Isabella Payne earned the 3K victory at Wednesday's Dick Malloy Invitational due to her 11:45.40 effort. The junior from Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy improved upon her runner-up finish at last year's meet.
Payne indicated post-race that she was looking to get her season off to a strong start by taking the pace out hard on the challenging Goodyear Metro Park course. She built an early lead and hung on for an eight second spread over the second place finisher.
Payne was a DII State Championship qualifier in 2016 and she owns a 5K pr of 19:35.80.
While at the Malloy Invite, MileSplit had an opportunity to meet with Archbishop Hoban coach and elite ultra-marathon athlete, Connie Gardner. Gardner has a lengthy list of accomplishments, which include three wins at the prestigious JFK 50 Miler and the distinction of being named USATF Ultra-Runner of the Year on multiple occasions. She has competed in many 50K, 50 mile, 100K, 100 mile and 24 hour endurance runs during her decorated career.