Anyway you look at it, you’d have to say that Timberlane senior Tom Sullivan is a fast learner.
A rookie member of the Timberlane track team, he didn’t know what to make of the starting blocks the first time he was asked to run the 55-meter dash in a meet.
“I really didn’t know how to set them (blocks) up or how to use them,” said Sullivan. “Some guy on another team told me what to do.”
Undeterred, Sullivan won the event and his time was good enough to qualify for this week’s state meet.
“Then the next practice, coach (Christian) Lizier told me I’d better learn what I needed to do when I started,” he said.
Sullivan has been one of the surprises of the year in New Hampshire track. An All-Area soccer goalie for the Owls in the fall, he decided to stop playing basketball for the first time in almost 10 years so that he can prepare for college soccer.
“I wanted to spice things up,” said Sullivan. “I want to play soccer in college and I thought this would help me get stronger and faster.
“I thought about doing it last year, but I love playing basketball and I wanted to stick to it at least one more year. I’ve been playing it my whole life.”
Also a volleyball player in the spring, the Timberlane coaches inserted Sullivan into the long jump and high jump to take advantage of his leaping ability. He immediately responded with an 18-2 mark in the long jump and a 5-6 clear in the high jump.
The coaches soon noted Sullivan’s quickness and he responded with state-qualifying times of 6.5 in the 55 and 38.3 in the 300 while also anchoring the Owls’ sprint relay team. He was the 55-meter champ at the Seacoast Meet.