Top NCAA Pole Vaulter On Being A College Student And Mom

Demi Payne, one of the best pole vaulters in the country, juggles motherhood and academics.


demi payne

Demi Payne

Age and Event: 23, Pole Vaulter

Children: Daughter Charlee, 18 months

Pre-Kids: Earned a scholarship to the University of Kansas and cleared a vault of 13 feet 11.32 inches

Post-Kids: In January, Payne vaulted 15 feet 7 inches, placing her at number three in all-time U.S. rankings.

Now: Still competing as a senior at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas She Says: “I’ve never had more motivation to do well in the classroom or succeed in my sport than I do now that I want to make my little girl proud. Mom power is the real deal!”

Related: An Olympian’s Favorite Part Of Being A Mom

Fun Fact: Her father (and mentor), Bill, was also a pole vaulter, with a personal record of 19 feet 2.75 inches set when he was competing for Baylor. The two have the combined father/daughter world record for highest jumps.

Cheer on Demi as she competes in NCAA Division I Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon. ESPNU will have live coverage at 7:00pm EST on Thursday, June 11.