Edward Charles Sullivan Jr.
Edward Charles Sullivan Jr.
Team: Track & Field

Edward Charles Sullivan, Jr. '58
Sport:
Track & Field
Year Inducted:
1978

 

Edward Charles Sullivan, Jr. ’58 ranks with the finest distance runners Brown has produced, winning the Heptagonal Indoor (9:32) and Outdoor (9:14.6) championships during his junior year and then capturing the Heptagonal Cross Country Championship as a senior. This success story might never have been written had Ed Sullivan been able to make his Keene (N.H.) baseball team. When he didn’t make the cut there, the young Irishman switched to cross country. He finished a respectable 13th in the New Englands as a schoolboy – but was disgusted with himself. He didn’t want to be a good runner. He wanted to be a great one. But greatness didn’t come easily for Sullivan. He worked hard under Coach Ivan Fuqua at Brown but the best he could do as a sophomore was a lackluster 10:29 for the two-mile. He went on a strict training program that summer and came back to Brown a different runner. “Ed was a hungry kid,” says Fuqua. “He wanted to reach for the stars and he was willing to work hard enough to make that possible.” That was the summer Coach Fuqua received a letter. “Dear Coach,” it began. “I’m working hard to get in top condition, running seven and eight miles a day. However, I have worn out the pair of shoes I took home with me. Could you send me another pair?” Fuqua had a pair of shoes in the mail to his Cinderella runner the same afternoon. Sullivan won seven of eight cross country meets that fall, losing only to the New England champ from UConn, and then came in a close second in the New Englands. He took the Indoor Heps late that winter and then became a national name in the spring when he captured the Outdoor Heps in the red-hot time of 9:14.6, a new Brown record and the second fastest time in the 23-year history of the event. As a senior he established records at seven different courses and easily won the Heptagonal Cross Country championship by 125 yards, even though he suffered a badly sprained ankle with better than a mile to go. When he also captured the New England’s at Orono, Me., the spring of his senior year, the success story was complete for the two-time Bruin captain. Ed Sullivan is now teaching at American-Naples High School, Naples, Italy.