This fall, Walpole High School senior Tyler Sullivan will be attending the University of Massachusetts Lowell to run Division I Track and Field.
“To finally be able to take my track career to the next level is pretty surreal,” Sullivan said. “I have been participating in track and field for as long as I could [remember], so this is pretty much a dream come true.”
Throughout his childhood, Sullivan was more interested in football and had no interest in track. It was not until he ran his first race when he fell in love with what would soon be his collegiate sport.
“When I was in fifth grade, I decided to participate in Walpole’s annual ‘Fun Run.’ It was my first ever race, so I was very nervous,” Sullivan said. “I may have finished very close to last, but I still enjoyed it every step of the way.”
Ever since that moment, he knew that track was his sport. Sullivan continued to run in other races all around Massachusetts, and he attributes this to being the key to his high school track and field success.
“Running those races was definitely a huge factor in readying me for high school track, because it made me realize how hard I need to work to be in great physical shape,” Sullivan said.
As a freshman, Sullivan made the varsity track team. He continued to be a varsity standout all the way through his senior season that was abruptly cut short due to COVID-19.
“It [is frustrating to] have my final year taken away from me,” Sullivan said. “I’ve been running with the same group of kids for four years and not being able to enjoy our final season together hurts a lot.”
Although his high school track career was cut short, he is very eager and excited to start a new chapter in his track career when he attends UMass Lowell.
“I am very excited and thankful that I am able to continue my track career in college, especially at a Division I school,” Sullivan said. “It is going to be a whole new experience, and I think I am ready for it.”
Not only is he a track standout, he is also a locker room standout. Sullivan always spends time with his teammates on and off the track, forming great relationships with his teammates. One of his teammates, junior Patrick Cooney, expressed his confidence in Sullivan on what he will bring to his new team.
“He is a great teammate. All the guys love him, and I’m sure his new teammates will too,” Cooney said. “Track wise, he has great speed and endurance, which will serve as a great addition for [UMass Lowell]”.
Even though he is excited for a new opportunity, he will miss high school track for many reasons.
“I am going to miss being able to run track alongside kids I have gone to school with all my life,” Sullivan said. “It will be really weird the first couple of days in practice and before meets, but I am very excited for a new chapter in my life and more memories to be made.”