Payne Breaks Collegiate Vault Record Again

Payne Breaks Collegiate Vault Record Again

HAMMOND, La. — For the sixth time this year, the women’s pole vault collegiate record has gone down. Well, up: Stephen F. Austin’s Demi Payne raised the bar for her fourth NCAA record of 2015 with a winning height of 4.71 meters (15-5½) at the Southland Conference Championship.

That’s tied for the best vault in the world this year.

She did so on just her fifth jump of the day. Payne entered and won the meet at 4.25m, hit 4.45 and 4.60 in one attempt each, and then missed her first jump at 4.71 before clearing her second to break the record. Day one of the meet ended with her taking and missing three attempts at 4.81 meters.

We caught up with Payne and her coach Jeff Erickson after the award ceremony.

You can watch a replay of the record vault on our @USTFCCCA Periscope account. Alternatively, if you know how to download a replay from Periscope, please shoot us an email!

Here’s the all-time outdoor list after tonight. (Indoors, Payne jumped 4.75m and Morris jumped 4.66m)

1 (1) Demi Payne 4.71m  5/8/2015
2 Payne 4.66m 4/24/2015
3 (2) Sandi Morris 4.62m  4/11/2015
4 Payne 4.61m 4/24/2015
5 Payne 4.61m 4/22/2015
6 (3) Tina Sutej 4.61m 5/14/2011
7 Payne 4.60m 5/8/2015
8 (4) Chelsea Johnson 4.60m 5/14/2006


Six of the eight best collegiate vaults ever have come in the last month, and five of them have come from Payne.

Two weekends ago, Payne set her first outdoor CR with a 4.66m vault at the Drake Relays; last weekend she cleared 4.51 at the Texas Relays, suffering a minor Achilles injury in the process. She vaulted with a small wrap on tonight.

Today’s record wasn’t without its minor dramas. After clearing 4.60, Payne and her coach requested that the bar be moved up to 4.68. Multiple and interminable measurements and remeasurements eventually ended with the bar at 4.71 meters. Everybody at the meet thought Payne was attempting 4.68; it’s unclear if Payne and her coach knew if she were attempting 4.71 or not.


A vaulter less seasoned at attempting and breaking records might have been thrown out of her rhythm by the lengthy and formal disruptions. Payne has to be used to it by now.