Kinoshita sets national track record

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Mike Kinoshita failed to achieve his only goal on Saturday by meeting a qualifying standard in the 1,500-meter run for the Paralympic Games. But what he did after that made up for it. Kinoshita is only 16 but will soon have his name in the record books, once his record is certified. The junior at Folsom High and member of the track and field team set a Paralympic National record on Saturday for visually impaired athletes by finishing the 3,000-meter run at the Hornet Classic at Sacramento State in 9 minutes, 29 seconds. The previous record of 9:35 was set in 2000 by Kenneth Blair. “It’s hard to describe how it feels,” Kinoshita said of achieving the national record. “I’m excited. I feel immense pride.” What makes the record even more impressive is that Kinoshita wasn’t even trying for it. The reason he was competing at the meet was to run the Paralympic qualifying standard in the 1,500 meters, a race he ran in the morning. He did well, finishing with a personal-best time of 4:23, but he missed the standard by eight seconds. In his second race of the day, the 3,000 meters held in the afternoon, Kinoshita was just running it because, as he put it, "it was there." “It kind of just happened,” Kinoshita said of the record. I wasn’t trying for it and it was my second race of the day. I wasn’t expecting to break any record.”