Payton T. Sullivan 2000-2016
Waynflete sophomore Payton T. Sullivan was the Flyers' 5th runner at the Southern Maine Regional Championship two weeks ago, running 23:42 for 5k. Sullivan stepped into the fifth spot after another athlete was injured and her finish helped Waynflete win the Regional title.
One week later, things were much different. On Friday evening the night before the state meet, Sullivan took her own life. The tragedy is the result of a battle with depression.
Teen suicide around the country has risen greatly in the last 5 years, in fact it is now the third leading cause of death amongst youth aged 10-24. It's important to raise everyone's awareness to this devastating tragedy so that more lives can be saved.
A few key links that will improve awareness or give help to those who need it.
Hopefully if someone reads this article and is experiencing issues with depression they will seek help.
Waynflete Coach Brian "Ziggy" Gillespie shared the following about Payton
This was a shock, we have a large team, with boys and girls together, all knowing Payton well. The kids were told after their races on Saturday, it was so emotional. I had told Payton just last week she would be receiving the most improved award at our fall sports award Nov 10th. She was very happy with that news,all season she was a strong 5-6th runner, as a soph. "In all my years here at Waynflete, Payton will be a special memory for me. When Payton raced, she always waved to friends, and had this huge beautiful smile while she was racing. I will miss her."
Our thoughts go out to the Sullivan family, and the Waynflete community during this time of mourning.
Contributions in Payton's memory may be made to
For Suicide Prevention
10 Caldwell Road
Augusta, Maine 04330
or you can donate online at https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donate.event&eventlD=2078
Photos of Payton from the Southern Maine Regional