DES MOINES, Iowa — Stephen F. Austin track and field standout Demi Payne has broken yet another NCAA women’s pole vault record. On Friday night in the Beijing World Championship Preview Pole Vault competition at the Drake Relays, Payne soared over 15-3.5 (4.66m) to claim the new collegiate outdoor standard.
For the second time this year, Payne steals an NCAA record from the grasp of Arkansas’ Sandi Morris — this time less than two weeks after Morris broke the outdoor record with a jump of 15-1.75 (4.62m) at the John McDonnell Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas. During the indoor season, Payne initially secured the NCAA record of 15-2.25 (4.63m) just one day after Morris claimed the top height.
Payne has now broken an NCAA record four times (her own record twice) this year and owns the best collegiate height cleared for both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
And she’s just a junior.
Two days after winning the street vault on Court Avenue to kick off the Drake Relays with a 15-1.5 vault, Payne continued her Iowa success with the best outdoor performance of her career. She took second overall in Friday’s event out of nine of the world’s best. After finishing one spot behind Payne on Wednesday, Katerina Stefanidi (Nike) won with the world’s top jump this year (15-5.5).
Payne surged passed Morris and six other professionals, needing only two attempts at 14-9.5 (4.51m) and 15-1.5 (4.61m) before setting the record on her first attempt. The 15-3.5 vault is the second best in the world this season.
A native of New Braunfels, Texas, Payne will look to raise the bar even higher next Saturday at the Longhorn Invitational at the University of Texas.
13-7.75 (PPP), 14-1.75 (O), 14-5.5 (XXO), 14-9.5 (XO), 15-1.5 (XO), 15-3.5 (O), 15-5.5 (XPP), 15-7.25 (XX)
Note: After the competition on Friday night at the Drake Relays, there was debate surrounding whether Payne’s mark would officially be considered a new NCAA record. The event did not feature a box collar — a protective layer of padding around the plant box — which is required by the NCAA but not on the international circuit. Drake officials also announced that since Payne competed twice in one week at the Drake Relays, it wouldn’t officially be an NCAA record.
However, the USTFCCCA (United States Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association) has announced that it will recognize Payne’s mark as a collegiate record after all. Explanation by the USTFCCCA found here.
Demi Payne is the official collegiate record holder in the women’s outdoor pole vault.
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