October 19, 2017
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Levant ‘Flash’ a triple winner at state USATF meet

By Pete Warner, BDN Staff

Devin Smith — some of his friends call him “Flash” — turned in a memorable performance on Saturday at Massabesic High School in Waterboro.

The 14-year-old from Levant capped off his summer competition by winning three first-place medals at the USA Track and Field state championship meet.

Smith won the 100 meters, the 200 meters and the 400 meters in the age 15 division during a meet that featured more than 800 athletes from across the state.

According to his dad, Joe Smith, Devin’s time of 12.29 seconds in the 100 established an USATF Maine age-group record. He clocked a 25.33 in the 200.

Smith’s time of 55.90 in the 400 flirted with the age 15 record of 55.86 seconds. It also was a personal best.

“It was pretty fun. I got to meet some new people,” Devin Smith said.

Running runs in Smith’s family. His mother, Sarah (Leavitt), ran competitively at Bangor High School (a 1993 graduate) and John Bapst. His father, Joe, ran for Bangor High School (1988).

Devin’s maternal grandfather, Harland Leavitt, was a state champion in the 800 meters in 1969 and his paternal grandfather, Lonnie Runkle, competed as a schoolboy in Indiana.

Devin’s sister Addison, 10, also has been a USATF competitor.

“[My parents] gave me some pointers [on running],” he said. “My grandfather has, too — and a bunch of other people.”

Smith hopes to use his USATF titles as motivation as he begins his career as a high school athlete.

“It makes me want to train harder, work more,” Smith said. “I want to work more with coaches. I want to try to get better, set some high school records.”

He still has some gains to achieve before he’ll be a varsity contender, although his USATF meet times in the 200 and 400 would have qualified him individually for the Penobscot Valley Conference Large School Outdoor Championships.

Smith, whose running hero is Jamaican sprinter extraordinaire Usain Bolt, said he hopes to follow the example set by a member of the Hermon team.

In 2010, then 10-year-old Petersen won a national title in the 400 meters at the Hershey Track and Field North American Final in Pennsylvania. Petersen is now a senior at Hermon.

“There’s a kid named James Petersen that I look up to. He’s a sprinter, too, at Hermon. I want to catch up to his level,” Smith said.

On Tuesday, Smith began running with the Hermon High School cross country team. He also plans to compete for the Hawks’ track and field squads.


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