Gary Payne represented the Wolverines from 1989 through 1991. He was a relentless competitor who simply did not recognize the word "quit". A highly disciplined athlete, Gary overcame what he lacked in natural ability, with his heart and determination. Robb Dunn remembers Gary best as "a guy that just kept coming at you. He could really reach down and find that something extra when he needed to. On more than one occasion he was able to literally "steal" races from competitors who may have been skating better at the time, on sheer guts alone. You never questioned his effort, he was 100%, 24-7." While pursuing his own goals, Gary was also the consummate teammate, lending a hand and giving advice to new skaters whenever he could.
Gary's fondest memory of his skating career was earning a Silver Medal finish at the 1990 Indoor National Championships in the Senior Men's division. "It wasn't the actual placement that sticks out", Gary says, "but rather going into Nationals that year knowing that I was totally ready. I had done everything I could do to prepare for that Nationals. My memory of it is still crystal clear, thinking to myself................I'm really ready, this is really cool". In addition to his Senior Men's Silver Medal, Gary also placed in three other relays at National Championships through a career that began in 1979 with the University team in Pontiac, Michigan, continued with the Striders of Livonia and Fenton, Michigan, and finished with the Wolverines from 1989-91.
The other important rewards Gary is thankful for are the camaraderie and friendships he was able to develop over his career, and Gary said, "that thrill of speed that just never leaves you" . "I was out sledding with my son, flying down a hill, and my mind instantly went back to my skating days. I went back home, got on my computer and found the Wolverine website."
When asked what advice he could offer to any skaters trying to attain goals in this sport, Gary said he thinks it is important to develop very specific short and long term goals. "You can't worry about winning every race at practice. You have to just work as hard as you can, and have a specific goal for every race you skate at practice. For me, it may have been staying in a certain
position the whole race (until the end), or working on having to make a lot of passes at the end of a race from back in the pack. Also, I had to learn to push the pace hard so I would have the confidence to go when I wanted to at the end of a race". Robb agrees that this formula worked, remembering Gary as someone whose effort stayed at a high level at practice, no matter how
he was skating on a particular day.
Gary is now happily married to his wife Peggy, and has a nine year old son, Zachary, who Gary proudly claims has his dad's "mentality". Gary has found the work ethic he practiced in skating has also helped him in life. "The one thing skating taught me was that no matter how hard you think you are working, you can always push harder. It helped me to understand that for any
success you have to be willing to pay a price." Working in management for the Wal-Mart Corporation, Gary is referred to as coach by his employees, and everyone working in the company are called teammates. "Kind of funny how sometimes in life you go full circle" Gary said.
NAME: Jennifer Boschman
Years with the Wolverines: 1988-1994
Jennifer Boschman represented the Wolverine Speed Team throughout a very successful career. The team's first World Team member in the 1991-92 season, Jennifer was also the Jr. Ladies National Champion in 1990. Throughout the late 1980's and early 1990's, Jennifer was a perennial top female national competitor in both indoor and outdoor skating. In addition, Jennifer also won five national relay first place titles. One of those titles, an Elementary 4 Girl relay in the early 1980's still stands as the fastest ever skated on quads.
After retiring from the racing scene, Jennifer continued in her love for the sport of skating, competing in Roller Hockey and capturing the National Hockey Women's Championship in 1998. Since retiring from racing in 1994, Jennifer has become a proud full time mother to her son, Logan Thomas Prainito and works part time at her husband's and late father's business, Schain Mold, helping with accounting duties.
Jennifer has fond memories of her skating days, noting that it helped keep her out of trouble and taught her the importance of commitment. She had to keep her grades up in school in order to continue competing, a value instilled into her by her very supportive parents, Dirk and Helen Boschman. Jennifer's most treasured accomplishments were her individual National Championship and her World Team Qualification, as well as competing in Cuba and at several National Sports Festivals. "If I had to do it again, I wouldn't change anything", Jennifer states. "The friendships I made and the places Speedskating allowed me to travel to are things that can't be replaced".
Her coach, Robb Dunn, remembers Jennifer as one of the "original" Wolverines. Moving with Robb from the Striders club in Livonia, Michigan, he remembers Jennifer as a skater with a lot of persistence. "I always had a lot of admiration for Jennifer, not just as a skater, but as a person. She was loyal to the team, and stuck with the Wolverines through some of the club's lean times. She wasn't the most naturally talented skater, but she made the most of what she had. Much of the success the team now enjoys is owed to skaters like Jennifer, who stuck with the Wolverine team though some of its leaner years."