NEW ORLEANS, La. – Stephen F. Austin's Demi Payne has been added to The Bowerman Trophy Women's Watch List, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced on Thursday afternoon. She is the first athlete from the Southland Conference to make the Watch List for either gender.
Payne joins nine other women on the 2015 Watch List for collegiate track & field's highest individual honor as selected by The Bowerman Watch List Committee. She is one of four newcomers from the preseason list that was released on Jan. 8.
In her first year at SFA after transferring from Kansas, Payne has exploded onto the national scene in just four meets as a Ladyjack. She broke the NCAA women's pole vault record in just her second week of the season at the Texas A&M Team Invitational on Jan. 17, soaring over 15-2.25 (4.63m).
The next weekend at the New Mexico Lobo Collegiate Open, Payne broke her own record not once, but twice. She surpassed 15-3 (4.65m) without a miss and then cleared 15-7 (4.75m) on her first run to extend her NCAA mark and move to No. 3 on the all-time U.S. women's indoor list.
Payne also currently ranks No. 11 on the all-time world indoor list with her 15-7 bound. No other American in women's indoor pole vault history has ever jumped higher in January.
Overall, Payne has been the top collegiate performer at each of her four meets in January to start the 2015 indoor season and has brought home three consecutive individual titles (Texas A&M, New Mexico, Houston). She currently owns four of the top five jumps all-time in the NCAA and the best leap in the world this year.
The Bowerman, which debuted in 2009, is presented annually by the USTFCCCA to the most outstanding male and female collegiate track & field athletes in the nation. In total, the winners from the award's first four years have won two Olympic Medals, two World Championships and six World Championships medals. When considering finalists for the award, 13 individuals have earned a combined six Olympic medals, four World Championships and 17 World Championships medals.
Bill Bowerman served the sport of track and field in numerous ways. His leadership in the USTFCCCA's predecessor organization, the National Collegiate Track Coaches Association, and his contributions to NCAA track and field and the running community as a whole are among his many lasting legacies.
For more information on The Bowerman, the award, the trophy and Bill Bowerman himself, visit TheBowerman.org.
Payne will next be in action when she returns to the Albuquerque Convention Center with her SFA teammates for the New Mexico Track & Field Classic on Friday and Saturday. The women's pole vault competition will begin on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. CT.