Claire Sanders

St. Bernard’s Claire Sanders, front and center, signs a national letter of intent with Sewanee last week. She is joined up front (from L to R) by her sister (Tessa), her mother (Lauren), her father (Rodney) and her sister (Caroline). Standing (from L to R) are St. Bernard coach William Calvert, Claire's brother (Graham) and St. Bernard assistant Tim Vaughn.

Another Saint is marching on to the collegiate level.

St. Bernard's Claire Sanders signed a national letter of intent with Sewanee last week and will continue her track and cross country career with the Division III Tigers beginning this fall.

The University of the South competes in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.

Sanders couldn't be more thrilled to make her way to the Tennessee-based school.

"I'm excited to continue running," she said. "I think it'll be a good experience to be challenged with new teammates and experience everything that comes with running in college. It's a beautiful campus there, and it's a small school. I can focus on academics and also participate in sports at a high level."

Sanders had quite a successful tenure with the Lady Saints.

In track, she helped St. Bernard claim back-to-back runner-up finishes at the state meet (2018-19).

She also comprised one leg of the 4x800-meter relay team that corralled three straight gold medals at the state meet (2017-19), and she qualified for five different events at the state level during her career.

Sanders was a member of the 2015 cross country team that took home the Class 1A-2A state title.

She was a three-time All-Section runner as well and also helped contribute to three section crowns.

The multi-sport athlete was even a five-year starter on the basketball team.

But what will Sanders miss the most?

"My teammates and coaches," she said. "I'm going to miss the teammates and coaches who were so instrumental to my success. I'm thankful for the abilities God has given me as well. As for St. Bernard, I'll really miss the school. It's a great place to be, and I couldn't ask for a better group of people."

William Calvert loves to see his athletes get rewarded for their hard work.

And the longtime St. Bernard coach will be closely monitoring Sanders' journey at Sewanee.

"I am very excited that Claire has the opportunity to continue her track and cross country career at the collegiate level," he said. "Especially since it all ended so abruptly because of the pandemic crisis. She has been a solid performer and tremendous leader for our track and cross country programs. She was a joy to coach and always willing to do any event to help the team win. I look forward to seeing her progress in college as she will be able to focus on track and cross country throughout the year."

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