Southern Utah University's Cameron Levins raced at the international level at the New Balance Grand Prix in Boston, Mass. on Saturday, earning an eighth-place world ranking with a fifth-place finish in the 3,000-meter run.
"It's awesome," Levins said in a Flotrack interview. "It's so cool going to Nationals in such a good position. It makes me feel really confident."
Levins' 7:45.75 finish shaved about three seconds off his previous top NCAA record of 7:48.25, also setting a new school record for Southern Utah.
Levins was the first non-African athlete to finish, racing behind runners like Dejen Gebremeskel of Ethiopia and Silas Kiplagat of Kenya. He finished ahead of U.S. athlete Matthew Centrowitz, who earned a bronze medal in the 1,500-meters at the 2011 IAAF World Championship.
Levins will continue to compete with the T-Birds in the indoor season, preparing for the Summit League Championship and NCAA Nationals.
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 took fifth in the Grand Prix, placing him among the world's top runners.
Levins ran 7:48.25 in the 300-meter race 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.