April Perspective Student-Athlete of the Month: Nathan Levine

Canton senior Nathan Levine leaps above the bar as he starts to fall toward the mat
Canton senior Nathan Levine leaps above the bar as he starts to fall toward the mat
Stephanie Graves

With the bar placed six feet eight inches above the ground at the MITCA team states meet at Byron Center on May 28, 2022, Canton senior and Duke commit Nathan Levine said he cleared his head of everything and his mind went blank. Levine regained consciousness as his body hit the mat and he surpassed the bar. 

High jump was never something Levine thought he would focus on. Instead, like many other football players like him, he started track and field as a way to stay in shape and get better at football. Soon, his skills on the track surpassed his abilities on the gridiron. 

Levine has attended the MHSAA Track and Field State Meet each of the three years he has competed in high jump, winning first place his sophomore year. However, Levine still has even higher goals, hoping to break the school record of six feet nine inches this season. With the track and field season underway, The Perspective sat down with Levine to talk about his success on the track. 

Lucas Gentilia: What goes through your head as you run up before a jump?

Nathan Levine: To be honest, nothing really, it’s all such a blur when it happens. It’s intimidating when there are high bars while running up. Sometimes I think to myself ‘How am I able to do this?’ Mid jump, I feel like I’m floating, like I’m on a high.

Lucas Gentilia: What has been the most enjoyable experience in your track and field career to this point?

Nathan Levine: 100 percent winning states sophomore year. It was a shocker to everybody involved since I wasn’t projected to win anything. I was fifth in the seedings, just a random sophomore from Canton and I just went to shock the world.

Duke Track and Field comit Nathan Levine clears his head with music before his meet. (Stephanie Graves)

Lucas Gentiia: How is competing in a state event different from your average event in the regular season?

Nathan Levine: The whole season leads up to states so the regular season, it matters, but of course, it’s not the championships. States is a whole different monster. I go against people that I’ve never seen before. You see new people there and it is a whole different feeling. But I feel like I’m experienced. I’ve been there for three years, so if I went again I would be much calmer. 

Lucas Gentilia:  What can you say about the difference between a normal meet and one with a Park rival? 

Nathan Levine: ‘It’s different, right?’ We share the same track with everyone and I practice with those jumpers. The fact that it’s at the [Varsity Stadium] track, makes meets feel like practice. But it’s personal between the schools.

Lucas Gentilia: Is there anybody in the track and field world that you model yourself after and try to emulate?

Nathan Levine: For track, my inspiration is John Harrison, a high jumper for the US National team. People have said he and I have similar forms and getting to the U.S. team would be amazing. 

Lucas Gentilia: How do you get in the right mental space before a meet?

Nathan Levine: Music is a huge part of that. I always have my headphones on to get dialed in. If you ever see me jump, what I do is I look at the bar, close my eyes before my jump and I stand there. I don’t focus on anything else. I try to isolate myself from the mat, the bar and from everything else. 

Lucas Gentilia: What can you say about the way that your teammates have motivated you on your way to college-level athletics? 

Nathan Levine: They’re my biggest support. Most of them are my close friends and a good group of guys with a great support system. They’ve encouraged me through everything and kept me in check when I sometimes get off track during meets or practices.

Lucas Gentilia: If there was something you would say to a freshman in track and field, who was looking to get to the next level like you have, what would you say?   

Nathan Levine: There’s gonna be times where you doubt yourself, where you think you’re not good enough, where you maybe had a bad meet. Just stick with it. If you put in the right amount of work the results will happen. I’ve had to reteach myself different skills and I’ve had really low points in my career. So ultimately just do not give up; everyone says it but it’s so true.


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Lucas Gentilia
Lucas Gentilia, Business Manager / Sports Editor
Lucas Gentilia is a senior at Salem High School that loves being surrounded by friends and other energetic people. He is involved in all types of activities, including The National Honor Society, Student Council 2024, Link Crew, the Salem Rocks Baseball Team and The Perspective newspaper staff. His life isn’t always centered around school however; he is in love with music, and always has an Airpod in his ear. He enjoys artists like Mac Miller, Mac Demarco and Kendrick Lamar. In addition, he loves weightlifting, golf and watching sports in person whenever he can.
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