Summer Sanders one of three Roseville natives elected to Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame
Summer Sanders couldn’t remember the number of Sac-Joaquin Section swimming titles she won at Oakmont High School. She went on to win 10 NCAA championships at Stanford and four Olympic medals. She has a TV career.
Now, Sanders will be inducted with an inaugural class of 55 into the Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame on Sunday.
But one memory does stand out over all the titles. Sanders and best friend Heather McClurg weren’t spending as much time together as they would have liked so Heather, though not a swimmer, joined the Oakmont swim team anyway.
“We were both absurdly busy for high school students,” Sanders said Wednesday. “High school swimming was fantastic. It was a fun break for us from hardcore swimming. I will never forget one of her first races …”
As Sanders recalls, McClurg (now Heather Simpson) dived into a pool for a breaststroke race, and her goggles ended up around her mouth instead of covering her eyes.
“It was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. We laughed at ourselves. We always laughed at ourselves,” Sanders said, her tone enthusiastic all over again. “When it came down to it, those memories stick with me and leave a much more lasting impression than any record or success I’ve had in the pool.”
When not watching her friend chew on her goggles, Sanders was winning eight individual section championships – the 200 freestyle in 1987, 100 backstroke in 1987 and ’88, 100 freestyle in 1988, 200 individual medley in 1989, 100 breaststroke in 1989 and ’90 and 100 butterfly in 1990. Oakmont won the section team crown in 1989 and was the runner-up in ’90.
It was the beginning of swimming as a team sport for the 1990 Oakmont graduate.
“When it came time for sections, let’s bring this on,” she recalled. “That’s when I felt really tough, when I was a part of a team. I was a closet tough guy. I loved that about Stanford and my experience there.”
Sanders has lived in Park City, Utah, for six years. She and husband Erik Schlopy, a three-time U.S. Olympic Alpine skier, have “two little kiddos” – daughter Skye, 4½, and son Spider, 2½. Sanders said she loves the snow – for a certain amount of time each year.
“I get the best of both worlds,” she said. “I love the snow. It’s magical, mysterious, just such a great part of winter I didn’t have growing up in Northern California. But it gets old.”
When she has had enough of operating the snow blower for another winter, Sanders travels to California to visit her family.
She also travels considerably for work. Sanders makes appearances and is a spokeswoman for Sue Bee Honey – “One of nature’s miracles,” she said. “I’m a huge honey fan.”
And then there’s television. Sanders has appeared in shows on Nickelodeon, Lifetime, MTV and more. She was a host for “NBA Inside Stuff” and appeared on “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Now, Sanders includes her website – summersanders.net – as part of motherhood.
“It’s a fun thing for moms to do,” she said. “I love the attempts of balance in my life. I think every mom understands that. We want to be good to ourselves, our husbands, family, kids. That’s what my website is all about.”
Sanders said she’s “beyond honored” to be inducted into the section’s Hall of Fame but won’t be able to attend the ceremony. The plan is for Sanders’ nephew Ryder, 12, to attend on her behalf.
Bill Poindexter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ROSEVILLE INDUCTEES INTO SECTION HALL
The Sac-Joaquin Section will induct 55 players, coaches, officials, administrators and others into its inaugural Hall of Fame class – spanning 60 years – Sunday night, Oct. 24, at ARCO Arena in Sacramento. Three are from Roseville:
Evelyn Ashford, Roseville, class of 1975
Ashford is a four-time Olympic gold medallist and totaled five medals in three Olympics. She also is a former world record-holder in the 100 meters. At Roseville, she was the Cal-Hi Sports track and field athlete of the year in 1975.
Tedy Bruschi, Roseville, class of 1991
Bruschi won three Super Bowl rings during a 13-year NFL career with the New England Patriots. He led Roseville to the Sac-Joaquin Section football semifinals in 1990, and he won two section titles in the discus and one in the shot put.
Summer Sanders, Oakmont, class of 1990
Sanders won two Olympic gold medals, a silver medal and a bronze medal. She also won eight Sac-Joaquin Section swimming championships at Oakmont and 10 NCAA championships (six individual and four relay) at Stanford.