Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer
Oklahoma Baptist senior Jura Levy successfully defended her sprint titles as she bowed out of collegiate indoor competition on the weekend.
This, as her school won both female and male sections of the NAIA Indoor Championships held in Geneva, Ohio, between February 28 and March 2.
Levy, the former Vere Technical sprinter, won the 60-metre dash in a new personal-best 7.24 and the 200 metres in 23.20, beating her feared rival Adella King of Indiana Tech on both occasions.
She almost made it three wins from three starts but with Levy running the anchor leg, Oklahoma Baptist's mile relay team (3:39.428) was edged out by Indiana Tech, whose winning time was 3:39.423.
Levy, who turned 22 last November, eked out a close win in the 60m over Nyema Simms of Concordia, 7.28, and King, 7.29. King was the number two-ranked sprinter going into the championships. Over the longer sprint, Levy was a more comfortable winner over King, 23.29, and Simms, 24.05.
"We did it. We did national champions of 2013 for both men and women. I can't stop expressing how proud I am of every single one of my teammates. It's my senior year and what better way to end a college indoor season?" Levy posted on her Facebook page following her successful campaign.
Speaking to The Gleaner afterwards, the diminutive sprinter was gracious.
"First, I am giving thanks to God, my coaches, family and friends, everyone who has continued to support me," she said. "I am happy. For the first time since 2004, my team was able to pull off both national titles. I couldn't have asked for more. The best part about it is that I am a senior and we did it."
Levy said she was very pleased with her time in the 60m as it sets her up nicely heading into the outdoor season.
WAIT AND SEE
"I am pleased. There is nothing else I could have done and I am very grateful for the time. This is the fastest I have ever been in my life, so we will just have to wait and see what happens outdoors," Levy said.
However, after being hampered by injury for most of last season, the sprinter may have picked up an injury in the 200m at the championships. Going into the 200-metre final, Levy said she was relaxed.
"... With about 70 metres to go in the race, I felt like there was a pin sticking me in my hamstring. I finished, as that was the most important thing at the time," said Levy, who is set to be assessed at some point today.