Levins to Double at Nationals After 5k Finish
By SUU Strategic Communication
AUSTIN, Texas - Southern Utah University track & field's Cameron Levins qualified for his second event at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field National Championships with a first-place finish in the 5k at the NCAA Preliminaries on Saturday.
Levins was almost three seconds faster than the closest competitor in his heat, crossing the finish line in 14:04.75. The time was almost 12 seconds faster than the best time in the earlier heat of the day with Minnesota's Hassan Mead finishing first in that race with a time of 14:16.06.
The second heat proved to be the most competitive as the top nine times were all faster than the pace set by Mead in the opening heat. However, only seven from the second race advanced to the championships in June with the top five picking up automatic qualifications and two logging at-large berths.
In the women's 5k, Diana Medina-Mitchell finished 16th in the field of 48 with teammate Jamie Smith finishing 41st. Medina-Mitchell crossed the finish line of her heat in 16:53.17 with Smith crossing in 17:31.73.
Kayla Kovar was the final competitor for Southern Utah on the day and narrowly missed a finish in the top half of the women's hammer throw, finishing 25th in the field of 48 after throwing 190 feet 10 inches. The mark also just missed her personal best of 191 feet by two inches.
Levins will now continue the Thunderbirds' season at the NCAA Championships, running in the men's 5k and 10k in Des Moines, Iowa. The championship will be hosted by Drake University, June 6-9.