Southern Utah University's Cameron Levins has been invited to run in the prestigious 2012 New Balance Indoor Grand Prix, which will be televised on ESPN2 on Saturday, February 4, from 2–4 p.m.
The race, which will be held at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston, Mass., promises competition against world class athletes, including the 2011 IAAF World Championship 1,500-meter Silver Medalist Silas Kiplagat from Kenya.
Kiplagat, who was the fastest man in the world in this event in 2010, will will be contesting the 3,000-meter against Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia and Matthew Centrowitz of the USA, both of whom won bronze medals at last year’s IAAF World Championships in the 5,000-meter and 1,500-meter races, respectively.
Levins, the reigning Canadian Cross Country National Champion and redshirt senior on Southern Utah University's Cross Country team, blazed to an NCAA National qualifying time of 13:42.90 in the men's 5,000-meters, placing him No. 2 in the nation and earning the top spot on the podium at the UW Invitational in Seattle, Wash., on Friday, January 27, 2012. Just eight days later, he will now try to break the National Canadian 300-meter record, which currently stands at 7:41.61.
Levins ran 7:48.25 in the 300-meter race last weekend at the UW Invitational. His 5,000-meter time also broke the meet record and was close to 30 seconds faster than the next collegiate runner to finish.
Levins broke the previous meet record held by Stanford's Chris Derrick (13:44.02) set in 2009. His time was also better than the previous SUU school record - a mark of 14:07.20 set by Curtis Moore in 2001.
Levins' teammate and fellow Thunderbird, Nate Jewkes, was the next collegiate runner across the line with a 14:21.42 and he was followed by Austin West as the freshman finished in 14:32.18. In all, Southern Utah runners accounted for three of the top four collegiate runners in the race, besting athletes from California, Portland and UC Riverside.
In the women's race, Diana Medina-Mitchell raced to a 16:30.07 finish in the 5,000-meters, breaking the previous SUU school record by almost one minute.
The men's and women's 5k was the highlight for the Thunderbirds on Friday as the track and field teams compete in Flagstaff, Arizona and Seattle, Washington this weekend. Look for the complete wrap up of both meets on suutbirds.com on Saturday night.