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Athlete of the Week: David Paynotta

February 1, 2017

David Paynotta, a senior sprinter from Finlayson, Minnesota, earned a big victory at the Falcon Winter Classic this past weekend. Paynotta took first in the men’s 55m with a time of 6.48, which currently ranks first in the WIAC and second nationally this season. Paynotta currently holds indoor program records for the 55m (6.42), 60m (6.82), and 200m (22.26) for UWRF. He also took fourth in the NCAA Div. III Indoor Track and Field National Championships in the 60m dash last year.

The Falcons dominated at their home indoor track and field meet on Saturday, taking first with 204 points compared to Hamline’s 82 points in second place.

The Student Voice sat down with Paynotta to discuss the beginning of the indoor season and his training and preparation to make another attempt at a National Championship appearance.

Q: How many seasons have you been with the team? Indoor and outdoor?

A: This is my fourth season of indoor and I’m going to run my fourth season of outdoor in the spring.

Q: Now that you’ve been with the team for a few seasons, what is your biggest focus as a senior?

A: The biggest focus is trying to get all the new freshman to feel more comfortable and ready. I probably won’t be around with the team next year, so I’m trying to get them ready while I’m here.

Q: Are you considered a fast starter or do you usually make up for it in closing acceleration?

A: I think I have a good start because that’s a key to the 60m dash.

Q: Other than a quick start, what is important for succeeding in indoor races like the 55 and 60m dashes?

A: Focusing on your drive phase, which is when you come out of an angle to your top speed so you don’t stand up right away. You want to make sure your drive phase is at least 20 meters so you can get up to your top speed. Also, the weight room was big for me once I started getting stronger.

Q: What race do you consider your strongest: The 60m or the 200m? Why?

A: I think the 60m is my stronger race, and I prefer the 60. When I tend to get with bigger competition at nationals, my form starts to break down and there’s less time for that to happen in the 60. I think there’s a huge difference between the 200 indoor and outdoor due to the corners. I don’t really care for the indoor 200 but I love the outdoor (200m).

Q: What kind of training changes when preparing for those two races?

A: I don’t think we really train much different other than when we go outside we practice with that one curve (in the 200m). Inside, we’re always running around the curves and we get the practice that we need.

Q: After breaking several records last season, is there still a goal to further set your own records this season?

A: For sure, because I think it’s going to take faster times to win nationals this year. Hopefully [faster times] will happen this weekend.

Q: Was there extra motivation in the offseason to reach the stage of the National Championship in the 60m dash again?

A: Yes, because a lot of the kids who were All-Americans came back. I didn’t win it last year and I’m sure they’re getting better, too.

Q: What are your goals for the team this indoor season, other than gaining experience?

A: I would like to place higher as a team at the WIAC conference meet. That’s the biggest one.

Q: What will you remember most about your time as a Falcon?

A: The great teammates who have helped us get through all the coaching changes.