Mindy Sullivan Mammen found a home in Coronado, Lubbock ISD Athletics Hall of Honor

Mindy Sullivan Mammen’s freshman year of high school began with another year of moving.

The track and cross-country athlete had spent her freshman year in Colorado City and her sophomore year in El Paso Franklin before moving to Lubbock Coronado in 2000. At another new school, Sullivan Mammen found herself trying to integrate again. She had to start over and make new friends, find her way in her new environment and integrate into the larger community.

She also needed to find a spot on Coronado’s track team. But it came easy for Sullivan Mammen, who was inducted into the Lubbock ISD Athletics Hall of Honor in the Class of 2022 on Saturday.

“Being in a new place again, I had to watch what was to come,” Sullivan Mammen said. “Fortunately for me, I was grateful to have found a community of friends that I valued, and that was very important to me.”

Sullivan Mammen was a runner, competing in the 400 and 800 meter races during her track career. She doubled as a cross-country runner, where Sullivan Mammen made an impact during her freshman year at Coronado.

At the district cross country meet, she came in first, helping the Mustangs win the district tag team championship that season. Sullivan Mammen’s victory qualified her for the regional competition, where she finished third as Coronado picked up an upset win to claim the regional team championship.

Sullivan Mammen then moved on to the state meet. Although she didn’t make the podium this time, Sullivan Mammen earned a sixth-place finish, helping Coronado to a fourth-place team finish in the competition.

We can say that she has adapted well to her new home.

“Everyone was so supportive,” Sullivan Mammen said. “I really felt like I was home almost immediately. I also learned a lot about perseverance.

Sullivan Mammen then went undefeated in the 800 meter race for the entire 2001 track season, winning the state championship. She also anchored Coronado’s 4×400 relay team to a regional championship and an eighth-place finish at state.

Heading into the next track season, she won the state cross country championship meet with a record time of 10:43.8. Ranked second in the nation in the 800 meters, Sullivan Mammen was eager to defend her state title in her senior season in 2002.

However, injury sidelined her for most of the season, leaving her unsure if she would be the same when she returns.

“I wasn’t sure if I would be able to defend my state title,” Sullivan Mammen said. “It was really difficult to stay motivated and focused. I struggled to maintain confidence. That was my biggest challenge.

Sullivan Mammen credits her athletic coach, Melvin Houston, with being instrumental in helping her regain her confidence. Houston took her in when she arrived in Coronado and was tough on her at first. But when it was time to back, Houston was the first to have Sullivan Mammen’s back.

She was able to make it back in time for the district meet, winning the title in the 800 race to qualify for state. There, Sullivan Mammen achieved his goal of defending his title, ending his high school career with back-to-back state titles.

Those championships helped Sullivan Mammen earn a scholarship to Tennessee, where she was an All-SEC selection in 2003 and part of three SEC Cross Country Championship teams from 2003 to 2005.

His ultimate goal was to qualify for a U.S. Olympic Trial for a shot at the Olympics. Although she never accomplished this, her induction into the Hall of Honor reminds Sullivan Mammen of what she has accomplished in her career.

“This award is truly a hindsight gift, Sullivan Mammen said. “It puts things into perspective. I didn’t reach my ultimate goals, but I was really able to accomplish a lot.

“I’m proud of my state records, but the life lessons I learned were far more important than that.”

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