Prescott eNews  |   Chino Valley eNews  |    Prescott Valley eNews    |   eNewsAZ |   ArizonaPod.News

Embry Riddle Inducts Three to Athletics Hall of Fame
Featured

23 April 2017  
Derek Sanders (top left), Kelsey Anderson (bottom center) and Isabela (Lachowski) Martinet (top right) were inducted into Embry Riddle Athletics Hall of Fame on Friday April 21st, 2017 in Prescott, Arizona All Photos by: Torrence Dunham

Derek Sanders, Kelsey Anderson and Isabela (Lachowski) Martinet Inducted Into Embry Riddle Athletics Hall of Fame 

PRESCOTT- When Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s first three-time All American and national champion wrestler Derek Sanders received word he would be inducted into the Prescott Embry Riddle Athletics Hall of Fame, the thought of a prank by former teammates came to mind. However, the honor was very real as Sanders joined Eagles’ soccer standout Kelsey Anderson and volleyball star Isabela (Lachowski) Martinet as members of the 2017 Embry Riddle Hall of Fame class during the University’s Gala on Friday night. 

‘For me coming back here today, it’s kind of just full circle,” said Sanders who mentioned it was an extreme honor to be a Hall of Famer. “It really is the icing on the cake for the wrestling career that I had.”

Wrestling and attending Oklahoma State University, he took two years off after competing as a red-shirt freshman. Former Eagles' wrestling coach Dan Payne, who originally recruited Sanders out of high school, asked him to attend Embry Riddle after finding out Sanders no longer attended Oklahoma State. It was an opportunity to good to pass up.

“I really needed to get out of Oklahoma and have kind of a new fresh start,” Sanders said. “Came out here and never looked back. It was one the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.” 

Along with meeting his wife-who was a captain on the inaugural women’s volleyball team-and having success in the classroom, Sanders won the NAIA National Wrestling Championship at Embry Riddle in 2000 at 157 pounds and was an All-American in 1998,1999 and 2000. 

“The memories are great,” Sanders said who now works in sales. “There are a lot of emotions but they’re all really good.”

Isabella Martinet started playing volleyball when she was twelve.

“i just was always really passionate,” Martinet said. “My parents were very athletic and would always push us (Martinet and her sister) to find a sport that we truly liked.”

“So I went through many sports before I found volleyball,” Martinet continued. “I really found a fit.”

 Martinet's success with the sport continued upon being invited to play at Embry Riddle.

Martinet was a team captain both years along with appearances on the Dean’s List. Among the honors were a 2008 Association of Independent Institutions 1st Team All Conference Member and a 2007 Soaring Eagle Award for Volleyball. Even eight years after graduation, Martinet still holds the #3 spot in attack percentage, the #5 place in service aces and reigns supreme at blocks per game with 1.4. 

“I was just enthused and excited to be apart of the team,” Martinet said. “To come in and get to be a team captain, and really just live the sport and partake in the classes…it was just an amazing experience and I’m really proud to say (Embry) Riddle is my alma school and that I’m an alumni.” 

Upon receiving news she would be inducted into the Embry Riddle Hall of Fame, Martinet instantly remembered her playing days.

“I was a little nostalgic to say the least,” said Martinet whose sister was also an athlete for Embry Riddle. “It just brought back so many great memories of the university and time I spent here and all my teammates.” 

“It’s just a true honor to be back here and to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Martinet continued. “It’s just very emotional and I’m very honored.”

Martinet has remained in-state and is teaching fourth-grade at Scottsdale Country Day School.

The most recent graduate inducted on Friday was Kelsey Anderson who has the honor of being one of the most dominant players to ever step foot on Embry Riddle’s soccer field. 

Just like Sanders, the initial call brought on a sense of disbelief.

“i was like hesitant to believe it,” Anderson said. “That’s just so epic in my mind.” 

Just like her fellow inductees, Anderson was well-deserving of immortalization from her achievements. Anderson was frequently honored with such awards as a 2011 A.I.I 1st Team All Conference, 2012 Cal Pac 1st Team All Conference, 2012 NSCAA Far West 1st Team All Region, 2012 NAIA Honorable Mention All American and a 2012 Cal Pac Player of the Year. 

The soccer records continue to hold Anderson’s name high as she is #2 in career goal scoring, points scored, all-time single season goal scoring and all-time single season points while also ranking #7 in career assists at 11. 

“No way did I ever think this would be a thing but I’m so glad that it is,” Anderson said. “You have to take a moment and pause everything and appreciate what’s going on and who you get to be back here with.” 

Anderson continues to use the experience gained at Embry Riddle as she works for an engineering design firm in Denver, Colorado.

The three will forever join the ranks of the best who wore the Eagles gold and blue.

Torrence Dunham

Torrence Dunham is a multimedia journalist who graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.  Torrence is our PrescottValleyeNews.com Correspondent covering local news and events in Prescott Valley. He is also the lead sports correspondent and play-by-play pro for all our multimedia news sites. If he's not adding to his extensive sports bobble-head collection, he's talking baseball, his favorite. Follow him on Twitter: @Tadunham.