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2017 All-Sentinel Track & Field: Payton Morris (copy) (copy)

East Pennsboro’s Payton Morris cracked the Mid-Penn pole vault record on Saturday.

Sentinel file

Throughout the 2017-18 high school sports season, we will name a weekly Sentinel Athlete of the Week every Monday night highlighting the on-field performances of some of the area’s best high school competitors.

This week’s athlete is East Pennsboro pole vaulter Payton Morris.

During the Mid-Penn Track & Field Championships on Saturday, the senior and University of Pennsylvania commit vaulted 16-6, six inches higher than anyone who has ever participated in the championships. The height was a personal best and a new record for Mid-Penns.

Q: How was the week leading up to Mid-Penns?

A: The week before Mid-Penns was good. I had two solid practices at my club, Vaultworx. I also had a dual meet against Trinity where I jumped 16 and helped break our school record in the 4x100.

Q: Were there any goals for you going into Mid-Penns?

A: Going into Mid-Penns, my main goal was to take the meet record. I ended up breaking the record with a jump of 16-0.25 and then I set the record even higher with a jump of 16-6.

Q: What were your thoughts before going into the finals for pole vault?

A: I felt confident going into the meet Saturday. I was feeling good and the weather was nice. It was a great day to jump.

Q: After you cracked 16-6 and got a new record, how were you feeling at that moment?

A: After my 16-6 jump, I felt great. It always feels good to get a PR, and it felt even better that it was the Mid-Penn record.

Q: What are your goals now moving forward?

A: My goals for the rest of the season are to keep progressing and getting better in practice and meets. I hope to continue reaching new heights at districts, states and nationals.

Q: Any specific goals for the team in the postseason?

A: East Penn has a few athletes that qualified for districts, so we are hopeful that they will perform next weekend and qualify for the state meet.

Q: Do you have any hobbies outside of pole vault?

A: When I’m not on the track or runway, I am either lifting weights or hanging out with friends. I enjoy fishing, hunting and playing guitar hero with friends in my off time.

Q: If you could have any job in the world, what would it be and why?

A: If I could have any job, I would choose to be in the FBI. I have always taken a high interest in crime investigation and law. An FBI job would also involve helping the general public.

Q: Who inspires you the most in life?

A: Elite American pole vaulter Scott Houston is one person I’m inspired by. He is a hard worker and a great guy. He is someone who does not give up during hardships and he always has a positive attitude.

Q: Do you have a saying or quote that you live by?

A: One of my favorite quotes is, “Everything works out in the end. If it hasn’t worked out yet, then it’s not the end.” The quote reminds me to not dwell on the past. Whenever something bad in life happens, I use it as motivation for the future.

Email Mallory at mmerda@cumberlink.com or follow her on Twitter @MalloryMerda

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Sports Reporter

Sports reporter at The Sentinel.

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