Siblings competing on different college sports teams at the same time is hardly a novelty. But siblings winning national championships on the same day 27 miles apart from one another? That’s something special.
It’s also exactly what Katie and Sarah Klunder accomplished this past weekend. Katie plays for Division II Grand Valley St., while Sarah plays for Spring Arbor of the NAIA.
The Division II national championships took place in Pensacola, Florida, while the NAIA championships were in Orange Beach, Alabama. Only 27 miles separate Pensacola and Orange Beach. Katie and Sarah’s parents were stoked to have the chance to watch their daughters realize their dreams so close together.
"When we found out Division II was going to be in Pensacola, we got out a map and said, 'Oh, my word. Could this even ever happen?'" Sarah and Katie’s mother, Lisa, said to ML Live.
Katie, a senior midfielder for Grand Valley St., started for the Lakers in their 2-0 win over Columbus St. in Pensacola. That game happened before Sarah’s, and the Klunders drove to Orange Beach to witness Spring Arbor defeat Lindsey Wilson College by a score of 3-0.
"As everyone was telling us," Katie said, "it was a great day to be a Klunder."
What a remarkable achievement. Congratulations to the Klunders.