Seattle University Track and Field coach, Kelly Sullivan, sits with his feet up on his desk, beaming as he showers his team with praise. Last week, the Redhawks put together a highlight-filled performance during the Bryan Clay Invitational at Cougar Athletic Stadium in Azusa, California.
Sullivan has every right to be proud of his team as his athletes broke school records, set new personal records and won a variety of events. Junior Olivia Stein and senior Matthew Seidel both broke school records in their respective events.
Stein smashed the record for the 10k at Mt. SAC relays—where some of the most renowned athletes in all of college athletics compete—with a time of 35:21.65. Stein beat the previous record by 40 seconds and her own personal best by 2:10.
“It’s almost like watching two different humans. She raced incredibly smart, and to win one of the sections at Mt. SAC, and to win it by as much as she did, is huge,” Sullivan said.
Seidel beat the previous school record in the 5k by seven seconds, running the event in 14:21.18.
“He wanted to be at a certain pace at a mile, at two miles, he literally hit it to the second and finished up really strong,” Sullivan said.
Along with these performances, sophomore Michelle Newblom set a new personal record of 15.60 in the 100m hurdles and won her section.
Sophomore Kailan Claiborne set a new personal record in the 400 meter. He won his section with a time of 51.76. Sophomore Siobhan Rubio ran a 2:13.59 in the 800 meter, setting a personal record that earned her third place in the event.
Next, the Redhawks head to Oregon State University (OSU) to compete at the OSU High-Performance Meet, a meet that Sullivan helped start.
Sullivan coached at OSU from 2004 to 2017 and reflected on his upcoming return to Corvallis.
“When I was leaving they were still finishing phase two of the facility, so I haven’t seen the final product. I’m looking forward to just seeing friends and all the people that are part of what we developed down there. It’s exciting to go back with a new team.”
Looking at rest of the season, Sullivan emphasized his approach with the team, “We’re really working hard on individualizing everybody’s plan. Taking the time and effort to get the individual prepared. Ways that work for one person may not be the best decision for another and we’re getting kids to buy into that” Sullivan said. “We’re one big team but were also a team of individuals and you’ve got to plan your training and decision making on what’s best for the individual.”
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