Tyler Leverington Balances Law School and Track
Tyler Leverington sits with his teammates on the track team as they ride in the team van to the University of Florida for the USF Bulls Invitational. A song comes on the radio to which a freshman exclaims it was first released when he was in eighth grade. Leverington grabs his head and laughs as he informs them that same song was popular in his freshman year of college.
It is those moments that have led to Leverington being nicknamed “Grandpa Tyler” on the track team. Leverington is a first-year law student at Marquette finishing his degree after spending five years at North Dakota State.
Under NCAA rules, a student-athlete can have five year of eligibility to complete four years of athletics. There are a few circumstances where student-athletes can apply and be granted a sixth year.
Leverington was suffered four stress fractures in his time as a Bison. He did not run during the 2010 outdoor season and redshirted his 2007 cross-country season, 2008 outdoor season and 2009 indoor season. With his one year of eligibility left, he selected Marquette University based 95 percent on its academics and 5 percent on its athletics.
“Marquette is just a great law school,” Leverington said. “They offer so much with a great program and amazing faculty.”
The Roseau, Minn. native made the change from a public university in Fargo, N.D. to Milwaukee in August. Just days after his first long run with his new team, he felt welcomed as his new teammates helped him move furniture into his apartment.
Coach Mike Nelson met with Leverington as he looked for a law school. Within a matter of weeks, he saw Leverington add to the leadership of captains Patrick Maag and Jack Senefeld.
“(Leverington) has only been here a matter of weeks, but a lot of the guys are already looking up to him and asking questions about law school or running at North Dakota State,” Nelson said. “He’s stepped into a different leadership role, but he’s a very positive example for our guys to follow along.”
While Leverington enjoys working out with other teammates, due to his busy schedule, he usually runs workouts by himself. There are several spans of time in which coaches go days without seeing him train.
Leverington’s daily schedule is different than that of an undergraduate student. He wakes up and goes out on a shake-out run before heading to class. Gaps of time are used to complete hundred page readings. He has night class on Tuesday from 7:30 to 9:15 and no classes on Fridays, which allow him to travel on team trips for the weekend.
In the middle of the day, he rushes over to Valley Fields to run 400-meter repeats or interval runs on the track. He wraps up his training with a core workout, stretching session and shower before usually arriving to class usually three minutes before it begins.
“When people ask me ‘What’s new, Tyler?’ Nothing is ever new. It’s very much law school and track,” Leverington said. “It absolutely helps me keep a balance in my day and life. Because I have track, every day I get to get away from law school for a while and do what I absolutely love.”
During finals week in December 2012, Leverington and his roommate tracked time spent studying. Two weeks leading up to exams, he averaged 16.2 hours per day studying in the law school. The hours do not include 30 minutes used for meal breaks or 15 minute breaks to goof off.
With just a few weeks left into his career as a student-athlete, Leverington still hopes to set a personal best in the 1,500-meter run, which is his specialty as a distance runner, and advance into the NCAA Regional Championship. He will not compete at the Big East Outdoor Conference Championship from May 3 to 5 with finals scheduled on May 4 and 8.
Law school marks are based on class rank, so Leverington’s goal coming into the spring semester was to do his best in the classroom. This summer he will intern at the Marquette Law School before returning the fall for his second year of studies. He hopes to remain close to the Marquette track and field team by going on runs with the team on occassion.