Former Prescott High School wrestler Max Payne has continued his grappling skills, placing 8th at the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Tournament on March 3, 2012 in Des Moines, Iowa. This qualifies him for All-American status.
Regarding eligibility, Payne is a sophomore this year at the Montana State University Northern (MSUN) campus. He has a final record of 23 wins, and 15 losses.
Beset by injuries this year, Payne had surgery to remove a bursa under his knee cap, and also battled the flu, ringworm and a lingering staph infection, which cleared just in time for the Regional Tournament, where he placed third.
According to the MSUN website, this is how the NAIA national tournament went for Payne:
174 – Max Payne (8th Place, All American)
Max Payne, MSU-Northern, received a bye; Joseph Stephens (Lindsey Wilson) won by decision over Max Payne, MSU-Northern, (Dec 11-6); Max Payne, MSU-Northern, won by pin over Rowen Stander (Midland) (Pin 2:53); Max Payne, MSU-Northern, won by tech fall over Tyler Sarringar (Dakota Wesleyan) (TF 20-5); Max Payne, MSU-Northern, won by decision over James Haywood (Lindenwood) (Dec 4-3); Tanner Martin (Indiana Tech), won by major decision over Max Payne, MSU-Northern, 20-11. Seventh-Eighth Match: pinned by J. Sievert, 5:35.
MSUN's team took 7th place overall in the tournament.
Max is on the left. Photo courtesy of Paige Payne.
Payne is the first collegiate wrestling All-American to have graduated from Prescott High School.
During his years at PHS, Payne took first in State both his Junior and Senior years.
Junior Year 2008: Western Sky Region Champion. Arizona State Champion 4AI at 152 weight class.
Senior Year 2009: Western Sky Region Champion and Western Sky Outstanding Wrestler. Arizona State Champion 4AI at 171 weight class. Bill Shepard Award – PHS Male Athlete of the Year. United States Marine Corp Distinguished Athlete Award.
Thanks to the Havre Daily News for the use of their photo.
Coach Dan Payne presented the PHS Bill Shepard award to his son, Max.
Max wins State.