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High Schools Thrash Corporate League Ekiden Competition

by Brett Larner

Championship ekiden season has come and gone, but Sunday saw high-level action at two popular and long-running ekidens at opposite ends of Japan.  In western Japan, course record-setting 2015 National High School Ekiden champion Sera H.S. of Hiroshima definitively took the win at the 79th Chugoku Yamaguchi Ekiden, beating Mazda, Chugoku Denryoku, JFE Steel, Chudenko and other corporate team competition with ease.  Sera third-year Paul Kamais opened a lead of over two minutes with a course record 42:04 for the 15.1 km First Stage, and from there Sera never lost the top position.  Mazda came the closest, closing to within 3 seconds by the end of the Fourth Stage, but a Fifth Stage win by Sera's Taiju Nakashima put them back out front with a margin that Sera's remaining two runners held onto until the end.  Sera covered the seven-stage, 84.4 km course in 4:07:29, the best-ever by a high school team, with Mazda ending up nearly two minutes back in 4:09:24.  Chugoku Denryoku, missing star Takehiro Deki who is in training for the Tokyo Marathon, was 3rd in 4:10:17.

Northwest of Tokyo in Saitama, the local Saitama Sakae H.S. boys ran away from the Police Department corporate team for the win at the 62nd Okumusashi Ekiden.  A pair of stage records from Saitama Sakae's Ryoji Tatezawa and Hidekazu Tsujikata put the school almost two minutes ahead of the Police after four of the race's six stages, but despite a strong finish from the Police Saitama Sakae held on to a lead of almost a minute to take the win in 1:56:16 for 38.5 km.  Running for his employer, the Saitama Prefectural Government, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi was 2nd behind Tatezawa on the hilly 5.4 km Second Stage, running 16:45 to Tatezawa's 16:17 record.

79th Chugoku Yamaguchi Ekiden
Ube, Yamaguchi, 1/31/16
47 teams, 7 stages, 84.4 km

Top Team Results
1. Sera H.S. - 4:07:29
2. Mazda - 4:09:24
3. Chugoku Denryoku - 4:10:17
4. JFE Steel - 4:12:11
5. Chudenko - 4:14:26

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (15.1 km) - Paul Kamais (Sera H.S.) - 42:04 - CR
Second Stage (11.3 km) - Charles Ndirangu (JFE Steel) - 31:21 - CR
Third Stage (11.9 km) - Teressa Nyakora (Mazda) - 34:48
Fourth Stage (10.4 km) - Takumi Kiyotani (Chugoku Denryoku) - 31:04
Fifth Stage (8.7 km) - Taiju Nakashima (Sera H.S.) - 24:56
Sixth Stage (15.9 km) - Joel Mwaura (Kurashiki H.S.) - 46:01
Seventh Stage (11.1 km) - Yuji Osuda (Mazda H.S.) - 32:21

62nd Okumusashi Ekiden
Hanno, Saitama, 1/31/16
201 teams, 6 stages, 38.5 km

Top Team Performances
1. Saitama Sakae H.S. - 1:56:16
2. Police Department - 1:57:12
3. Kanto Gakuin Univ. A - 1:58:09
4. Tokyo Kokusai Univ. B - 1:58:19
5. Shindengen Kogyo - 1:58:30

Stage Best Performances
First Stage (9.8 km) - Takashi Hirose (Kanto Gakuin Univ. A) - 29:33
Second Stage (5.4 km) - Ryota Tatezawa (Saitama Sakae H.S. A) - 16:17 - CR
Third Stage (4.3 km) - Takahisa Mitsui (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 12:45
Fourth Stage (4.5 km) - Hidekazu Tsujikata (Saitama Sakae H.S.) - 12:50 - CR
Fifth Stage (5.2 km) - Shota Umemoto (Tokyo Kokusai Univ. A) - 15:07
Sixth Stage (9.3 km) - Takato Suzuki (Ryutsu Keizai Prep Kashiwa H.S.) - 27:56 - CR

© 2016 Brett Larner
all rights reserved


TokyoRacer said…
Here's a comment: Wow!
Looking for women high school track and field runners senior in 2016.To
run track in USA UNIVERSITY. Looking for top 200m, 400m ,800m, 1500 and 3000m runner. long jumper and high jumers 19plus in longjump and high jumper (5"5 to 5-10)
sent information to

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