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Demi Payne

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Team Payne / Altius

Article: en.wikipedia.org

Demi Payne (born September 30, 1991) is an American track and field athlete whose specialty is pole vaulting. She is the daughter of American pole vaulter Bill Payne. Payne competes collegiately for Stephen F. Austin State University. She competed in the pole vault event at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing, China. Demi Payne won gold medal on March 1, 2015 2015 USA Indoor Track and Field Championships Pole Vault with a height of 4.55 m (14 ft 11 in). She won a bronze medal June 28 2015 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships Pole Vault with a height of 4.60 m (15 ft 1 in)

Her personal bests have been indoors. She set her personal best in Albuquerque at 4.75 on January 24, 2015, which ranked her tied with Kylie Hutson for the fourth best American in history. On February 6, 2016, she improved upon that, first clearing a new personal best 4.76 to break the tie and to move into a tie for third with Sandi Morris. But on the same day Morris jumped 4.80 in Joplin, Missouri. Then Demi had the bar moved to 4.82, which she cleared on her second attempt. That jump put her in a tie for the tenth best performer worldwide, and was only one centimeter behind the second best American, Olympic Gold medalist Stacy Dragila. Then she had the bar moved to 4.88 m (16 ft 0 in) and cleared it on her first attempt. In one afternoon, she moved up the all time list to tie former world record holder Svetlana Feofanova for the fourth best female pole vaulter in history.

Two weeks later, Payne confirmed her position at the Millrose Games. In a close competition with Katerina Stefanidi, both athletes moved up the list, both clearing 4.90 m (16 ft 0 3/4 in) on their second attempt. Stefanidi won the competition because Payne took more attempts to clear her opening height of 4.50. Stefanidi's previous personal best had been 4.77m from a year earlier. New Braunfels and Stephen F. Austin pole vaulter Demi Payne hasn’t fully recovered from a thumb injury sustained in April 2016 as of July 8, 2016.

She grew up with a pole vault pit in the back yard, but didn't start vaulting until her sophomore year of high school. Payne first attended the University of Kansas for two and a half years where she was a mid-13 foot vaulter, but never made it to 14. "I went out on the weekends and I pole vaulted during the week and it really wasn't No. 1 for me." She said she got more focused while training after she learned she was pregnant. She gave birth to daughter Charlee on October 22, 2013. After transferring to Stephen F. Austin, to be closer to her family, she began marked improvement. She set the indoor and outdoor NCAA records at the time, though both were surpassed by Morris.