Cameron Levins successfully his Canadian Cross-Country Championship crown Nov. 27 in Vancouver.
The Black Creek harrier finished the 10K course in 32:04. The
Southern Utah University Thunderbirds star had a short turnaround time for the event after recording a fourth-place, All-American finish at the NCAA Cross-Country National Championships on Nov. 21.
In Vancouver, Levins finished 45 seconds ahead of the trailing pack as Barry Britt (32:49), Chris Winter (32:51) and Justin Duncan (32:53) placed second through fourth, respectively.
Last year, Levins captured gold at the 2010 Canadian Cross-Country Championships in Guelph, Ont. with a time of 29:25.7. The SUU senior advanced to the World Championships that same year, but will not have a similar opportunity in 2011 as the World Championships are only held every two years.
However, the finish will continue to shine the spotlight on Levins as Canada looks for athletes to compete at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Levins will now return to SUU and prepare for the indoor track and field season with the Thunderbirds, scheduled to begin at the Lumberjack Invitational in Flagstaff, Ariz. on Jan. 14.
Meanwhile, Levins’ fourth-place finish at the NCAA nationals in Terre Haute, Ind. helped earned Southern Utah its second top-five national finish in five years.
“The race went out really fast and I tried to stay with the pack and get in a position to challenge (winner Lawi Lalang of Arizona),” Levins said. “I did the best I could in preparation and in the race and I’m really happy with the result.”
Levins’ 10k time of 29:04.8 broke the previous SUU record on the course, set by Jess Baumgartner in 2006. Baumgartner’s time of 30:52.3 earned a third-place finish and All-American title. Levins also placed ahead of Mountain Region top competitors Diego Estrada (7th) from NAU and Miles Batty (14th) from BYU.
“It really speaks well of Cam’s effort to be able to run consistently on national and international stages like this,” said head coach Eric Houle.
Levins advanced to the NCAA Div. 1 championships after racing to a second-place finish at the Mountain Region Championship Nov. 12 in Provo, Utah.
“For us to be where we’re at against such big schools really speaks volumes of the athletes we have,” said Houle. “To have an athlete with a shot at the top 10 in the nation is huge for the school, huge for Cam and huge for what we’re trying to do.” Levins crossed the finish line only two seconds behind BYU’s Miles Batty, recording a time of 30:11.5 and earning a solid place in the national meet.
“Going to Nationals will be really cool,” Levins said. “I haven’t tapered or anything and I’m really looking to do well at that race.”
with files from SUU Thunderbirds