This page maintained by Bruce Carrick. See 2010 Results
2011 Stage Best Performances GIRLS
First Stage (6.0 km) - Yuriko Kosaki (Narita H.S.) - 19:21
Second Stage (4.0975 km) - Risa Yokoe (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 12:55
Third Stage (3.0 km) - Yui Fukuda (Suma Gakuen H.S.) - 9:44
Fourth Stage (3.0 km) - Fumika Sasaki (Nagano Higashi H.S.) - 9:32
Fifth Stage (5.0 km) - Mary Waithira (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 15:20
2011 Stage Best Performances BOYS
First Stage (10.0 km) - Kazuma Kubota (Kyushu Gakuin H.S.) - 29:38
Second Stage (3.0 km) - Koki Maeda (Omuta H.S.) - 8:17
Third Stage (8.1075 km) - Charles Ndirangu (Kenya/Sera H.S.) - 22:51
Fourth Stage (8.0875 km) - Kazuma Taira (Toyokawa Kogyo H.S.) - 23:32
Fifth Stage (3.0 km) - Shoya Okuno (Toyokawa Kogyo H.S.) - 8:54
Sixth Stage (5.0 km) - Hiram Ngatia (Kenya/Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 14:23
Seventh Stage (5.0 km) - Tadashi Isshiki (Sendai Ikuei H.S.) - 14:13
courtesy of Brett Larner and Japan Running News
Toyokawa Returns to Top in National High School Girls Ekiden Championships
by Brett Larner
Toyokawa H.S. senior Beatrice Murugi Wainaina for the win at the 2011 National High School Girls Ekiden Championships. Click photo for video highlights via broadcaster NHK.
For the second time in three years, Kenyan Beatrice Murugi Wainaina led Toyokawa High School to the National High School Girls Ekiden Championships title as she crossed the line in 1:07:29, the fifth-fastest time ever on the five-stage, 21.0975 km course through Kyoto on Dec. 25. Defending champion Kojokan High School ace Katsuki Suga faltered on the 6.0 km opening stage, the day's longest, finishing only 6th on the stage and putting Kojokan permanently out of contention. Only one second behind the lead at the handoff, Toyokawa's Kanayo Miyata had little trouble taking over on the 4.0975 km Second Stage. After a brief challenge from the strong Suma Gakuen High School's Yui Fukuda on the 3.0 km Third Stage, Toyokawa's Fourth Stage runner Shiho Fukuzawa blew the race apart, opening a 13-second gap before handing over to anchor Wainaina.
Wainaina, suffering from a mild injury, ran steadily without pushing. Kojokan anchor Miyuki Oka closed to within 9 seconds, but Wainaina mustered up a strong last km to reopen the lead to 24 seconds and return Toyokawa to the victory stand. Oka still managed to get Kojokan under 68 minutes, holding on to 2nd in 1:07:53, just 3 seconds slower than its winning time last year. A short distance back, Sendai Ikuei High School's Mary Waithira ran the fastest time on the 5.0 km closing leg, 15:20, to overtake Suma Gakuen's Mika Kobayashi on the track for 3rd in 1:08:19, an impressive feat considering the stress and difficulties Sendai Ikuei has faced this year following March's tsunami.
As in the girls' race, the 2009 National High School Boys Ekiden champion took back the top position Dec. 25 in Kyoto, with Hiroshima's Sera H.S. taking the win in an all-time top ten 2:03:50 for the hilly seven-stage, 42.195 km course. Many of the favorites, including defending national champion Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S., 2008 champ Saku Chosei H.S., Samuel Wanjiru's alma mater Sendai Ikuei H.S., and the powerful Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S., suffered pre-Championships setbacks with injuries to their star runners, paving the way for the unheralded Kurashiki H.S. to take the runner-up spot in 2:05:13, both its best placing and fastest time ever. Kyushu Gakuin H.S. ace Kazuma Kubota got things off on the right foot, winning the 10.0 km First Stage in 29:38 in a beautiful performance that saw him run away from the pack after the halfway point with three distinct gear changes and open a gap of 22 seconds.
Sera was 5th after the First Stage and fell to 8th by the end of the 3.0 km before the main action got started. Much of the pre-race buzz focused on Sera's Charles Ndirangu and whether he would be able to take down Wanjiru's long-standing record of 22:40 for the 8.1075 km Third Stage, having missed by only 1 second last year and then setting the Japanese high school record of 13:15.44 in October. Ndirangu blasted away from the start, going from 8th to 2nd by the time he hit 1 km in 2:33, a split fast enough that it started trending. Going through halfway 3 seconds ahead of Wanjiru's split, Ndirangu paid for his opening km in the second half, fading to miss the record by 11 seconds but still recording another of the fastest times ever on the leg. Starting 37 seconds down and finishing 52 seconds ahead, Ndirangu put Sera in a position that was never threatened. Sera's final four runners did their job, with three of them contributing to widen the team's final margin of victory to 1:23. Kurashiki was the surprise of the day, never lower than 3rd and running 2nd all the way from the Fourth Stage on to the finish.
Kyushu Gakuin H.S. did its best to run Kurashiki down, with anchor Shota Miyagami going from 46 seconds behind Kurashiki's Toshiki Hishimo to only 10 seconds at the finish, simply running out of room with only 5.0 km to work with. Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S. managed to rally for 4th, but none of the other main powerhouses managed to crack the top 10 in the absence of their biggest names. Sendai Ikuei H.S. managed 12th and Saku Chosei H.S. 22nd, with defending champion Kagoshima Jitsugyo H.S. was a lowly 23rd out of 47. Look for members of these and the top-placing teams to face off again at next month's National Men's Ekiden in Hiroshima.
Some teams actually have improved their stats since this official list was made in late November.
In the boys race, Sendai Ikue came in ranked 2nd. They finished 12th. On Jan. 18 Junichi Seino, 27, head coach of Sendai Ikuei High School's ekiden team, announced that he intends to resign from both his position as coach and as a member of the school's teaching staff following the completion of the academic year at the end of March. According to a source connected with the situation, following the race Seino took full personal responsibility for the team's poor performance. The school proposed a plan under which previous head coach Takao Watanabe, under whose leadership Sendai Ikuei won six national titles, would return to take over with Seino remaining to work in tandem with him. Seino flatly rejected the proposal. Following his departure Seino intends to continue his coaching career at a different high school. If any of the students express the wish to follow Seino and change high schools with him the school administration will respect their decision. Full article by Brett Larner
Race previews below are courtesy of Brett Larner and Japan Running News
Dec. 25: National High School Ekiden Championships, Kyoto - girls: 5 stages, 21.0975 km, boys: 7 stages, 42.195 km Both the girls' and boys' races at the National High School Ekiden Championships are broadcast nationwide live and commercial-free in their entirety, something that seems unthinkable anywhere else in the world. Both races offer glimpses of future talent; this was the race where Samuel Wanjiru's name first came to widespread attention after he set a still-standing stage record in 2004. This year both Wanjiru's stage record and the overall team course record he helped Sendai Ikuei H.S. set that year are under threat from Sera H.S.'s Charles Ndirangu and Sendai Ikuei's current lineup, which looks set to be its strongest since the Wanjiru era despite the devastation of its training grounds in March's tsunami.
by Brett Larner
Beyond all the road action in Fukuoka and Kosa, this weekend saw the last two big track time trial meets before the national championship ekidens. High schoolers made most of the noteworthy news at both meets. On the first day of the Nittai Time Trials in Yokohama, Ken Yokote (Sakushin Gakuin H.S.) ran 28:57.31 to place 3rd in the men's 10000 m B-heat behind pros Jun Shinoto (Team Sanyo Tokushu Seiko) and Kazuki Onishi (Team Kanebo). Led by World XC silver medalist Paul Tanui (Team Kyudenko) Africans took the top 10 places in Sunday's men's 5000 m, but close behind in 13:55.91 and 13:57.30 were the aptly-named Kenya Sonota (Aomori Yamada H.S.) and Soma Ishikawa (Sano Nichidai Prep H.S.). Ishikawa's time was the 3rd-best ever by a Japanese high school junior. The high school girls also ran well at Nittai, with outstanding first-year Rosemary Wanjiru (Aomori Yamada H.S.) running 15:26.07 in one of the men's 5000 m heats, Momoko Akiyama (Hakuoh Joshi H.S.) 5th in the women's 5000 m A-heat in 15:52.52 and Toyokawa High School's Beatrice Wainaina Murugi and Yuka Ando going 1-2 in the 3000 m A-heat in 9:04.10 and 9:14.27.
Across the country at the Time Trial in Nagasaki meet, Kojokan High School girls took the top four spots in the 3000 m, led by Sakurako Yamoto in 9:16.40. Kojokan acesKatsuki Suga and Miyuki Oka opted for the 5000 m. Suga and Kitakyushu Civic High School junior Shiori Yano both broke 15:45, with Oka droping behind but still finishing in a strong 15:51.23.
Nittai University Time Trials - Top Results Yokohama, 12/4/2011 click here for complete results in Japanese results are also on athletic.net overseas high school TRACK 2011
A random few of the 94 winners who came to Kyoto. All 94+, full-size.