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May 24, 2010
5:18 p.m.

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Roger Payne headed out of town around 2 p.m. Saturday, behind the wheel of a Ford F-350 pickup pulling a 40-foot trailer. His destination?

Sacramento, Calif.

“Just got a text from him,” UVa rowing coach Kevin Sauer said Monday afternoon. “He’s in the Colorado Rockies. It’s snowing.”

Payne, a former head women’s rowing coach at Oregon State, is UVa’s boatman, and his responsibilities include transporting the team’s boats to races outside Charlottesville.

The pickup he’s driving belongs to Sauer. On the trailer are nine boats: three each from UVa, Clemson and Mary Washington.

The NCAA championships start Friday in Sacramento, and ACC champion Virginia and Clemson are among the 16 teams that earned invitations in Division I. Mary Washington is a Division III participant.

Payne, who has a Mary Washington assistant coach with him, is expected to arrive in Sacramento on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, Sauer said. It’s about a 2,780-mile trip.

This is Payne’s sixth season at UVa. A 1976 graduate of the University of Washington, he was boatman at Wisconsin for 14 years before coming to Virginia.

Jeff White

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