Payne Shines at RMAC Championships

By Doug Fitzgerald published May 8, 2007

ALAMOSA -- Shannon Payne of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs became the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Champion in the 5,000-meter run with a victory in the event Tuesday at the RMAC Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Rex Stadium.

Payne patiently stayed just behind a trio of Adams State runners with the expectation that two of them would eventually drop out of the race. Her patience was rewarded, leaving Payne and Heather Wood with a sizeable lead on the rest of the field.

"I knew that two of the Adams girls who originally started out in the lead pack were just there to 'rabbit' Heather because we discussed that," said Payne. "I really didn't expect to win but thought if the opportunity presents itself -- go for it."

The opportunity did present itself with about 1,000 meters remaining. Payne surged ahead and crossed the line with a time of 18 minutes, 19.3 seconds. Wood finished four seconds behind.

Payne also took second in the 3,000-meter run, shaving 8.46 seconds off her already strong national qualifying time in the process. Payne ran a time of 10 minutes, 28.8 seconds, which translates to 9:59.45 when adjusted for altitude and hand timing

"I ran a good race and felt like it was strategic," said Payne. "I was shooting for anything under 10:30 so I'm a happy kid."

The improvement to her provisional qualifying time might also buy her a little extra time to recover from some nagging injuries. Some of the UCCS team will be competing at the Emporia State Last Chance Meet on Saturday in hopes of securing national qualifying times by running much nearer sea level.

"Coach (Graeme Badger) wanted me to be tactical, just score some points, and not shoot for a particular time," said Payne, "but I was also trying to get my provisional time down enough so that I don't need to run another race before nationals."

Jenna Dorsey-Spitz took fourth place in the 1,500-meter run with a time of 5:04.0. Teammate Lisa Short ran in the first heat of the same event and posted a 5:20.2, which was good for 10th overall.

Kelsey Barry turned in an impressive performance in the 400 meters, finishing fifth in a very fast field. Barry's time of 59.8 seconds was 1.3 seconds better than her previous best.

In the 800 meters, Jessica Hudson took ninth in 2:24.3 and Brittany Fortier finished 14th with a 2:43.0

In field events, Cory Brever competed in both the javelin throw and the shot put. Her heave of 93 feet, 2 inches was her best ever in the javelin.

"I did alright," said Brever. "I PRed in javelin."

Hudson, Knobbe, Fortier and Barry finished the day with a fifth-place finish in the 4X400 relay.

 

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

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Jessica HudsonJessica HudsonMid-Distance
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Lisa ShortLisa ShortDistance
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Jenna Dorsey-SpitzJenna Dorsey-SpitzMid-Distance
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Kelsey BarryKelsey BarrySprints
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Brittany FortierBrittany Fortier14G/FSo.
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Kirstin KnobbeKirstin Knobbe
Kirstin KnobbeKirstin Knobbe
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