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On track for greatness

Siblings Amanda and Jacob Levin, of West Fargo, take a warm-up lap before practice Friday, July 23, at Berger Elementary's track. Carrie Snyder/The Pioneer

Jacob Levin will be going into the fifth grade this fall, a step the 10-year-old is "sort of" excited about.

After his most recent accomplishment, however, there may not be too many things that will excite the young boy from West Fargo.

Jacob competed and took fifth place in the 200-meter run during the Hershey's Track and Field Games North American Finals on Aug. 7, in Hershey, Pa. He was one of just eight boys from all of North America in the 9-10-year-old age group who qualified for the event. It was Jacob's first time qualifying for Hershey's.

"It was fun meeting new people," said Jacob, who is the younger brother of West Fargo varsity track and cross country runner Amanda Levin. "It was fun. I was sort of nervous, but it went away when I was running."

Jacob finished with a time of 31.19 seconds. He was slightly more than a half second off the fourth-place time. Jatauious Harris, of Milledgeville, Ga., won the event in 27.74 seconds.

"He had a really good time," said Jacob and Amanda Levin's father, Dan. "It was a good trip."

Amanda Levin qualified for the Hershey's track meet four of the six years she was eligible, Dan said. While there, Amanda competed in 100-meters.

Jacob sets the bar high when thinking about his future. He looks up to his big sister, he said, and hopes to follow in her footsteps.

If Jacob is going to emulate anyone in particular, Amanda is a smart choice.

As an eighth-grader last year with the Packers, Amanda was named cross country Rookie of the Year, and earned the 2010 Track Relay Award. During the track and field season, she took fifth place at the East Region meet in the 100-meters, and fifth at state in the 200-meters. She also ran relay legs for the fifth-place state 4x100 team (also second at EDC), and seventh-place state 4x400 team.

Running and speed seem to be in the blood of the Levins.

"(Jacob) runs because it kind of goes in the family, and he enjoys it," Dan said. "He has always kind of excelled at it."

Jacob said he likes to run because "it's an exercise and my sister runs, too." He also said that he would much rather run short, fast races, such as the 200-meters, than longer, endurance ones.

Jacob hopes to be on the varsity running teams at West Fargo, just like Amanda.

"Maybe in a couple years," he said.