Senior breaks 25-year-old distance running record


Maria Shaugnessy

Senior Nicky Edwards-Levin runs at an ISL meet Oct. 17, 2019. On May 8, he broke a school record for 3200 meter race.

Amy Ren, Reporter

Senior Nicky Edwards-Levin won the 3200-meter race at the Palatine Distance Classic with a time of 9:23.74, breaking a 25-year-old school record.

Top runners from across Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri must qualify to participate in the Palatine Distance Classic. On May 8, Nicky competed against 32 runners and broke the previous school record of 9:25.37 set in 1996 by Peter Muller.

Nicky said he was on edge going into the race because he was the slowest in the heat with a time of 9:42, which was still faster than he had ever run. His best time entering the season was 10:10.82 from spring 2019.

“I was very nervous about, you know, being that last runner who gets the pity claps and finishes way beyond way behind everybody else,” Nicky said. “I was really just hoping to go and race well.”

He said he aimed to enjoy the race since he doesn’t get much competition and the Palatine Distance Classic was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to race against the best in the region. 

Nicky was stunned when he saw his time.

“Disbelief is really the only term that I can think of that absolutely describes how I felt when I crossed the finish line, or even a few meters before I crossed the finish line,” Nicky said. 

As he approached the end, he was so shocked by the time on the scoreboard that he slowed down. “And then once I finished, you know, someone came right next to me so I wasn’t even sure that I won.”

After the race, a reporter at the meet told Nicky that he won.

“I was just at a total loss for words,” Nicky said. “I had never thought in my wildest dreams that something like that would happen.”

Nicky Edwards-Levin is a former editor-in-chief of the U-High Midway and was not involved in reporting this story.