A captain’s mission: Thomas Sullivan on his cross country goals

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Boys cross country captain Thomas Sullivan. Photo taken <br /><figcaption id=Photo taken by: Yash Sharma

Thomas Sullivan, captain of the boys cross country team, isn’t shy about sharing his goals for the fall season. He wants this team to be the first boys cross country team to qualify for states, and he expects to break some personal bests.

“Our team is stacked with talent,” he said about the prospect of making it to states.  “And I want to give our coaches, Coach Rio and Coach Martinez, what they truly deserve, as a thank you for helping me out all these years.”

Team captains often set their expectations high, but whether or not Sullivan and his team make it to states, Sullivan also expects a great deal for himself personally this season: “My goals for the season are to break 17:30 for the 5k and 14:30 for the 2.5 mile races.”

His career at Townsend Harris indicates that Sullivan is fully capable of meeting these personal goals.  As a sophomore, Sullivan placed in the top 20 in the first meet of his season.  He also took 19th place at Grand Prix #1 with a time of 20:38.5.  A recent 18:19 finish at the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run—one of the hilliest courses in Manhattan—guarantees his ability to make a name for himself citywide against the coming onslaught of PSAL competitors.

Though he spent the summer keeping in shape while lifeguarding at Jones Beach and training along the shore, Sullivan is certain that his teammates will be the factor that most aids him in his quest to meet his personal goals: “I feed off their energy when they cheer me on in the stands, and I know that they are counting on me to come up big.”

Sullivan started running track for his local CYO Parish in the third grade. In the sixth grade, he moved over to St. Kevin’s Parish where he set multiple records. Despite this, he didn’t see himself as a capable runner until high school: “I wasn’t very good at it, but it was fun. It was almost a complete joke in the eighth grade—I was almost positive I was going to quit—but I figured out how good I really was the first day of gym freshman year.”

No matter what happens this season, Sullivan looks to continue running after his high school track career ends just as his mother did at his age.  “Running will continue to be a part of my life for years to come,” he said.