by Brett Larner
Corporate and university meets led the way in the first of three straight weekends of regional track action. At the Chubu Region Corporate Track and Field Championships Kenyan Rodgers Chumo Kemoi (Team Aisan Kogyo) led the top three under 28 minutes, winning in 27:54.19. Returning to the track after a quality 2:10:39 debut at February's Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon, Minato Oishi (Team Toyota) was the fastest Japanese man in the race, running 28:31.28 for 4th.
Silas Laikong (Team Aichi Seiko) won the Chubu men's 5000 m in 13:45.59, but the fastest time of the weekend came at the season's first Shizuoka Long Distance Time Trials meet, where Ethiopian teammates Abiyot Abinet and Yeneblo Biyazen (Team Yachiyo Kogyo) went 1-2 in 13:36.08 and 13:36.20. Downhill specialist Yuji Onoda led a large contingent from Hakone Ekiden champ Aoyama Gakuin University, 3rd overall in 13:58.05.
The women's 3000 m in Shizuoka also saw teammates sweep the front end, with newcomer Rina Nabeshima of the national champion Japan Post team leading Rio Olympians Ayuko Suzuki and Hanami Sekine under 9:05 to win in 9:03.17. Tuning up for next month's Stockholm Marathon, mother of three Yoshiko Sakamoto (Y.W.C.) celebrated Mothers' Day at 5th in 9:42.93.
Elsewhere, Kurashiki H.S. teammates Philemon Kiplagat and Charles Nijioka went 1-2 in the men's 5000 m at the Unnan Time Trials meet, Kiplagat running 13:49.44 and Nijioka 13:54.28. Their Japanese teammate Naruki Nago took a distant 3rd in 14:47.39. Nozomi Tanaka (Nishiwaki Kogyo H.S.) broke the 26-year-old Toban Region H.S. Track Meet girls' 3000 m meet record, running 9:18.27 with a hard kick over the last 300 m.
In university action, Honoka Tanaike (Kyoto Sangyo Univ.) won the 5000 m / 10000 m double at the Kansai Region University Track and Field Championships, running 33:27.32 in the 10000 and 15:55.80 in the 5000. Both were the weekend's top Japanese times, bettering the 16:14.31 win in the Chubu Corporate meet 5000 m by Ayumi Hagiwara (Team Toyota Jidoshokki) and the 34:28.95 win in the Tokai Region University Track and Field Championships by Kanna Tamaki (Meijo Univ.).
In the U.S., Yusuke Uchikoshi (Boise State Univ.) continued to develop as a steepler, winning the Mountain West Outdoor Track and Field Championships men's 3000 m steeplechase with a kick over the last 100 m in 9:13.72, adding the title to his XC win last fall.
© 2017 Brett Larner
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