Mountain Lions Get Taste of National Competition

By Matt Sandstead published March 12, 2006

The road to Boston wasn't hard for Shannon Payne and Sarah Shepard, but once they got there it was a different story.

Payne placed 12th (14:15.46) and Shepard finished 18th (18:14.35) in the 5,000-meter run Saturday at the NCAA Indoor Championships in Boston.

"The meet was fun and I love being in Boston and getting a feel for life outside of Colorado Springs," said Shepard. "Everything was fun, until we got to race."

Shepard added that both her and Payne may not have come as mentally prepared as they could have.

"It is really, really, frustrating when you feel ready for a race and don't finish how you expected," said Payne. "It's hard when you get beat by runners you normally know you should beat."

Payne, who was the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference runner of the week for the week of Jan. 20, was disappointed in both her and Shepard's performances.

"Some runners have bad races on the wrong days, and that's what happened today," said Payne. "We just have to learn from it.

"Now we know what to expect when the tournament rolls around next year."

The race which qualified both Payne and Shepard for the indoor championships was the Iowa State Classic held on Feb 11.

Shepard's time in the Iowa State Classic propelled her into third place in school history for the 5,000 meter.

"The big difference between the race today and the one in Iowa was all the little things," said Shepard. "The little things like what I did that day or what I ate."

Shepard was in agreement with her teammate, that they were disappointed in their results, but looked forward to the future.

"If we had run like we normally do, it would have been much different," said Shepard. "Next year we will both come back here and get some revenge."

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