Raven Saunders Named USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week
Raven Saunders (photo by Sasha Leeth)
Feb. 16, 2016

OXFORD, Miss. – For the second time this indoor season, Ole Miss sophomore Raven Saunders is the USTFCCCA Women’s National Athlete of the Week, the national coaches’ association announced Tuesday.

Saunders was also announced as the Southeastern Conference Women’s Field Athlete of the Week for an impressive fourth time this indoor season.

The Rebels’ dynamic shot put spinner broke the NCAA women’s shot put record over the weekend with her fifth-attempt throw of 19.23m/63-1.25 to win the Iowa State Classic. She surpassed the former record of 19.22m/63-0.75 that was set by Oklahoma’s Tia Brooks at the 2013 NCAA Indoor Championships.

Saunders, who now has the best throw ever by an NCAA woman indoor or outdoor, improved her standing as the 2016 world leader. She moved up to No. 5 on the all-time U.S. indoor shot put list, passing her head coach Connie Price-Smith, among others. She’s No. 7 on the all-time American list when combining indoor and outdoor shot puts.

By producing throws of 19.02 and 19.23 meters on Saturday, Saunders became the first woman in NCAA history to break 19 meters twice in the same competition.

The Charleston, South Carolina, native now has the 14 best shot puts of the 2016 NCAA indoor season and five of the top six in the world this year.

She is the only woman in Ole Miss track & field history to be named a national athlete of the week.

Next up for Saunders and the Rebels is the Feb. 26-27 SEC Indoor Championships (Fayetteville, Arkansas), followed by the March 11-12 NCAA Indoor Championships (Birmingham, Alabama).

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






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