Skip to main content

Seino to Step Down as Head Coach at Sendai Ikuei H.S. Following 12th-Place Finish

http://www.kahoku.co.jp/news/2012/01/20120119t14025.htm

translated and edited by Brett Larner

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.

At the Dec. 25 National High School Ekiden Championships in Kyoto, Sendai Ikuei H.S. was one of the favorites for the win but finished only 12th.  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 including the still-standing course record with ace Samuel Wanjiru, would return to take over with Seino remaining to work in tandem with him.  Seino flatly rejected the proposal.  Parents of the team's current members protested the school's plan and strongly asked him to remain in his current capacity, but Seino replied with his resignation.  "What they've suggested is unbelievable and disrespectful to the others involved.  I cannot accept it," Seino said.

Seino is a local, a native of nearby Zao, Miyagi.  As a sophomore at Sendai Ikuei H.S. he was a member of its National High School Ekiden champion team as well as one of the ten men on Juntendo University's Hakone Ekiden winning team as a senior there.  Following his graduation from Juntendo in 2007 he returned to Sendai Ikuei to become assistant coach under Watanabe.  He became head coach a year later in April, 2008 when Watanabe resigned to become the personal coach of Sendai Ikuei graduate and women's junior 10000 m national record holder Megumi Kinukawa.  In Seino's first year as head coach Sendai Ikuei's boys team finished 2nd at the National High School Ekiden Championships.

Following his departure Seino intends to continue his coaching career at a different high school.  Sendai Ikuei's team has roughly thirty members.  If any of the students express the wish to follow Seino and change high schools with him the school administration will respect their decision.  With regard to the situation having come to the point of Seino leaving the school, Sendai Ikuei H.S. principal Takehiko Kato declined to be interviewed by the Kahoku Newspaper, saying that he is too busy with overseeing construction of the school's new Miyagino campus and other responsibilities.

Comments

Bruce said…
This really points out how high school sports (at least track and field) in Japan operate much like collegiate sports in the USA. Would be interesting to know whether other countries have such pressure on high school coaches to do well and whether they allow athletes to freely move to another school to follow their coach.

Most-Read This Week

Yuta Shitara Breaks Japanese Men's Half Marathon National Record in Berlin Marathon Tuneup at Usti nad Labem Half

A week after his 28:55 at the Birell Prague Grand Prix 10 km and just eight days out from the Berlin Marathon, Yuta Shitara (Honda) made the great leap forward, taking 8 seconds off Atsushi Sato's 2007 half marathon Japanese national record, finishing 8th at the Czech Republic's Usti nad Labem Half Marathon.

Shitara is probably most well-known outside Japan for going through halfway under 62 minutes during his marathon debut at this year's Tokyo Marathon and still ending up with a 2:09:27, but he's been turning heads in Japan since his second year at Toyo University when he broke a stage record at the 2012 Hakone Ekiden and outkicked the U.S.A.'s Dathan Ritzenhein to finish in 1:01:48 at the NYC Half two months later, until this year the fastest time ever by a Japanese man on U.S soil.

Three weeks before Tokyo this year he ran a 1:01:19 PB at the Marugame Half. Many people would call that a solid tuneup three weeks out from a serious marathon, but eight days? In P…

Hattori Becomes Third-Straight Japanese Men's Sydney Marathon Winner

Following within 24 hours of Yuki Kawauchi's win at the BMW Oslo Marathon and Yuta Shitara's national record at the Usti nad Labem Half Marathon, Shota Hattori (Honda) made it an overseas hat trick for men from Japan's Saitama prefecture when he won the Sydney Marathon in 2:15:16. Having debuted at February's Nobeoka Nishi Nippon Marathon with a 2:14:19 for 2nd, Hattori outlasted Ethiopian Werkuneh Seyoum Aboye, Kenyan Sammy Kigen Korir (Kenya) and compatriot Ryoma Takeuchi (Hitachi Butsuryu) to become the third-straight Japanese men's Sydney champ, winning by a margin of 20 seconds over Aboye.

Congratulations to Shota Hattori, male winner of the Blackmores Marathon – with a time of 02:15:16. #SydneyRunningFestivalpic.twitter.com/R47w8TCG2X — SydneyRunFestival (@officialbsrf) September 17, 2017
No Japanese women made the podium in the marathon, but in the accompanying half marathon both the men's and women's races saw Japanese runners-up. In the men's …

Ayuko Suzuki Leaves for Altitude Training in Boulder Motivated for the Marathon

2017 London World Championships 5000 m and 10000 m runner Ayuko Suzuki (25, Japan Post) left from Narita Airport on Sept. 18 for altitude training in Boulder, Colorado.

Two days earlier at a half marathon in Czech Republic, Yuta Shitara (25, Honda), like Suzuki born in 1991, broke the 10-year-old Japanese men's half marathon national record in a time of 1:00:17. "It's a big motivation to see an athlete the same age as me doing something like that," she said. Showing her determination to be one of her generation's leaders, she added, "I'll be 28 [at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics], right in my prime mentally and physically. I want to run big too."

In the leadup to the Tokyo Olympics Suzuki has the marathon in sight along with the track. "I need to run a half marathon and marathon somewhere once to check [how well they suit me]," she said. "Coach and I will be talking about it." If everything goes according to plan, December's Sanyo …