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Payne Soars Past Own NCAA Record

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - One week after claiming the best women’s indoor pole vault mark in NCAA history, Demi Payne broke her own record not once, but twice, on Saturday afternoon at the University of New Mexico Lobo Collegiate Open in the Albuquerque Convention Center. Stephen F. Austin’s Colton Ross also leaped his way to a first place showing on Saturday, clearing 5.45 meters (17-10.50) on the men’s side.

Payne, who broke the NCAA record with a 4.63m (15-2.25) jump last weekend at the Texas A&M Team Invitational, wasted little time raising the bar in New Mexico. She surpassed 4.65m (15-3) on her first attempt and then tackled 4.75m (15-7) on her first run before calling it quits for the day. She won the event by more than a foot over a stout 31-woman field. The New Braunfels native now owns the top three heights in the NCAA this year.

Payne’s striking performance puts her tied for No. 3 on the all-time U.S. women’s indoor performers list and tied for 11th on the all-time world performers list.

A trio of SFA men’s pole vaulters also made some serious noise in Albuquerque later in the afternoon. In his first meet of the season, Ross picked up right where he left off from a year ago, outlasting a 28-man field for the individual men’s pole vault title. The two-time All-American’s 17-10.50 bound puts him eighth on the NCAA men’s indoor list this season.

Sophomore Daven Murphree and senior Cameron Meyer came away with two top-ten efforts, as each topped 5.15 meters (16-10.75). Murphree earned sixth place honors while Meyer grabbed eighth after tie-breaking rules took effect.

The SFA pole vaulters will try to carry their momentum into next weekend when they join the rest of the track and field squad at the Howie Ryan Invitational in Houston. The two-day meet is set to begin on Friday, Jan. 30 at 10:00 a.m.