At 19, a high achiever


Howard at play

May 14, 2000|By Lowell E. Sunderland

Name: Suzanne "Suzy" McCulloch

Achievements: Top American finisher (20th overall) two weeks ago in the junior women's (under 20) division of the International Triathlon Union's world championships in Perth, Australia. Member, USATriathlon's junior women's team for two years. One of six junior athletes to train the last two summers at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. After winning seven of eight cross-country races for Salisbury State University last fall was named NCAA Mideast Region Women's Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track Coaches Association. Two-time junior women's winner of Columbia Triathlon; to compete again next Sunday.

Age: 19

Residence: Salisbury. Parents Charles and Winnie McCulloch live in Ellicott City.

Personal: Centennial High graduate, Salisbury State sophomore majoring in elementary school physical education. Started sports in Howard County Youth Program softball, basketball; volleyball with Columbia Volleyball Club. Tried track as junior, swapped high school volleyball for cross country as senior, runner-up in her first state championship meet. "I don't have speed in running, but I have stamina and self-motivation."

Career positives: "Going to Australia was the opportunity of a lifetime, a worthwhile trip. The overall experience - the travel, getting interviewed - is so exciting. It's also knowing my parents and family are my fans; they're always there for me. I'm so happy, because even though I played all those team sports, it was never that much fun. Now I understand I'm into self-fulfillment, and in triathlon, the bottom line is, it's every person for themselvesout there. You're responsible - I like that. It was definitely a good move."

Biggest challenge ahead: "Graduating from college, first. I'm young, and so I can continue in triathlon for a long time. Swimming is my weak link. It's not where it has to be, and I'm working on that. My goal is to do the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon, and beyond that, maybe the 2004 Olympics."

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