Salute To Seniors: Payton Morris (East Pennsboro)

Today we salute Payton Morris of East Pennsboro.

The East Pennsboro graduate was unstoppable this spring in the pole vault. In the end, it resulted in a state title. Morris had a big indoor season that included wins at the Millrose Games and the PTFCA Indoor State Championships. He cleared his indoor best of 16-01.25 at indoor nationals, where he placed eighth.

During the outdoor season, the University of Pennsylvania recruit went undefeated. He earned the win at the Penn Relays, and then went on to win Mid-Penn and District 3 titles. He cleared his career best of 16-06 at Mid-Penns, which is tied for the second best vault in state history. He closed out his career by winning the AAA state title at Shippensburg, clearing 16-00.

Throughout the end of June and through July we we be honoring our graduating seniors. To submit your own questionnaire to be posted on the front page of PennTrackXC, check out this page and email your responses to Dan Beck (


What was your most memorable race/competition?

My most memorable competition was the 2018 Millrose Games, in New york city. It was the first time that I had to do a jump off to win the competiton.

Where did you face your biggest competition?

I faced my biggest competition at the 2017 and 2018 New Balance Indoor National meets.

Out of all of your high school accomplishments, which stands out the most?

Out of all of my high school accomplishments, winning the 2018 Penn Relays stands out the most. There was great competition there, and it meant a lot to win on my future home turf.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change about your athletic career in high school?

If I could go back and change one thing about my athletic career in high school, I would have started pole vaulting my freshmen year, instead of my sophomore year.

What were the most difficult obstacles you had to overcome?

The most difficult obstacles I had to overcome were mental blocks. In this sport, mental blocks do happen, and overcoming them is all a matter of trusting the process.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss my pole vault club, Vaultworx, the most. Coach Matt Concannon and the athletes there have pushed and helped me to become who I am today.

Do you have any advice for younger athletes? 

My advice to younger athletes is to stay positive through the rough times. You're not always going to have great practices or meets, but you have to stay persistent and focused on your goals.

How have your coaches influenced your performances and your life goals overall?

My pole vault coach, Matt Concannon, and my school track coach (and dad), Mark Morris, have influenced and supported me throughout my high school career. Through their coaching, they also taught me lessons that I will carry with me through life.

What are your post-high school plans?

I will be continuing my academics and athletics at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.

Any shoutouts?

I would like to thank my family and friends for supporting me throughout high school. I would also like to thank Coach Matt Concannon and the Vaultworx family for their help and support. None of my success would have been possible without them