Black Creek’s Cameron Levins finished as the top Canadian at the IAAF Cross Country World Championships last Sunday, placing 57th in the 122-athlete field.
As anticipated, all but one of the top 15 runners hailed from the African continent with the Kenyans finishing second through fifth, seventh and 10th at the March 20 event in Punta Umbria, Spain.
Levins, a G.P. Vanier grad who attends Southern Utah University, finished the 12K race with a time of 36:36, finishing ahead of teammate Kelly Wiebe who crossed the finish line in 59th place with a time of 36:39. The rest of the Canadian team finished near the back of the pack as the Canucks finished 16th overall, besting Brazil which finished 17th.
Kenya ultimately won the team championship with its bunch finish in the top 10 while Ethiopia’s Imana Marga captured the individual title with a first-place time of 33:50.
“This is a race that Cam will remember for the rest of his life,” SUU Thunderbirds’ head track and field coach Eric Houle said. “This was like racing against 100 Michael Jordans and to finish in the top half of that field and in the world is truly an amazing accomplishment.”
Levins will now return to SUU and continue the outdoor track season where the junior has already turned in one of the nation’s fastest 5,000m times with an eye on an NCAA national championship in June.
Plans are in the works for CBC to air coverage of the world championship race on April 30 at 11 a.m. PST.