Payne's effort at nationals closes season

By Doug Fitzgerald published May 26, 2007

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Athletic Department concluded the 2006-07 competitive season Saturday as Shannon Payne finished 10th in the 5,000-meter run at the NCAA Division II National Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Irwin Belk Stadium.

For Payne, it was the conclusion of a busy schedule at nationals. The junior ran in the preliminaries of the 3,000 on Thursday and then came back Friday to earn All-American honors with a seventh-place finish in the finals. Two hours later, Payne ran in the preliminaries of the 5,000, qualifying for Saturday's finals.

"It was tough with four races in three days," said UCCS coach Graeme Badger. "She put it all on the line. Here's nothing left."

Payne's time of 17 minutes, 17.21 seconds was just 2.36 seconds away from her goal of a second All-American honor which she would have earned by crossing in eight place or better.

Making the meet all the more difficult for multiple-event qualifiers like Payne was the Mondo track surface at Johnson C. Smith University's Belk Stadium. While it is an Olympic-class surface, it is harder that some and can be particularly punishing for distance runners.

Having earned a No. 7 national ranking in women's cross country, a Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference championship in men's golf, five All-Americans and RMAC playoff appearances in volleyball, men's basketball and softball, the season was a big success competitively for the Mountain Lions' Athletic Department. Even more important for UCCS, which puts heavy emphasis on academics, were two academic All-Americans and 63 academic All-RMAC selections.

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Additional News Stories
May 30, 2007cross country/track sign sevenUniversity of Colorado at Colorado Springs cross country/track coach Graeme Badger announced the signing of seven athletes to National Letters of Intent Wednesday.
May 25, 2007Payne grabs All-American in the 3,000CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Shannon Payne earned All-American honors in one event and qualified for the finals in another Friday at the NCAA Division II National Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Irwin Belk Stadium.
May 24, 2007Payne qualifies for finals in 3,000 at nationalsCHARLOTTE, NC. -- Shannon Payne ran a heady race in Thursday's preliminaries to advance to the finals of the women's 3,000-meter run at the NCAA Division II National Outdoor Track & Field Championships at Irwin Belk Stadium.
May 15, 2007Payne qualifies for nationalsUniversity of Colorado at Colorado Springs runner Shannon Payne qualified for nationals in two events, the NCAA announced Tuesday
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