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Akidor 14:44.83, Yoshioka 13:22.99 High School 5000 m NR at Nittai University Time Trials

This weekend's 300th edition of the Nittai University Time Trials series in Yokohama turned out some of the fastest times in its history as athletes across the country build toward peaking for championship ekiden season. On Saturday Margaret Akidor (Comodi Iida) and Tabitha Njeri Kamau (Mitsui Sumitomo Kaijo) ran two of the fastest women's 5000 m marks ever on Japanese soil, Akidor taking 11 seconds off her PB to win in 14:44.83 and Kamau 6 seconds off hers for 2nd in 14:48.26. 3rd-place Yui Komatsu (Matsuyama Univ.) was almost lapped, running 15:47.79. Steeplechase champ Reimi Yoshimura (Daito Bunka Univ.) dropped out mid-race.

The men's 10000 m was fast too. Richard Etir (CJAC) outkicked Obirin University 1st-year Nelson Mandela Mbithi and Josphat Ledama Kisaisa (Kao) for the win in 27:27.51, Mbithi 2nd in 27:29.92, one of the fastest-ever Japanese collegiate times, and Kisaisa 3rd in 27:30.45. 4th-placer Boniface Murua (Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) got under 28 minutes as well, running 27:43.60.

Sunday Nittai had 27 consecutive heats of men's 5000 m, with the last two heats producing four high school runners under 14 minutes. Anthony Maina (Toyota Kyushu) led the A-heat in 13:21.58, just edging Joseph Razini Lemeteki (Takushoku Univ.) by 0.41 seconds. Just behind them, Hiroto Yoshioka (Saku Chosei H.S.), 7th in this past summer's World U20 Championships 5000 m, took 16 seconds off his best with a 13:22.99 to break the high school boys' NR by 8 seconds. For comparison, Galen Rupp's U.S. high school NR is 13:37.91. Post-race Yoshioka announced that he will head to Juntendo University in the spring, where he'll train alongside 3000 mSC NR holder Ryuji Miura.

Johnson Mogeni (Shigakkan H.S.) ran 13:35.39 for 8th, with Yoshioka's teammate Soma Nagahara turning in a 13:57.15 for 13th. In the B-heat, Jun Tanaka (Josai Nishi H.S.) ran 13:59.46 for 6th, Hayate Nitta (Ikuei H.S.) taking the top spot in 13:54.48.

© 2022 Brett Larner, all rights reserved

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Rigajags said…
Intense weekend at time trials and some impressive times.
Yoshioka ran a fantastic time. Very interesting news him joining Juntendo next year.
It will likely be a year "too late" as Juntendo core runners not named Miura are 4th years and will be difficult to replace all of those.

I hope he gets to improve and not strugge like another HS great (Ishida) Is doing.
And i Hope Juntendo does a better job with him than it's doing with Miura whose talent hasn't been maximized in my opinion.

We should probably take a breath of relief that komazawa hasn't signed yoshioka up as well otherwise the roster talent would have been even more unfair haha.
Here is hoping to some great yoshioka/Sato battles in the future.

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