Seabury Hall to Seattle University: Senior Isaiah Payne wants to take track to the next level

Lea Stuart, Staff Writer

Seabury Hall’s track and basketball player Isaiah Payne has experienced the peaks of success to the valleys of setbacks in his athletic career.

Payne has already had many athletic achievements, but he looks forward to accomplishing more as he takes his track running talent to Seattle University next year.

Payne has been running track ever since he has nine years old. However, he did not become interested in the sport until this year, saying “When I became interested was probably this year, but when I started doing it I was nine. My dad forced me to do it, and…it was kind of just an ongoing thing ever since.”

Although Payne’s dad put him in track, Payne has now found his love for the sport so real that he is now preparing his athletic ability for track during his college career.

During Payne’s high school athletic career, his many accomplishments are one of the reasons that he decided to take his track ability to the next level. “I made it to states every single year, that’s a highlight. I’ve won three ‘athletes of the meet,’” Payne said, “And junior and senior year, I went undefeated in all races.”

Throughout Payne’s track experience, he has been influenced by many teammates as well as other runners who strive to be in the best shape that they can be. “I look at other people who are in track. Like when I do track and I see another person…And I know that person is good, I look at them and be like ‘Okay, I wanna be like that. I want to win that much,’” Payne said.

Payne also stated how he observes other talented athletes, and thinks, “I can be there one day.”

Besides sports, Payne is going to be studying business economics at Seattle University.

Although Payne is excited about his major, he has plenty of goals to achieve while he will be running track for Seattle University

“I want to go to the championships, which are held in Eugene Oregon,” says Payne, “that’s basically the fastest people in the nation, and for freshman year I want to be the first in the conference.” A running conference is an event held for talented athletes who want to show their best performance ability, and Payne is hoping to reach that peak of athletic performance during college.

Payne was inspired to attend Seattle University because a close friend’s parents attended the school. Their experience there influenced him to take the same route of getting the same exact college experience. “I’ve been hearing a lot about it…And [a friend of mine], both his parents went there, and they were telling me how much they loved it, ’cause I couldn’t decide where to go…and then I asked around and found out all these people went there…and I was like ‘Yeah, okay, sounds like a good fit,’” Payne said.

Payne has also played basketball during his high school career, and he enjoys playing that sport as much as he enjoys running. When Payne was asked why he chose to pursue a track career over basketball, he replied, “I got the most money for track and it’s also D-I, and it was really my only D-I offer.”

Payne has had many setbacks, every season and every year. He has had to deal with injuries multiple times during a few of his track seasons: “Freshman sophomore year, dislocated hips. Junior year, dislocated ankle. Senior year, pulled a hamstring.”

However, Payne learned a few simple things from those setbacks. “Stretch more…Gotta do everything, gotta warm up properly. More warm up time, for sure,” Payne said.

From those setbacks, Payne has been inspired by other players and athletes, telling him that he can do it. Also seeing other people, performing well, motivates Payne to be a better athlete, saying, “Seeing other people, like as I said before. And looking at times.”

In addition to health issues, Payne has also had to deal with the challenge of balancing school work and sports. One piece of advice Payne can give to young athletes is doing whatever school work you can at school. “Do school work in school, ‘cause I didn’t do that freshman or sophomore year, and it sucked ‘cause sports here go for a very long time. I recommend doing just whatever…you think is right,” said Payne.

Payne’s journey as a driven athlete has shaped him into a better one, and it has also influenced his future while he will be attending college. He has made the effort, and he will now be striving to take his journey further, aspiring to accomplish more athletic achievements.