Feb. 20, 2013
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Missouri State junior Renata Sander has been selected Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week, along with Creighton baseball player Alex Staehely, the league office announced Wednesday (Feb. 20). It marks the second straight week a Missouri State student-athlete has earned the honor, as softball senior Stevie Pierce was last week's female MVC Scholar-Athlete.
To qualify for the award, student-athletes must carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.20, completed at least one academic year at a Valley institution and must be at least a sophomore in academic standing. Sander maintains a 3.21 GPA as an exercise & movement science major at Missouri State.
Sander was one of 12 Bears named to the All-Valley first team following the 2013 MVC Women's Swimming & Diving Championships, and for the second year in a row, she earned Swimmer of the Year accolades. She was named co-MVC Swimmer of the Year with teammate Dora Kiss and Evansville's Michelle Tipton.
The junior standout struck gold in each event she swam, placing first in the 100 breast, 200 breast, 200 IM and both medley relays. She bettered the Missouri State and MVC record in all three of her individual events, while helping bring down the top Valley mark in the 200 medley relay as well.
Behind early in the 200 IM, Sander caught the lead pack in the breaststroke leg and topped Illinois State's Jeannette Nolte and last year's 200 IM champion Hannah Pinion of SIU to finish in record pace (2:03.18). To conclude the first day of action, she guided the Bears' 400 medley relay to a dominant first-place finish, more than four seconds ahead of second-place ISU.
Back at it on Friday, the Belo Horizonte, Brazil native broke a 5-year-old MVC and Shea Natatorium record in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:01.99) as the Bears swept the top three podium spots. Additionally, her breaststroke leg on the 200 medley relay helped Missouri State to a two-second victory and a new MVC record in the event.
On the final day, Sander picked up her fifth title, this time sharing the first-place finish with teammate Melissa Oishi in the 200 breast. Neck-and-neck the entire race, both Sander and Oishi touched the wall at 2:13.77, a new school, conference and pool record, and well under the NCAA consideration time.