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Hagitani and Miura Win Senior Titles at National XC Championships

20-year-old Kaede Hagitani (Edion) and the just-turned-19 Ryuji Miura (Juntendo Univ.) took the senior titles at the 2021 National Cross-Country Championships Saturday in Fukuoka. Hagitani ran away with it, outclassing a tight chase trio to win the Senior Women's 8 km by 26 seconds in 25:54. High schooler Miku Sakai (Kitakyushu Municipal H.S.) was an impressive 2nd in 26:20. 

Like Sakai opting for the senior race, Miura, the U20 national record holder for 3000 m steeplechase and half marathon, had a tougher race on his hands in the Senior Men's 10 km, just getting two-time 5000 m national champion Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) at the line for the win in 29:10 with the next four finishers, including past national champ Kazuki Tamura (Sumitomo Denko), all within 10 seconds. 36-year-old Hakone Ekiden legend and 2:07:39 marathoner Masato Imai (Toyota Kyushu) showed there's still life in his legs, a surprising 11th in 29:30.

The junior races were both blowouts at the same level as the Senior Women's race. In the U20 Women's 6 km, the race video above, Seira Fuwa (TKFU Takasaki H.S.) came from 4 seconds back with 2 km to go to impressively open a winning margin of 25 seconds as she scored the win in 19:49. 

Keita Sato (Rakunan H.S.), the all-time #2 Japanese high schooler over 3000 m, frontran the entire way to end up with the day's biggest winning margin, 28 seconds, running 23:19 in the U20 Boys' 8 km, the race video below. Rakunan turned in the most dominant team performance of the day, putting four runners including Sato in the top ten.

2021 National Cross-Country Championships

Fukuoka, 27 Feb. 2021

Senior Women's 8 km
1. Kaede Hagitani (Edion) - 25:54
2. Miku Sakai (Kitakyushu Municipal H.S.) - 26:20
3. Yuna Wada (Meijo Univ.) - 26:21
4. Nozomi Tanaka (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 26:22
5. Momoka Kawaguchi (Toyota Jidoshokki) - 26:35
6. Azusa Sumi (Universal Entertainment) - 26:58
7. Minami Yamanouchi (Kyocera) - 27:11
8. Yukari Abe (Shimamura) - 27:16
9. Miki Hirai (Higo Ginko) - 27:22
10. Natsuki Sekiya (Daito Bunka Univ.) - 27:23

Senior Men's 10 km
1. Ryuji Miura (Juntendo Univ.) - 29:10
2. Hiroki Matsueda (Fujitsu) - 29:10
3. Atsuya Imai (Toyota Kyushu) - 29:16
4. Kazuki Tamura (Sumitomo Denko) - 29:17
5. Takato Suzuki (SGH Group) - 29:18
6. Yusuke Tamura (Kurosaki Harima) - 29:20
7. Tamaki Fujimoto (Nittai Univ.) - 29:21
(OP) Paul Onyiego (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) - 29:23
8. Shoya Kawase (Kogakkan Univ.) - 29:24
9. Kenta Muto (JR Higashi Nihon) - 29:24
10. Atsuto Shimanuki (GMO) - 29:27
11. Masato Imai (Toyota Kyuhsu) - 29:30

U20 Women's 6 km
1. Seira Fuwa (TKFU Takasaki H.S.) - 19:49
2. Azusa Mihara (Ritsumeikan Uji H.S.) - 20:14
3. Chika Kosakai (Narita H.S.) - 20:19
4. Haruka Ogawa (Junten H.S.) - 20:27
5. Yoshino Namiki (Tokiwa H.S.) - 20:27
6. Rio Einaga (Chikushi Joshi Gakuen H.S.) - 20:29
7. Mariya Noda (Kitakyushu Municipal H.S.) - 20:36
8. Hazuki Doi (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 20:40
9. Marin Nishizawa (Osaka Kunei Joshi Gakuin H.S.) - 20:41
10. Kana Kizogami (Luther Gakuin H.S.) - 20:42

U20 Men's 8 km
1. Keita Sato (Rakunan H.S.) - 23:19
2. Aoi Ota (Omuta H.S.) - 23:47
3. Yuta Minamisaka (Kurashiki H.S.) - 23:54
4. Yuto Tanaka (Tsuruga Kehi H.S.) - 23:59
5. Kota Yamasaki (Rakunan H.S.) - 24:03
6. Ayumu Yamamoto (Jiyogaoka H.S.) - 24:04
7. Hiroki Wakabayashi (Rakunan H.S.) - 24:07
8. Seia Hotta (Chiharadai H.S.) - 24:07
9. Itsuki Koizumi (KGU Kugayama H.S.) - 24:10
10. Kazuki Naito (Rakunan H.S.) - 24:16

© 2021 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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