Bailey Payne, Isaiah Lepre and Wayne Jaworski will be representing Umpqua Community College at today’s Northwest Athletic Conference cross country championships in Lacey, Washington.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if all three run PRs,” Umpqua coach CJ Kozlowski said. “They’ve been dropping a minute, two minutes off their time. So if they continue that progress...”

Payne will compete in the women’s 5K race at 11 a.m. at St. Martin’s University. Lepre in Jaworski will start their 8K race at noon.

The course is relatively flat with some slight rolling hill, according to the NWAC website. Runners will compete on dirt, gravel and a small patch of pavement.

“This year, NWAC championships wasn’t a goal,” Umpqua coach CJ Kozlowski said. “We were focused on the Southern Region meet and the athletes who were 100 percent after that race were going to go on to NWACs.”

Kozlowski hopes that Payne will finish the course in 23 minutes, maybe a little faster. Her personal record is 23:56.5, which she ran at the George Fox XC Classic on Oct. 14.

Jaworski also ran his personal best, 30:20.1, at George Fox and is expected to finish around the 30 minute mark.

“The overall plan is to conservatively work their way up and try to run negative splits,” Kozlowski said.

Kozlowski said his goal for Lepre is 31 minutes. Lepre’s personal best is 32:15.1.

Sports reporter Sanne Godfrey can be reached at 541-957-4203.

or via email at Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey

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Sanne Godfrey is a sports reporter for The News-Review.

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