One could say that Cumberland’s Tom Sullivan is a well-rounded student-athlete. Sullivan competed in cross country, indoor and outdoor track for the Clippers. His forte was the pole vault where he achieved a personal-best height of 11 feet at this year’s Northern Division Championships. He also ran in the 19-minute range for the 5K distance during the X-C season and was a sub-1:40 600 runner. Sullivan also did well in the classroom and will be attending the University of Rhode Island on a four-year Army ROTC Scholarship. Additionally, he recently earned Eagle Scout as a member of the Boy Scouts.
What would you consider the highlight of your high school career?
Being selected co-captain of the cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams and winning the division championship in each of those seasons during my senior year.
What was your most memorable performance?
Contributing points to our team's victory and setting a new PR for Pole Vault (11 feet) at the 2013 Northern Division Outdoor Championships at our home track. My individual goal for this year was to jump 11 feet and it was nice to do it at divisionals and at home.
What was your most difficult obstacle to overcome?
I would say that the most difficult obstacle to overcome was managing and balancing the demands of schoolwork, practice, the college application process and other curricular activities, including Boy Scouts. I recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
What advice would you give to younger athletes?
I would tell younger athletes to listen to the coaches, TK and Roland Roy are extremely knowledgeable and are always willing to help. I would also tell them to be a good teammate, help the captains and to have fun!
What will you miss most?
I will miss the camaraderie amongst my teammates, coaches and also the camaraderie amongst my vaulting competitions. Waiting for your turn to vault you have time to meet the other athletes and become friends and root for each other. I will also miss coach Caron from Ponaganset. He is always providing pointers to the vaulters no matter what color jersey they are wearing, while simultaneously screaming words of encouragement to his runners, my favorite being, "Let's see what's under the hood!”
What are your future plans?
I have accepted a four-year Army ROTC Scholarship to study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Rhode Island. After graduating from URI, I plan to enter the United States Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers.
What influence has your coach (or coaches) had with respect to your performance and overall life goals?
Coaches Kenwood (TK) and Roy (Roland) care about me as an athlete, student and a person. Coach Kenwood works tirelessly with his athletes to teach them and help them reach their potential. He spent hours instructing me on the techniques of pole vaulting. I decided to try pole vaulting during my sophomore year having no experience in this event. TK helped me reach my goals, which in turn allowed me to contribute points for my team. Coach Roy provided me encouragement with cross country and track but also with academics, especially in preparation for the SATs. Roland generously provides his time to student-athletes to assist them with their academics and SAT exam. Finally, both coaches care about me as a person, providing me with advice, the opportunity to develop my leadership abilities and writing recommendation letters on my behalf.
Who would you like to say Thank You?
I would like to thank my teammates for making CHS' cross country and indoor/outdoor track so much fun, my coaches TK and Roland for all of their time and help during the past 4 years, to older brother, Brian, for introducing me to cross country and track and to my family for always supporting and encouraging me to do my best.