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Demi Payne Awarded USATF Athlete of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS --  Pole vaulter Demi Payne wins USATF Athlete of the Week after setting an NCAA pole vault record with her winning performance at the Texas A&M Team Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 17 in College Station, Texas.
Payne (New Braunfels, Texas), a junior at Stephen F. Austin State University, set a women’s collegiate record with her vault of 4.63m/15-2.25, which surpassed a record mark set just 24 hours prior. Heading into the weekend, only one other woman (Texas’ Kaitlin Petrillose, 4.60m/15-1) had ever cleared 15 feet indoors. However within 17 hours, Payne and Arkansas freshman Sandi Morris had both cleared that mark.
“Going into the competition Saturday, I knew I needed to be relaxed and focused,” said Payne. “On the bus ride up to A&M, I found out that the collegiate record was broken the night before. Right then and there I knew if there was any time to bring it, it was then.”
Her winning vault places her at No. 8 on the all-time U.S. indoor list.
Other standout performances included:
  • Diego Estrada (Salinas, California) who took home the men’s USATF Half Marathon title on Sunday, Jan. 18 in Houston, Texas. His time of 1:00:51 is the No. 3 time ever by an American.
  • Kim Conley (Santa Rosa, California) was the women’s USATF Half Marathon champion, finishing in 1:09:44 on Sunday, Jan. 18 in Houston, Texas.
Now in its 14th year, USATF’s Athlete of the Week program is designed to recognize outstanding performers at all levels of the sport. USATF names a new honoree each week and features the athlete on Selections are based on top performances and results from the previous week.
2015 Winners: January 15, Chris Derrick; January 21, Demi Payne.
USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the  United States. For more information on USATF, visit

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