Southern Utah University's Cameron Levins has been named the 2012 Bowerman Award winner. The Bowerman, which is essentially the Heisman Trophy of the collegiate track & field world, is given annually to the most outstanding male and female track & field athlete of the year.
Levins was recognized for his truly world-class collegiate performance in front of a packed house at the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Convention in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday evening.
"I only fathomed, a little bit, that I might be able to win," Levins said after the award was presented. "To have it happen was just unreal, I'm still in a bit of shock."
Levins earned a nomination for the award after winning a pair of individual titles at the 2012 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, sweeping first place in the men's 5k and 10k. It was the first time since 2009 that the feat had been accomplished. In addition to recording the best time in NCAA championship history in the 10k since 1984, Levins earned rank in the record books at the Mt. SAC Relays and Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational last season. At the Mt. SAC Relays, he clocked the NCAA’s best time of the season in the 5k, at 13:18.47—which is fifth all-time in college rankings and the fastest by a college athlete since 2008. At the Payton Jordan meet, Levins outpaced both collegiate and professional runners to complete the 10k in 27:27.96—the second fastest time in NCAA history. He also represented Canada in the 10k and 5k races at the 2012 Summer Games in London.
"This really just cements Southern Utah University Track & Field in the history books," head coach Eric Houle said. "I can't think of a better student-athlete than Cameron Levins to represent SUU and our program, and I look forward to what is in store for us going into the future."
Levins is SUU's first NCAA track & field national champion.
Levins joins former winners Galen Rupp (2009), Ashton Eaton (2010) and Ngoni Makusha (2011) among the Bowerman Award winners. Rupp and Eaton each competed for the United States during the 2012 Summer Olympics, with Eaton earning a gold medal in the men's decathlon and Rupp earning a Silver Medal in the men's 10,000-meters.
Originally on the ballot for the Bowerman along with Levins were Florida's Tony McQuay and Illinois' Andrew Riley, both NCAA champions in their own right. McQuay led the Gators to an NCAA team title in 2012 in addition to garnering individual titles in the 400-meters and 4x400-meter relay. McQuay was a member of the United States' silver-medal 4x400-meter relay team last summer in London. Riley became the first ever athlete to capture an NCAA title in the 100-meter dash and 110-meter hurdles, doing so at the 2012 NCAA National Championship. He also ran for his native Jamaica at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
The women's Bowerman Award was given to LSU's Kimberlyn Duncan, the 2012 NCAA champion in the 200-meter dash.
For more information on The Bowerman, the award, the trophy, and Bill Bowerman himself, visit TheBowerman.org.