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A proven captain: Dickinson senior Levi Jordheim shows leadership to underclassmen

Press Photo by Royal McGregor Dickinson High senior Levi Jordheim competes in the high jump during the Coca-Cola Meet on April 22 at the Biesiot Activities Center. Jordheim has qualified in the long and triple jumps and 400- and 1,600-meter relays. He’s looking to place in the top six at the West Region Meet to guarantee a spot at state in the high jump.

By Royal McGregor

There are many words to describe Dickinson High senior Levi Jordheim.

Yet, Dickinson sophomore Wyatt Kainz described Jordheim best — captain.

“He’s pretty much a coach and an athlete at the same time,” Kainz said. “It’s really nice to have him because he can help us out with whatever we need help on.”

Jordheim takes pride being a good senior leader for the underclassmen.

“(The leadership) shows them what is right and how things should be done,” Jordheim said. “Sometimes it’s better coming from an older athlete than it is from a coach.”

Entering his senior track and field season, Jordheim is a multiple state qualifier and placer. But he’s not close to slowing down.

The senior qualified in the long and triple jumps and the 400- and 1600-meter relays. However, he’s vying for one more state-qualifying mark in the high jump. He will look to achieve a top-six placing in the high jump during the West Region Meet today in Bismarck.

“At the West Region, I think I’m just going to do the high jump because I’ve had some heel problems,” said Jordheim, who placed fourth in the high jump as a sophomore. “At the state meet, I’m going to do all three jumps and just hope to finish high in all of them.”

Jordheim’s distances in the triple and long jumps are the fourth and 10th best in Class A, respectively. His triple jump distance is 42-feet, 11-inches. The 400 and 1,600 relay teams have times of 45.18 seconds and 3:31.14, respectively.

On Wednesday, Jordheim was named Dickinson High co-male athlete of the year with senior Dylan Skabo during the DHS athletic awards banquet.

Dickinson co-head coach Dave Michaelson said Jordheim is a role model in the classroom and on the field.

“Levi leads by example so well, probably better than anyone I can remember in recent history that’s come through our school,” Michaelson said. “It’s not just in track. It’s in all the sports he competes in. He doesn’t have a boastful or bragging bone in his body. He’s one of the true genuine gentlemen. But when he steps onto the basketball court or the football field or on the track or in the runaway in the jumps, it’s all business.”

One athlete Jordheim has influenced over the past two track and field seasons is Kainz. As a freshman, Kainz placed in a tie for sixth in the high jump at the state meet.

This season Kainz is qualified in all three jumps — high, long and triple. In Class A, he has the best height in the high jump at 6-5.

“He’s helped me with everything I’ve done,” Kainz said. “(Before events), I’ll start to get nervous and then I’ll go and talk to him about stuff. He’ll tell me to run and jump and get over it. It’s usually something short like that. That gets me ready for the event.”

Jordheim has been a three-sport athlete for Dickinson since his freshman year. He was a three-year starter in football and two-year starter in basketball.

Though playing three sports for four years can be taxing, Jordheim said there wasn’t really a thought of giving up on one sport.

“There were times when you think that you need to get better at this sport, so I’m going to take a season off,” he said. “In the end, it’s good to do all three sports for all four years if you can do it.”

The all-around skill set helped Jordheim ensure he would play at the next level.

In the fall, Jordheim is signed as a preferred walk-on to the North Dakota State football team. He will be a redshirt freshman and he anticipates playing linebacker. He said it’s reassuring to know where he’s going after concluding his high school career in Dickinson.

“It helps to tell myself what I’ve done, but it makes me say that I got so much farther to go,” he said.