- Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2010 19:55
- Published on Tuesday, 30 March 2010 19:55
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Stride for stride, Shearl Levere has come into her own. The King George junior is not your typical high school athlete. Her quiet demeanor is often overshadowed by her accomplishments in the sport of track and field and her polished academic record.
How good is she? Tall, statuesque and focused are three words that only begin to describe what rivals often see after Levere has crossed the finish line in first place.
Most recently, during winter track, Levere became the top point getter at the Regional Indoor Championships, acquiring two titles in the horizontal jump with top marks of 15’11.75” and 34’0.75” in the triple jump.
Levere completed the season in style by winning her first indoor All-State placement in the long jump (33’ 25”), and two regional titles in the horizontal jumps with top marks of 15’11.75” and 34’0.75” in the triple jump. Earning 26 points, Levere was top individual point contributor. In addition, she also placed third in the hurdles with a time of 9.29.
After witnessing Levere blossom into one of the top track and field athletes in the area, King George indoor track and field head coach Rudy Pekarek believes Levere has the physical skills to take the sport to new heights.
“Levere is the embodiment of what high school athletics are all about,” Pekarek said. “Although she didn’t start off as a person who impress me in winter track, now it’s like wow — this is Shearl Levere.”
Currently, Levere is competing in outdoor track, and judging by her recent performance, she could realistically compete in the State AA outdoor track and field championships this season. During the recent meet hosted by Courtland, Levere placed first in the 300-meter hurdles (51.70) and the 100-meter hurdles (16.80). She also placed second in the triple jump (31’ 7”) and second in the long jump (14’ 7”).
“Instead of doing what many athletes do before a jump, she goes through a little routine where she gets herself mentally prepared — and that’s why she does much better than the other girls on the team,” Pekarek said.
Several years ago after receiving a pair of track shoes as a Christmas gift from a friend, Levere’s horizons broadened beyond her wildest imagination.
“My mother always taught me never to be wasteful — so I decided why not get out on the track and try them out,” Levere said. “After I found out I was pretty good at it, I decided to continue to compete.”
A seasoned scholar who takes the more advanced classes, Shearl has aspirations of attending college after graduation. Levere’s high school guidance counselor Alyssa Jacobson believes Levere is the quintessential role model.
“She is the type of student who always pushes herself and tries to balance home life with school — and her excellence in sports,” Jacobson said. “I think that Shearl is all you can ask for when you’re talking about a student. She’s a great young woman and a good role model for a lot of students.”
Witnessing Levere gracefully glide over the high hurdles while her opponents grimace in frustration as they trail behind is poetry in motion. Her love for competition can simply defined by her quest to one day dominate the sport that serves as a stress reliever after a long day at school.
“I am addicted to competition — I can honestly say that,” Levere said. “After all the stress you’ve had all day with school, keeping up with classes and homework, it’s great feeling to let it all go on the track.”
Leonard M. Banks