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Making an impact

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Waldron's Hannah Sullivan drives to the basket against Shelbyville's Jaidyn Tackett.
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Hannah Sullivan clears the bar during the high jump in a meet this past season.
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Waldron graduate Hannah Sullivan competes in the long jump this past spring.

By KRIS MILLS - kmills@shelbynews.com

This is a two-part series from The Shelbyville News. The first Sportsmanship Award was given to Shelbyville’s Matt Baker. The story was in Tuesday’s TSN.

Has anyone ever seen Hannah Sullivan without a smile on her face? Those closest to the 2019 Waldron graduate would probably say yes, but, as far as I could tell, Sullivan consistently appeared to be in a great mood.

That type of attitude will — and did in her case — rub off on other people.

A three-sport athlete as a senior this past school year, Sullivan leaves a strong legacy for her standout play. Easily one of the most athletic girls to come through WHS, Sullivan competed in volleyball, basketball and track and field during her final year of high school.

Although she has a bright, contagious personality, once action started, Sullivan's motor would fire up, turning her into a fierce opponent. Few athletes would go as hard as the 5-6 spark plug. After, however, she would return to her usual self — a calm and collected teenager.

For making an impact at her school and with her teammates, Sullivan has been given the 2019 Shelby News’ Sportsmanship Award.

After impressive basketball and track and field campaigns as a junior, Sullivan returned to volleyball for the first time in high school as a senior. Although understandably rusty (she last played in junior high), it was evident she put the work in to improve. By the end of the season, she was a regular contributor and developed a solid swing at the net (74 kills).

After talking to her, I could tell she really appreciated her teammates working with her and being patient. Without a doubt, she would do the same for them.

Track and field was probably Sullivan's best sport, though, in terms of individual success. She practically dominated the Shelby County and Mid-Hoosier Conference meets in various events the last two seasons, including the high and long jumps.

Sullivan owns the school record in the high jump and qualified for regional competition in both jumping events as a junior. This past season, she advanced to the Shelbyville Regional in the long jump, placing ninth overall.

On the basketball court, Sullivan used her athleticism to her advantage. She developed a nice outside jump shot but was at her best in transition and on defense.

Sullivan, who was one of those players who had an extra gear, was named Second Team All-County this past winter and averaged 9.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game.

Despite a heartbreaking loss in the sectional final in five overtimes to Jac-Cen-Del, Sullivan found a bright spot after the game. I remember her talking about how well the freshmen did when they came in at the end of the contest. With WHS in foul trouble, the team had freshmen step up and knock down some big shots.

I know Waldron basketball coach Anthony Thomas thinks very highly of Sullivan and his 2019 senior class, which also included Abby Adams, Victoria Shaw and Morgan Wood.

Away from sports, Sullivan, who has a passion for showing horses, is close with her older brother, Cody Sullivan, who was an assistant coach on the basketball team this past season. It was neat to see those two hug after Waldron fell in the sectional final. It was a sad but memorable moment.

As for college, Sullivan will trade in her Waldron blue and white for the Purdue black and gold as she plans to continue her academic career at the university in the fall. The Boilermakers, as her teammates and coaches would agree, are getting a good one.

Kris Mills is the Sports editor of The Shelbyville News. Follow Kris on Twitter @KrisMills.