Payne Earns National Qualifying Time, 14 School Records Set

By Doug Fitzgerald published December 5, 2008

GOLDEN, Colo. - Shannon Payne began the indoor track season the same way she finished the cross country season - by punching her ticket to nationals.

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs senior earned an automatic qualifying time for nationals Friday when she covered the 5,000-meter run in 17 minutes, 44.12 seconds at CSM Open at Steinhauer Fieldhouse.

When Payne's time is converted for altitude and track size, it becomes 17:06.8 - a mark that earns her a rare automatic qualification for nationals. Most competitors at nationals post a provisional qualifying time and have to sweat it out to discover if, at the end of the season, it is one of the 16 best.

The automatic qualifying time in the 5,000 meters is 17:08.5.

The Mountain Lions also broke or established 14 new school records for indoor track. Standards were set in the men's and women's 1,000-meter run, the men's and women's 300-meter dash, the men's and women's 600-meter run, the men's long jump, the men's and women's 60-meter dash, the men's and women's 4 X 200 relay and the men's and women's weight throw.

Since Payne has now already qualified, she can now turn her attention to the U.S. Cross Country National Championships, which will be run in Baltimore on Feb. 7. At that race, she will compete against the best collegiate and professional runners in the nation.

"I'm a little bit nervous but I'm really excited," said Payne. "It will be really exciting to get to race against some really big dogs. I've never been able to race at that level before so it will be really cool to see where I stack up; plus it's an 8k and I feel like I get better as the distance gets longer especially in cross."

In getting her qualifying time, Payne had a little help from a friend. Former UCCS all-American Sarah Shepard ran in the race with the express purpose of helping push Payne along.

"The plan was to pace with Sarah Shepard and we were going to change the lead every four laps," said Payne. "That definitely helped keep the focus on the race. It helps keep the focus on how many laps you're leading for instead of, "oh, like I have 23 laps left on this little bitty track."

"It definitely felt like a hard effort but we got done what we came to do."

The following were the new records established by the Mountain Lions:

Women's 60-meter dash: Ailena McDonald (8.36)
Women's 300-meter dash: Jenny Hunt (44.23)
Women's 600-meter run: Kylie Honigford (1:42.72)
Women's 1,000-meter run: Kelsey Barry (3:12.53)
Women's 4 X 200 Relay: (1:51.26)
Women's weight throw: Jennifer Callan (12.16 meters)

Men's 60-meter dash: David Mueller (7.09)
Men's 300-meter dash: William Pendarvis (37.14)
Men's 600-meter dash: Eddie Sabbatino (1:32.80)
Men's 1,000-meter run: Alex Vazquez (2:35.18)
Men's 60-meter hurdles: Brian Hopkins (8.90)
Men's 4 X 200 Relay: (1:34.47)
Men's weight throw: Preston Williams (10.6 meters)
Men's long jump: Rick Rimbert (6.63 meters)

UCCS Players/Staff Featured

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Shannon PayneShannon Payne
Shannon PayneShannon Payne
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Kelsey BarryKelsey BarrySprints
Kelsey BarryKelsey BarrySprints
Kelsey BarryKelsey BarrySprints
Kelsey BarryKelsey BarrySprints
Kelsey BarryKelsey BarrySprints
Preston WilliamsPreston WilliamsThrows
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Kylie HonigfordKylie Honigford
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Ailena McDonaldAilena McDonaldJumps/Sprints
Ailena McDonaldAilena McDonaldJumps/Sprints
Ailena McDonaldAilena McDonaldJumps/Sprints
Ailena McDonaldAilena McDonaldJumps/Sprints
Eddie SabbatinoEddie SabbatinoMid-Distance
William PendarvisWilliam PendarvisSprints
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