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Kakogawa Yamate, Fujimi Win National J.H.S. Ekiden Titles

translated by Brett Larner

The 20th National Junior High School Ekiden Championships took place Dec. 16 on the Yamaguchi Prefectural Seminar Cross-Country Course in Yamaguchi. Hyogo's Kakogawa Yamate J.H.S. won the six-stage, 18.0 km boys' division in 56:51, while Fujimi J.H.S. of Gunma took the five-stage, 12.0 km girls' race in 40:20.

In its sixth appearance at Nationals Kakogawa Yamate's victory was decided in an exciting photo finish with rival Eishin J.H.S. of Saitama, both schools being given the same time after Eishin anchor Daiki Ito ran down a 41-second margin to Kakogawa Yamate's Yuki Sakamoto. Tochigi's Shioya J.H.S. took 3rd, while last year's champion Kushigata J.H.S. of Yamanashi could do no better than 18th.

In its second time running Nationals Fujimi broke the existing course record. Okubo J.H.S. of Hyogo was 25 seconds back in 2nd, while defending champion Niihama Higashi J.H.S. of Ehime fell short of its goal of a title defense, finishing 3rd.

2012 National Junior High School Ekiden Championships
Yamaguchi, 12/16/12
click here for complete results

Boys - 6 stages, 18.0 km, 48 teams
Top Teams
1. Kakogawa Yamate J.H.S. (Hyogo) - 56:51
2. Eishin J.H.S. (Saitama) - 56:51
3. Shioya J.H.S. (Tochigi) - 57:02
4. Toyo J.H.S. (Osaka) - 57:04
5. Yamagata Daiju J.H.S. (Yamagata) - 57:18

Stage Best Performances  - all stages 3.0 km
First Stage - Kakeru Nakamura (Hagi Higashi J.H.S.) - 8:59
Second Stage - Chikashi Ikeda (Kakogawa Yamate J.H.S.) - 9:02
Third Stage - Koyo Shigedome (Mimata J.H.S.) - 9:17
Fourth Stage - Hikaru Sakata (Shiranui J.H.S.) - 9:18
Fifth Stage - Takuma Yanagi (Kakogawa Yamate J.H.S.) - 9:21
Sixth Stage - Daiki Ito (Eishin J.H.S.) - 9:04

Girls  - 5 stages, 12.0 km, 48 teams
Top Teams
1. Fujimi J.H.S. (Gunma) - 40:20 - CR
2. Okubo J.H.S. (Hyogo) - 40:45
3. Niihama Higashi J.H.S. (Ehime) - 40:51
4. Nakamura J.H.S. (Tochigi) - 40:59
5. Kawanakajima J.H.S. (Nagano) - 41:11

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (3.0 km) - Namiko Nagayasu (Niihama Higashi J.H.S.) - 10:03
Second Stage (2.0 km) - Yuna Wada (Kawanakajima J.H.S.) - 6:32
Third Stage (2.0 km) - Misato Kaneko (Fujimi J.H.S.) - 6:34
Fourth Stage (2.0 km) - Hinano Tanabe (Fujimi H.S.) - 6:34
Fifth Stage (3.0 km) - Fukiko Ando (Okubo J.H.S.) - 9:44


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