Raven Saunders Named to Bowerman Award Preseason Watch List
Jan. 6, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. – Ole Miss sophomore thrower Raven Saunders has been named one of 10 women on the preseason watch list for the Bowerman Award, the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association announced Wednesday.

Similar to football’s Heisman Trophy, the Bowerman Award is given annually to the top male and female athlete in college track & field. Six of the 10 women on this year’s preseason watch list compete for Southeastern Conference schools.

Saunders was a two-time NCAA shot put champion as a freshman at Southern Illinois last year before deciding to transfer to Ole Miss, where she reunited with her previous head coach Connie Price-Smith and throws coach John Smith.

In her Ole Miss debut at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Dec. 4, Saunders easily broke the shot put school record with a distance of 17.89m/58-8.5 on her first attempt. She is the national leader in the event heading into the 2016 calendar year.

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Saunders claimed a Pan American Junior title, a U.S. Junior title and two Missouri Valley Conference titles in addition to her NCAA crowns during the 2015 season. She broke American Junior records for the indoor shot (18.62m/61-1.25) and outdoor shot (18.35m/60-2.5), while her national title-winning indoor toss moved her up to No. 4 in NCAA history. She was the first freshman in available records to win an NCAA shot put crown.

Prior to her college career, Saunders was the 2014 Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year when she won indoor and outdoor national titles and a USATF Junior national title in the shot put. She claimed a silver medal at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, becoming the second American female in 10 years to medal in the shot put at World Juniors.


 

 

For more information on Ole Miss Track & Field, follow the Rebels on Twitter at @OleMissTrack, as well as Facebook and Instagram.

2016 Preseason Women’s Bowerman Award Watch List
Quanesha Burks, Alabama
Kyra Jefferson, Florida
Akela Jones, Kansas State
Shamier Little, Texas A&M
Cindy Ofili, Michigan
Keturah Orji, Georgia
Demi Payne, Stephen F. Austin
Raevyn Rogers, Oregon
Raven Saunders, Ole Miss
Shelbi Vaughan, Texas A&M

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