Payne Does It Again! Makes Second Olympic Trial Cut
Aug. 4, 2011
PALO ALTO, Calif. -
Kansas swimmer Stephanie Payne now has two events to compete in during next year’s Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb., after making her second Olympic trial cut in as many weeks. The senior from Derby, Kan. swam to a lifetime best 4:51.46 time during the preliminaries of the 400 IM at the ConocoPhillips National Championships in Palo Alto, Calif.
Payne’s performance Thursday bested her previous lifetime best by about eight seconds and will give her yet another chance to go the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Her first Olympic opportunity was earned at Sectionals in Columbia, Mo., where she set another lifetime best mark of 2:16.39 in the 200 butterfly.
“We are so pleased with how she swam today,” said head coach Clark Campbell. “Long course 400 IM has to be one of the toughest events and Stephanie walked away from it knowing she gave exactly 100 percent.”
The Kansas co-captain finished 38th in the event, which is the highest any Kansas Aquatics member has placed since the summer swim club began competing at Nationals in 2010. Payne has two more events to swim in before headed back to Kansas for the 2011-12 season. She will compete in the 200 butterfly, Friday and the 400 medley relay on Saturday.
While Payne has much to look forward to next June 25-July 2, during Olympic Trials, her coach spent a moment reflecting on how far his swimmer has come since being hit by a car on KU’s campus this past March.
“She deserves a lot of credit because she had to take about eight weeks off from training and it was a real unknown as to how she would perform once she got back into the water,” Campbell remembers. “For her to get to this level so quickly is a tribute to her dedication as an athlete.”
Payne’s pair of Olympic Trial events further carves out an impressive resume for her in the Jayhawk swim program. She already calls two school records her own, setting new standards in the 200 fly (1:59.07) and the 400 IM (4:11.94), which she set during the Big 12 Championships in Austin, Texas last February.
Riding the wave of momentum set by their teammate, other members of Kansas Aquatics are having successful performances at Nationals thus far.
Former Jayhawk standout and current KU volunteer assistant Danielle Herrmann finished 84th in the 200 IM on Tuesday with her 2:20.41 time. Herrmann was just six spots behind Payne whose 2:20.27 gave her a 78th place finish. Fellow senior Abigail Anderson placed 141st in the 100 backstroke on Wednesday with her 1:06.11 time.
KA also finished 33rd in the 4x100 meter freestyle relay on Wednesday and will compete in the 4x200 freestyle relay Thursday night. Clark Campbell’s squad won all three relay events they swam in during Sectionals two weeks ago.
Competition wraps up in Palo Alto Friday and Saturday with women’s 200 butterfly, backstroke and breaststroke as well as the 800 and 100 meter freestyle. Nationals conclude with the 4x100 meter medley relays Saturday night.
Recorded events from Nationals will be re-aired on NBC, Saturday, August 6th (3-5pm) and Sunday, August 7th (4-5pm).
Complete results from Palo Alto can be found here: http://www.swmeets.com/Realtime/LC%20Nationals/2011/
Information about the 2012 Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. can be found here: http://www.usaswimming.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?TabId=1450&Alias=rainbow&Lang=en