km

Top Individual Stage Performances
First Stage (10.0 km) - Tetta Shiratori (2nd yr., Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 29:16
Second Stage (3.0 km) - Takuya Kozasu (3rd yr., Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 8:12
Third Stage (8.1075 km) - Philemon Kiplagat (2nd yr., Kurashiki H.S.) - 22:55
Fourth Stage (8.0875 km) - John Mwaniki (1st yr., Sera H.S.) - 22:32 - CR tie
Fifth Stage (3.0 km) - Ryosuke Otsuka (3rd yr., Gakuho Ishikawa H.S.) - 8:36
Sixth Stage (5.0 km) - Toki Miyauchi (3rd yr., Saku Chosei H.S.) - 14:21
Seventh Stage (5.0 km) - Shun Ida (3rd yr., Kurashiki H.S.) / Maro Imamura (3rd yr., Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 14:21

Top Team Performances
1. Kurashiki H.S. - 2:02:09
2. Sera H.S. - 2:02:23
3. Gakuho Ishikawa H.S. - 2:02:52
4. Kyushu Gakuin H.S. - 2:03:54
5. Saku Chosei H.S. - 2:03:54
6. Saitama Sakae H.S. - 2:03:59
7. Yachiyo Shoin H.S. - 2:04:19
8. Toyokawa H.S. - 2:05:19
9. Rakunan H.S. - 2:05:38
10. Tosu Kogyo H.S. - 2:05:52

source article:
https://www.jiji.com/jc/article?k=2018122300268&g=spo
translated and edited by Brett Larner

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