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CAMERON

LEVINS

&

THE

150 miles per week leads senior runner to NCAA 5K and 10K national championships and London Olympics If you’ve lived in Cedar City

very ordinary 14:58 5000m who

over the past five years, you’ve

looked much the same as everyone

likely crossed Cameron Levins’

else in the Thunderbirds’ incoming

(’12) path; in a town that is just

freshman squad. He has since

20.1 square miles, there’s not a

shaved a remarkable two-and-a-

road the SUU Track and Field

half minutes off his 5K and, at

distance runner hasn’t traveled.

press time, had passed through the

What

the

happenstance

London Olympic preliminaries to

observer may not know, however,

qualify for the 5000m medal race.

as they drive past the wiry

Of his turning point, Levins

roadside runner in the SUU

guesses, “I wasn’t much better

singlet, is that they are witness

than any other recruit. But I came

to something spectacular. For in

from such a small area with no

those runs from one end of town

one to train with; once I got to

to the other that combine to more

SUU and started working with the

than 150 miles per week, is the

team, I just started improving.”

making of a champion unlike

When asked about his own

any Southern Utah University has

hopes for Levins in those early

ever seen.

years, SUU Track and Field Coach

In July—shortly after racing to national championship standing

Class of 2012: Cam received his Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Human Performance in May.

in the men’s 5K and 10K, bringing SUU its first two Division I NCAA National Championship

Eric Houle (’81) simply laughs, “I thought, ‘OK, he could be an all conference guy, and maybe he

could qualify for nationals…”

titles in any sport—Levins left Cedar City for the United

Houle trails off, glancing at his stopwatch as Levins—

Kingdom, on roster to compete for his home country

best known for his breakneck finishing times—whirs past,

of Canada in the Men’s 10,000m and 5000m races in

completing the fifth of 16 400m sprints on the agenda for

the 2012 Olympic Summer Games. Though many of his

the morning’s training. “Good,” Houle half smiles and then

most Herculean accomplishments lie in wait, yet to be

resumes, “There was no way to know what was to come.”

determined in an international arena, it would appear

He continues, “What I did know, and this is exactly the

Levins and his superhuman stamina are right on track. Looking ahead, beyond the NCAA championships and

reason I went after him in the first place, is that he was a hard worker and that he really, really cared.”

the London Olympics, Levins now goes professional with

From humble beginnings, Levins has taken the running

plans to race on the European Circuit and has signed a

world by storm with Olympic "A" standard times of

long-term, very lucrative contract with Nike.

13:18.47 in the 5000m (a personal best he then surpassed

Just a few years ago, however, as a college freshman who

with the 13:18.29 Olympic qualifier finish) and 27:27.96 in

was not actively recruited by any college but sought out

the 10,000m, the year's fastest "non-African" time for the

SUU through an online inquiry form, Levins’ aim was much

distance and Canada's second fastest time in history. But

simpler: “I just wanted to qualify to compete in each meet.”

you wouldn’t know it by talking to him.

It is obvious the 23-year-old runner has come a long way

Cam, as he is better known, has little interest

since he first left Black Creek, B.C., an 18-year-old with a

in talking about himself and while he appreciates

6

IN VIEW

SUU In View - Fall 2012  

The Fall 2012 issue of Southern Utah University’s alumni magazine.