Kathleen (Bergman) Sander found out three months ago that she was going to be inducted into the Toledo Area Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.
"I was excited," Sander said, "and I thought that was a great honor."
This year’s Hall of Fame ceremony was held April 16 at Brandywine Country Club.
Sander, a 2003 Cardinal Stritch graduate, is the only Cardinals athlete to have won a state championship in any sport.
Sander was a two-sport athlete at Stritch, but she made her biggest impact in track and field. She was the Division III state champion in the shot put her senior year in 2003. Sander also held the district record in the shot put until last year.
She said she was aware that no other Stritch athlete or team had won a state title.
"I went (to state) my junior year and I was ranked first, and I took fourth," Sander said. "I was already aware of the pressure. My best throw would have won state that year. I was ready for the nerves. All of my throws beat everyone by about three feet my senior year. I was ranked first going in and normally when you're first, people want to get you, so you want to keep that spot."
Sander, who married Brad Sander last August, was a three-time TAAC champion in the shot put and a two-time conference champion in the discus. She won two district titles and one regional title in the shot.
Sander, who lives in Oak Harbor, also was a starting forward on the Cardinals' basketball team. She was a first-team All-TAAC performer as a junior and a second-team pick as a senior, when she averaged 12 points and 12 rebounds a game.
One of her two sisters, Nicole Bergman, played basketball at Cardinal Stritch and also qualified to the state meet in the shot put and discus. Nicole graduated in 2005 and is now on the University of Toledo track team.
Kathleen went on to throw for the track and field team for two years at Bowling Green State University, where she studied hospitality management. She graduated with a bachelors degree and is now working at Maumee Bay Resort as an event sales manager.
"I do like it," she said. "I was very fortunate to get a good job out of college."
Sander, who turned 24 on April 1, said she is grateful for the support she received at Cardinal Stritch and at home.
"The reason why I was successful was because of a great school environment and great coaches who were very supportive," Sander said. "We had a really good team and fans who were supportive. People don't always come over to watch the field events, but Stritch always had a good following to watch you, and that made you feel you were a part of the team.
"I also have two sisters (Elizabeth and Nicole) who made me stay competitive. If your younger sister beats you, that's not good."