Along with the Kumamoto Kosa 10-Miler, this weekend's Nittai University Time Trials formed one of the key tuneups for the upcoming National Junior High School Ekiden, National High School Ekiden, New Year Ekiden and Hakone Ekiden championship races. Following up on his 1500 m and 3000 m junior high school national records in September and October, 9th-grader Kosuke Ishida (Asakawa J.H.S.) delivered the biggest news of the meet as he took 4 seconds off the 5000 m junior high school record with a new mark of 14:32.44 for 6th in #39 of Sunday's 45 heats of men's 5000 m.
In Heat 45, Muthoni Muiri (Soka University) added a quality 5000 m time to his 27:38.05 in last weekend's Hachioji Long Distance 10000 m A-heat, winning in a PB of 13:32.42. Former high school star Hyuga Endo (Sumitomo Denko), who turned 19 this year, followed a successful corporate ekiden debut last month with a 13:38.79 PB for 6th, ranking him all-time #5 among Japanese juniors. 17-year-old Ren Tazawa (Aomori Yamada H.S.) also dropped a quick time, going under 14 minutes for the first time with a 13:53.61 PB for 10th.
10000 m action was quieter after Hachioji and Keio last weekend, but the A-heat still saw 20 men go under 29 minutes. Daniel Kipkemoi (Nishitetsu) won in 28:21.30, with Daito Bunka University grad Noriyasu Ikeda (Press Kogyo) coming through as the fastest Japanese man with a nearly 50-second PB for 4th in 28:34.89. In 5th, Yohei Komatsu became the 9th man on the Tokai University team with a current sub-29 best for 10000 m, running a 40-second PB of 28:35.63. Tokai head coach Hayashi Morozumi, winner of the 1993 Vancouver Marathon, coached Suguru Osako (NOP) and other top Japanese men at Nagano's Saku Chosei H.S. before bringing his innovative approach to Tokai.
In the women's races, Tomoka Kimura (Universal Entertainment) downed Kenyan Helen Ekarare (Sendai Ikuei H.S.), undefeated since August, 2015, to win the 5000 m A-heat in a PB of 15:12.47 just outside the all-time Japanese top ten. Three Japanese high school girls broke 15:45 led by Mikuni Yada (Luther Gakuin H.S.) in 15:39.87. Newcomer Elizabeth Njeri (Aomori Yamada H.S.) won the 3000 m A-heat in 9:15.79.
videos by Kenichi Fukui, all rights reserved
text © 2017 Brett Larner, all rights reserved