“Attending a prestigious school like the United States Naval Academy is more than I ever imagined. It is important to me because it is opening up new opportunities for me to grow in all aspects of my life, especially leadership and discipline.” Peyton Pontif, Class of 2021
Senior Peyton Pontif will compete with the United States Naval Academy’s track and field team as a javelin thrower next year. He says after participating in a track camp in Annapolis he “fell in love with the campus and the hardworking like minded people who created this amazing sense of camaraderie and team work.” Being a water enthusiast made the Navy a logical choice. “I was especially interested in the sailing, navigation, and diving courses that all midshipmen partake in,” he says.
As Peyton navigated Upper School life, he played football and participated in track for four years. In addition, he was a member of the Knights baseball team for two years. Head football and baseball coach Travis Bourgeois says Peyton had an outstanding senior season. “He led the team in receiving yards and touchdown receptions,” he says. “He also was valuable as a defensive end when the team had injuries on the defense.”
Peyton continues his javelin journey after finding that it was the right fit for him. “I have been throwing the javelin since my freshman year – it was kind of a whim that I started,” he says. “I also played baseball and I tried to be a pitcher but I struggled to throw strikes.” Realizing he could throw hard, Peyton found that javelin allowed him to use his natural ability. Going forward, Peyton says he may also get involved with decathlons. “I enjoy learning new things and the sense of being humbled that comes along with being a beginner,” he says.
Regardless of what he pursues, his coaches are confident in his potential for success. “Peyton is a tremendous athlete who I’m sure will excel at the next level,” says track and field coach Claney Duplechin. “Peyton has a vision on where he wants to be and I feel that he is self motivated enough to get there,” says Bourgeois.
As far as classmates who may also aspire to compete at the next level, Peyton offers the following advice. “First and foremost, work exceedingly hard at your craft – put in the extra time and effort, in addition to that I believe that it is so important to always be searching for better ways to take care of your body whether that is eating healthy, practicing yoga, or taking an ice bath, which are all things that I have picked up through my time as an athlete at EHS.”
Peyton says all Naval Academy graduates earn a bachelor’s degree in science. He is considering a study of econometrics/quantitative economics and cyber/electronic operations and warfare. “I have a sense for what I want to do in the military after I graduate from the academy (special warfare or Marines), but most midshipmen change their mind at some point during their schooling,” he says.
Join us in congratulating Peyton on the next step in his journey.
Read more about other Episcopal athletes moving on to compete at the next level by clicking the names below: