by Bob Montgomery (The Bristol Press).
Bristol – Former Bristol Central High School and University of Connecticut distance running standout Jillian Sullivan spoke Tuesday of “three things to remember” at Bristol Sports Hall of Fame’s Leadership Council Breakfast.
Sullivan, the lone UConn cross-country runner to obtain All-American status, finishing 24th in the NCAA championships two years ago, addressed Hall of Fame directors and students from Bristol’s three high schools at Nuchie’s Restaurant.
The students leaders attending were selected from the junior class by coaches and administrators at their schools.
“There are three things you should remember,” said Sullivan, now a nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit at UConn’s John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington. “Respect your elders, coaches, teachers and parents, they’re gone through what you are going through.
“Teach the young. You might not realize the impact you have on underclassman.
“Cooperate with the pack. It’s vital to work together,” she said.
In a question and answer segment after her presentation, Hall of Fame vice-president Bob Kalat asked, “Who was the biggest influence on your in high school?”
“My coach, Tamara Stafford,” said Sullivan, an all-state runner at Bristol Central. She “gave me confidence going into a race. If I had problems in life, she would help me there too.”
Following the questions, each table separately discussed what members had gotten out of Sullivan’s talk and a representative of each table later told the audience as a whole what they discussed.
For example, Bristol Eastern distance runner Amanda Summer represented a table consisting of Will Eschner, Josh Kimbell and Amy Pavelchak of Eastern and Justin Tacinelli and Joe Vecca of Central.
“It’s the setting of goals for yourself and looking at them every day.” said Summer. “That’s something I’ll probably do.”
The Leadership Council is funded through an account set up by Bob Fiondella out of the Main Street Foundation. Fiondella, a graduate of the former St. Anthony’s High School in Bristol who went on to become chief executive officer of the Phoenix Group insurance company, was the Leadership Council’s first speaker four years ago.