WTW: Japanese Teen Sensation Does It Again, Fast Horse Gets Hurt & 2024 Is Going To Be Amazing

The Week That Was in Running, November 20-26, 2023

Each week, we try to make the sport more fun to follow by putting the prior week’s action in perspective for you. Past editions of our Week That Was weekly recap can be found here. Got a tip, question or comment? Please call us at 844-LETSRUN (538-7786), email us, or post in our forum.

If you like our written weekly recap, you’ll love our weekly Track Talk Podcast as well. And have you checked out our shoe review website, BetterRunningShoes.com?

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With World Indoors, World XC, and the Olympics, 2024 Will Be Quite The Year

The Canadian XC champs were held over the weekend in Ottawa. In the men’s race, Kieran Lumb, who sports quick track pbs of 3:52/7:36/13:23 but was only 87th at the 2021 NCAA XC meet, got the 2-second win over 13:46 man Philippe Morneau-Cartier.

The women’s race wasn’t close as Ceili McCabe, the three-time NCAA third placer (twice in the steeple, once in XC) who redshirted this fall for West Virginia as she wants to make the Olympic team, won by 41 seconds over Glynis Sim (4:11/15:35).

The race reminded us that 2024 is going to be a fun year for track & field fans.

Did you know we’ll have World XC, World Indoors, and the Olympics all in the same year for the first time since 2008? Get used to it as World XC was recently moved to even years so there will be a World Indoors, World XC, and Olympics in the same year once every four years moving forward (there also will be a bonus World Indoors in Nanjing, China, in 2025 to make up for the canceled 2020 edition).

The schedule for 2024 will be as follows:

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March 1-3 – World Indoors – Glasgow, Scotland
March 30 – World XC – Belgrade, Serbia
August 1-11 – Olympics – Paris, France
September 13-14 – Diamond League Final – Brussels, Belgium

*Canadian XC Results

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It’s Going To Be A Busy Week – Cross Champs, BU 3k/5ks, NXN, and Valencia

Looking ahead to the near future, there is a lot of action taking place in the next few days. Joshua Cheptegei will make his marathon debut in Valencia on Sunday but there will be a lot of action before that. The Cross Champs — the only World Athletics Gold XC meet in the US — is Thursday in Austin and the Boston University indoor 3000s and 5000s are on Saturday. The first of the two US high school national XC meets — NXN — also takes place on Saturday in Portland with Foot Locker a week later on December 9. And the 2023 European XC champs, sans an injured Jakob Ingebrigtsen, are December 10 in Brussels.

In terms of early favorites for NXN, we always head over to the Tully Runners website to see who has the highest speed ratings.

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The boy with the highest Tully speed rating during the regular season — Anthony Fast Horse, who recorded at 198 at the Clovis Invitational — will not be at NXN as he was only 14th at the California Division 2 state meet over the weekend while battling an injury. Fast Horse — who has to have the greatest name in the history of running — will be running a lot in Oregon in the future though as earlier in the month he signed with the University of Oregon. The Ducks may have had the inside track as Fast Horse is coached at Ventura HS this year by Josh Spiker, who ran for Jerry Schumacher back in the day at Wisconsin.

The Oregon men have been struggling on the track/grass so far under Schumacher but not in the recruiting department.

The highest boys’ speed rating of the competitors at NXN belongs to Stanford commit Byron Grevious of Phillips Exeter (N.H.) Academy, who recorded a 199 rating when he won the NXR Northeast race by 17+ seconds. It normally takes a rating well north of 200 to win NXN (204 won it for the boys last year and 165 for the girls won it last year).

Though he doesn’t have the highest speed rating of the year, Daniel Simmons of American Fork (Utah) should enter as the favorite. Last year as a junior, he was the the runner-up at NXN behind Aaron Sahlman. On the track, he ran 8:34.14 for 3200 meters at the Arcadia Invitational — just .04 behind Simeon Birnbaum, who was the best high school distance runner last spring (and a year older than Simmons). Simmons’ best speed rating this fall is only 195 at NXR Southwest, but he has not lost a race all season.

For the girls, 10th grader Elizabeth Leachman of Boerne, Tex., could be considered the favorite as she’s recorded the two highest girls’ speed ratings (Tully Runners doesn’t rate all races) — a 165 at the NXR South Regional and a 163 at the Texas 5A state meet, which she won by 70 seconds in a championship record of 16:25. Leachman isn’t undefeated, however, as she lost to junior Jane Hedengren (Timpview, Utah) by one-tenth of a second at the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic in California earlier in the year.

Hedengren was sensational at the end of the track season as she won the girls’ mile at the Brooks PR Invitational in a 2023-leading 4:35.69 before putting up US 10th-grade record to capture to 2-mile crown at Nike Outdoor Nationals in 9:54.38. She isn’t running NXN, however, as she picked up an injury at Woodbridge and didn’t run the NXN regional.

Leachman is doing double duty — she’ll race NXN and Foot Locker – as she won Foot Locker South over the weekend by 16.8 seconds.

Bill Meylan will publish his NXN preview and predictions later in the week on Tully Runners.

More: Anthony Fast Horse Dreamed Big, And Now He’s Realizing It
*Fast Horse Post-States Interview

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Keita Sato Runs 27:28 in His 10,000 Debut / A Japanese HS Team Has 6 Boys Who Have Broken 14:00 On It 

There was a lot of interesting action coming out of Japan last week.

The biggest result came at the Hachioji Long Distance meet in Tokyo, where 19-year-old sensation Keita Sato of Komazawa University ran possibly his last track race as an U20 athlete. And he made it count. In his 10,000 debut, Sato went 13:48-13:40 to run 27:28.50, making him the 5th fastest Japanese man ever.

More importantly, 27:28.50 destroyed the old Japanese U20 record by 30 seconds, meaning that Sato has every Japanese U20 record from 1500 through 10,000:

3:37.18 (2021 at age 17)
7:50.81 (2021 at age 17)
13:22.91 (2022 at age 18)
27:28.50 (2023 at age 19)

Sure he’s not Niels Laros (1:44/3:31/7:48/13:23 before turning 19), but those are super impressive.

Sato, who has a small shoe deal with On and spent much of the summer training with the OAC team in Europe, is also the fastest-ever U20 athlete in the 10,000 not born in Africa. The US U20 record, if you’re curious, is Galen Rupp‘s 28:15.52 from 2005.

The 10,000 was won by Kenya’s Amos Kurgat (Chudenko) who went out ahead of the wavelight, faded and got caught, but rallied for the win in 27:10.72.

More: Keita Sato 27:28.50 U20 NR in 10000 m Debut at Hachioji Long Distance Meet

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At the Nittai University Time Trials, a pair of high schoolers ran super fast as 3rd-years Kaito Iida (Izumi Chuo H.S.) and Shunpei Yamaguchi (Saku Chosei H.S.) ran 13:34.20 and 13:34.59, the 4th- and 5th-best ever by Japanese high school boys. What’s interesting is Saku Chosei HS now has six guys who have broken 14:00 on the year and a seventh at 14:03 according to rikujyokyogi.co.jp as translated by Brett Larner.

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In the Queen’s Ekiden — the corporate women’s national championships — favorite Sekisui Kagaku won the six-leg, 42.195km relay race comfortably in 2:13:33 with past winners Japan Post (2:14:58), Panasonic (2:15:01), and Shiseido (2:15:07) battling it out for 2-3-4. Brett Larner reports the highlight may have come on leg 1 where Japan’s women’s-only half-marathon NR holder Rino Goshima (Shiseido, 68:07 pb) ran a 21:27 course record on the 7km leg. Larner also reports that “most of the people who ran last month’s Paris Olympic marathon trials looked tired.”

More: Sekisui Kagaku Back on Top at Queens Ekiden
*MB: How hilly is the Japanese National Corporate Women’s Ekiden Championships / Queens Ekiden?

That was the short race at the Cross Internacional de la Constitucion Alcobendas in Spain on Sunday.

Do you think anyone should be DQd?

Bib #117, Yahya Aouina El Karboubi, was correctly DQ’d, with the win going to #105, Abderrahman El Khayami. #89, who was obstructed by El Karboubi and wound up second, is Ignacio Fontes — a 2021 Olympic 1500 finalist who owns a 3:33 pb.

Read this messageboard thread to find out more: MB: Crazy xc finish in Spain. Runner slams into finishing clock. DQ or no DQ? (Video) .

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