Louisville lands Sander for swim team

Derek Sander, center, launches into action at a swim meet. CONTRIBUTED
Derek Sander, center, launches into action at a swim meet. CONTRIBUTED

Athlete of the Week

MADISON – A swimmer since six years old, Derek Sander, a senior at Bob Jones High School, will swim for the University of Louisville next year.

Sander has swum for Madison Dolphins, Madison and Huntsville swimming associations and Bob Jones.

Among Sander’s many awards is his 2014 Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) State Championship in 100-yard and 200-yard Freestyle. “I enjoy pushing myself and seeing my constant progression,” Sander said.

“I’m allergic to practically everything, and chlorine constantly aggravates my allergies. It’s extremely difficult to stay healthy,” Sander said about his major challenge. In addition to swimming, he also likes to play football and basketball.

From first to sixth grade, Sander attended St. John the Baptist Catholic School. He then transferred to Discovery Middle School and swam with Bob Jones’ team. He played football and basketball at St John’s through sixth grade and ran track as a sixth-grader.

As a sophomore, he played basketball for Bob Jones. Sander participates in National Honor Society.

His parents are Tony and Cheri Sander. Tony works as a chemist and vice president of site operations at Nektar Therapeutics in Huntsville. Cheri is a stay-at-home mom.

Derek’s sister Danielle, 20, influenced him to start swimming. She is a junior at Auburn University.

At the University of Louisville, Derek will be on the swim team and major in civil engineering.

Q & A

Q: If you go out to eat, what restaurants do you like?

A: “I like to eat at Pie In the Sky, Nothing But Noodles, Tellini’s and, of course, 5 Guys Burgers & Fries,” he said.

Q: What’s your favorite food?

A: Pasta and cheeseburgers.

Q: What are your favorite sports teams?

A: Louisville.

Q: What’s your favorite sports memory?

A: “My 200 freestyle championship race at the AHSAA State Meet last year. And watching Louisville win the NCAA National Men’s Basketball title in 2013,” Sander said.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

A: ‘Hang’ with friends, usually playing sports.

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