Cathedral's Reese Sanders Hits 3265 in Indoor Pentathlon

Sanders, middle, competing at the University of Indianapolis Track Classic. Photo by Lacy Nix

Cathedral senior and Notre Dame commit Reese Sanders competed in her first indoor multi-event competition this past week at the Tom Hathaway Distance Classic held at the University of Indianapolis. Competing in her first long jump competition and only second time attempting high jump and the shot, Sanders scored a current Top 5 U.S. high school mark of 3265 points. To the best of our research Sanders sits third in U.S. right now.

For those not as familiar with event, the indoor pentathlon is comprised of five events: the 60m hurdles, high jump, long jump, shot put, and the 800m run. A hurdler by trade, Sanders is far from a one-event athlete.

Sanders, an all-around talent for the 2021 IHSAA State Champion Cathedral track team, is the returning state champion in the 300m hurdles and comes back ranked highly in both the 100m hurdles and the 400m dash. Running multiple events and having stamina during a meet to excel in up to four or five races in a meet is nothing new for Sanders. Putting it together in one event though was something new.

As Sanders explained, "I am drawn to this event because I love how it captures the overall athlete. I love how it tests my athletic ability in all different aspects. I am drawn to the versatility and competition each event brings."

The transition from hurdler to multi-events has taken some time, but Sanders explained her transition as a mix of new events and her natural background from her previous sports.

"For the most part, the transition to multi- events has been pretty smooth. My junior year, I decided to run cross country, which helped increase my endurance for a race like the 800m. I've always loved lifting weights and became really strong in movements like the power clean. I knew I had enough size and strength to throw the Shot Put. I am also a previous competitive cheerleader, so flipping, jumping , and moving my body in awkward positions has never scared me."

Training for new events like the jumps and throwing events has taken some time. 

"I had a basic introduction to some field event training over the summer. But for the most part, this was brand new to me. It was my first time ever doing Long Jump and second time doing High Jump and Shot Put. HJ, LJ, and Shot Put training are events that I've never included in my normal training schedule."

"Going into the meet, I had just planned on using what I had learned from the summer and using the marks that I had in my notes on my phone from some of those sessions. I had a notecard with some coaching cues that my coach and I had come up with that what we thought would be most important for me to take with me to all the different events. During the competition, I tried to stay loose, have fun with the other athletes, and do my best."

Sanders set high goals but with realistic expectations going into the meet. What else would you expect from a state champion?

"I mean I am a competitor so my expectations were high for myself even though I wasn't sure how I would perform in a few of the events. I was most excited to see how the day was going to flow, learn from the competition, and see how I was going to do. I look forward to seeing where I can take this. My coach told me, "you have to start somewhere." I think this is a great start, and I'm excited to build off this experience."

If this is the "starting point", then the sky seems to be the limit for the current and future Irish athlete.