As usual, we had plenty of nominees for our “athletes who best embody the characteristics of a BC Eagle” awards, with this year’s female winner being nominated alongside Kelly Browne and Abby Newhook (women’s hockey) and Dontavia Waggoner (women’s basketball). This year’s winner, Marne Sullivan, is a member of BC’s track and field team, and represented the Eagles well both on and off the track.
Sullivan set personal bests in the indoor 1000m and the outdoor 400m this season, and also helped her teammates to ACC Tournament top 10 finishes in the distance medley relay (indoor) and 4x400m relay (outdoor), as well as placing 10th herself in the 800m at the ACC Outdoor Championships.
Off the track, Sullivan emerged as an advocate for deaf and hard of hearing athletes. Sullivan used social media to share what it is like to be a deaf D1 athlete, and her viral TikTok led to interviews and NIL deals.
Sullivan also used her social media to show off her cochlear implant, discussing how she had previously tried to hide it due to negative interactions she’d had growing up. Her willingness to overcome discomfort to normalize hearing loss and cochlear implants has certainly made a difference for young athletes that aren’t used to seeing themselves represented in sports.
While at BC, Sullivan also headed up the Eagles for Equality Disability Committee, where she worked to increase services for and visibility of students with both visible and invisible disabilities.