Saturday is a light day for long distance at the 102nd Kanto Region University Track and Field Championships, with the D1 and D2/D3 men's 3000 m steeplechase heats the only event on the program. That means Sunday is going to be packed, but for today everything will happen between 13:55 and 15:00.
D2/D3 has three heats starting at 13:55. At the top tier, three men are in range of the 8:42.57 D2 meet record. In Heat One, Kento Uchida (4th yr., Rikkyo Univ.) has run 8:37.24. In Heat Two, Asahi Kuroda (2nd yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) has run 8:38.55. In Heat Three, Hibiki Obara (4th yr., Aoyama Gakuin Univ.) has a best of 8:41.93. Also in Heat Three, Yuki Morita (2nd yr., Tokyo Univ. Grad School) has a shot at the 8:56.84 D3 MR. New records probably won't happen today, but Uchida, Kuroda and Obara all making the final will set up a great race tomorrow.
The D1 heats start at 14:40. National record holder Ryuji Miura (4th yr., Juntendo Univ.) is giving the steeple a miss to run the 5000 m tomorrow instead, leaving it wide open for everyone else. The D1 meet record of 8:35.2 dates back to around when a lot of the athletes' parents were probably born, but there are a few people who could give it a serious swing. In Heat One Atsushi Shobu (4th yr., Waseda Univ.) has a best of 8:38.94, and Yuki Murao (2nd yr., Juntendo Univ.) has run 8:41.64. In Heat Two, Yuki Satake (4th yr., Daito Bunka Univ.) has run 8:39.22, and Sora Nakagomi (4th yr., Yamanashi Gakuin Univ.) is almost even at 8:39.45.
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