Robin Glynn – General Assignments Reporter -
Jaclyn Sullivan might not officially be captain of the women’s cross country team, but her coach and teammates say that she possesses the qualities to be a leader.
Melissa Stroll, head of the women’s cross country and track and field teams, is in her first year as head coach. She said that Sullivan is one of the women on the team that she can turn to.
“She is an instrumental part of the team,” said Stroll. “She is a good leader.”
Stroll said that as of now, there is no official team captain, but Sullivan and Titalyo Vanriel say Sullivan is someone who has leadership qualities.
Stroll became the head coach of the women’s cross country and track and field teams in June. Before the cross country season began, Stroll said that she and Sullivan began to talk about team training.
“We have been working together for 12 weeks now,” said Stroll.
Vanriel, a junior, said Sullivan is a great leader.
“She is a hard worker,” said Vanriel. “She is positive and doesn’t complain. She pushes me. I push her. We push each other.”
Sullivan said she began running when she was in the fifth grade. She attended the Norwich Free Academy, which Stroll says is a great school. While in high school, she helped the cross country team win the ECC Championship twice. She was an All-ECC selection as a senior for outdoor track and was team captain as a senior.
Sullivan said she is the first one to admit that cross country is not her first sport; track and field is.
“It is something I am good at,” said Sullivan.
Stroll and Vanreil also agreed with Sullivan that cross country is not her first sport.
“She is a track girl,” said Stroll. “She hasn’t hit her personal best, but the next two seasons will be good.”
Vanriel said that Sullivan does cross county to stay in shape for some events for track and field.
“On a training level,” said Vanreil, “she has to have the speed and endurance, and cross country gives her that. She has to do cross country too for track to stay in shape and maintain endurance.”
In the 2011-2012 season, Sullivan was the Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field All-Academic Team selection and the Northeast-10 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection. Sullivan was also a Northeast-10 Conference champion in the indoor distance medley relay and a Northeast-10 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection. She posted a time of 5:32:50 and placed 11th in the mile run at the Metropolitan Invitational.
During the 2010 cross country season, Sullivan finished 31st at the Connecticut College Invitational and finished the Division II Cross Country Challenge with a time of 25:22. She competed at the Northeast-10 Championships with a time of 19:26:1 and earned a time of 23:54 at the NCAA Division II Regionals.
Vanriel said something that people might not know is Sullivan is an excellent student athlete.
“She is in the honors program, she works and does track,” said Vanrield. “She is a well-rounded person who gets along with the team.”