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Alumni corner: Jill Fadenrecht joining sister as Hall of Famer

LONGMONT — Together, Jill and Sara Fadenrecht anchored Skyline High School girls basketball for nearly a decade in the 1990s.

Both went on to play college athletics with in-state programs. Sara, the elder, played basketball for the University of Denver Pioneers. Jill competed in both basketball and track for the University of Northern Colorado Bears.

When Jill Fadenrecht’s portion of the UNC 2014 Hall of Fame induction ceremony concludes on Feb. 28, both sisters will be Hall of Famers.

“I think I jumped higher when I got that phone call than I ever did in any vertical jump test in college,” Jill Fadenrecht said. “It was exciting and unexpected. The biggest shock when I got the phone call was because Sarah was always the better basketball player and I wondered if I had done enough. We kept joking when she was inducted that she was kind of a big deal. She was the first one that I called when I got the news and I was like, ‘I’m kind of a big deal too.'”

Sara Fadenrecht was inducted into the DU Hall of Fame in October of 2010. She entered as the only Pioneers female basketball player to have 1,800 points and 1,000 rebounds. Her 1,826 career points are second-best in school history and her 1,060 rebounds are the best ever.

While Sara Fadenrecht was the scorer in the family, Jill turned out to be the Fadenrechts’ defender.

In the UNC record books, Jill Fadenrecht is the career (210) and single-season (79) leader blocked shots. She also holds the Bears’ record for games started and was an All-American in the high jump, for which she still owns the Colorado Class 4A state meet record at 5 feet, 8 1/4 inches.

“Growing up, it was always a matter of Jill and I competing against each other,” Sara Fadenrecht said. “We were a pretty competitive family overall but we certainly had a lot of support for each other. It’s pretty exciting. It’s one thing to go to college and do one sport but to be a two-sport athlete and compete at the level she did is pretty amazing.”

The Fadenrechts’ family resume in athletics is impressive. So is their contribution to Skyline High athletics after their playing careers ended.

Shortly after graduating from DU, Sara Fadenrecht returned to coach the girls basketball team at Skyline from 2001 to 2007. When Jill Fadenrecht returned as an assistant coach for the 2003-04 season, the Falcons won the 4A state title.

“That was amazing. I’ve never experienced anything quite like that,” Sara Fadenrecht said. “To do it with your sister, it doesn’t get much better than that. It’s nice to know you’re completely on the same page with someone and everything just gels so perfectly.”

Sara Fadenrecht also coached the cross country team from 2008 to 2010 and both Fadenrechts, who share coaching styles and philosophies, spent four seasons as assistant coaches for the track team.

Sara Fadenrecht currently works as an art teacher at Skyline. Jill Fadenrecht teaches physical education at Blackrock Elementary School in Erie.

Both Sara and Jill have long been cornerstones in Skyline athletics and the Longmont community. Now they’re both officially two of the best in Colorado’s sports history.

Follow Brad on Twitter at twitter.com/BradCochi

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