Senior Nate Sullivan is on Track for Success


Credit: Nate Sullivan

Sullivan ran the two mile at Fork Union Military Academy last year. His personal record for the event is 9:45.

Quinn Eliason, Staff Writer

Western Albemarle High School’s boys cross country team is known statewide for their constant success, winning 5 state championships, and continuing to acquire gifted runners. One such gifted runner is Nate Sullivan, a team captain and the third fastest on the team.

When Sullivan joined the team as a freshman back in 2019, he was not the talented runner he is now, as a senior. “I used to be the worst on the team. My first month, I was just proud when I ran [fast enough] to see the front,” he said, “Now, I’m trying to lead the front.”

Sullivan was not satisfied with the lack of success his first year. When the pandemic hit, he was determined to work harder, making the decision the first day school got canceled to continue running and to run on the varsity team upon the return to school.

 Sullivan’s times continued to get faster and faster. While his first two mile was 16:14, today his 5k time is even quicker, at 15:51. His two mile track personal record is an impressive 9:45, while his cross country record for the same distance is 10:06.

Sullivan’s work ethic and commitment to getting better has helped the team win district and regional championships, two state championships, and compete in the Nike Cross Regionals. His times, which qualified for the top five on the team, helped to cut down the team’s scores and made it possible for the team to reach its success. 

This year, Sullivan has two goals: add another state championship to his belt and run a sub sixteen minute 5k. Between a first interview and publishing this story, Sullivan achieved the latter, racing a 15:51 5k.

While Sullivan’s cross country experience has been full of highs and lows, some stand above the rest. One such high is when the team won the cross country state meet last year. “We were underdogs. When we found out that we’d won, everyone just went wild,” Sullivan said.

As more runners join the team each year, they start near the bottom of the totem pole, where Sullivan once was. Guided by his own experience, Sullivan believes getting to the top is absolutely possible. “Just do it. I mean, all it takes is time and commitment. All you have to do is come to practice and put in effort” said Sullivan.