SIU signee Raven Saunders to attend ESPY Awards Show

    Raven Saunders

    Raven Saunders

    July 14, 2014

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    Signee Release | Gatorade Release
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    Gatorade Official Site | Gatorade Player of the Year Facebook

    By Tyler Wooten
    SIUSalukis.com

    LOS ANGELES -- Saluki track and field signee Raven Saunders will attend The ESPY Awards Show as one of 12 female finalists for the Gatorade National Athlete of the Year Award.

    Saunders and the other 11 female finalists -- as well as the 12 men's finalists -- will attend a dinner ceremony Tuesday evening (July 15) in Los Angeles prior to the ESPY Awards Show on Wednesday night (July 16) to crown the male and female winners. ESPN's Hannah Storm will emcee the event, and awards will be presented by Brandon Knight of the Milwaukee Bucks (2010 Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year) and former U.S. women's national soccer team star Mia Hamm.

    Since 1985, Gatorade has crowned state and national players of the year, but this is only the 12th annual Gatorade High School Athlete of the Year ceremony. In addition to superb athletic performance, award winners must excel in the classroom and demonstrate strong character. Winners are selected by a panel of nationwide sportswriters and commentators.

    In addition to the ceremony Tuesday night, all 24 nominees will walk the red carpet and attend the 2014 ESPY Awards Show on Wednesday -- the 22nd iteration of ESPN's annual awards show that will begin at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN.

     

     

    Saunders earned an invitation to this week's proceedings after being named the Gatorade Girls National Track and Field Athlete of the Year on June 25, an award befitting of her historic senior season at Burke High School in Charleston, S.C. Saunders won both the New Balance indoor and outdoor national championships in the shot put, thanks to a meteoric rise of over 10 feet from her junior to her senior season thanks to the spin-throwing technique.

    The future Saluki shattered the all-time girls national record several times in 2014, the last time coming at 17.27m (56-08.25) -- which, would have placed her fourth at both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships in 2014. Since, Saunders has gone on to win the USA national junior title in the event, thus punching her ticket for the IAAF Junior World Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on July 22-27.

    Athletic Resume:
    • Signed an NLI to Southern Illinois on March 17, 2014
    • Named 2014 Gatorade National Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year
    • One of 12 Gatorade finalists invited to The ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on July 16 for the chance to be named the 2014 Gatorade National Athlete of the Year
    • 2014 New Balance Indoor and Outdoor National Champion in the shot put
    • Broke the all-time national girls high school shot put record several times in 2014; her latest registering at 17.27m (56-08.25)
    • Latest PR would have finished fourth at both the indoor and outdoor NCAA Championships in 2014
    • Won 2014 USA Junior Outdoor national shot put title, qualifying her for the Junior World Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Ore., on July 22-27
    • Broke South Carolina state shot put record by 11 feet en route to state shot put title
    • Also won the state discus title by 42 feet

    Academic and Community Service Resume:
    • B average
    • President of the Burke High Senior Class
    • President of the Burke High Student Government
    • Volunteer for SkillsUSA, a national student empowerment organization
    • Active participant in Burke's DECA chapter for emerging business leaders
    • Volunteered as Burke's Bulldog mascot at athletic events for two years

    Saturday, Dec 6
    SPORT LOCATION TIME MEDIA
    Track Carbondale, Ill. 10:00 AM
    Friday, Jan 16
    SPORT LOCATION TIME MEDIA
    Track Lexington, Ky. All Day
    Saturday, Jan 17
    SPORT LOCATION TIME MEDIA
    Track Lexington, Ky. All Day
    Friday, Jan 23
    SPORT LOCATION TIME MEDIA
    Track Nashville, Tenn. All Day
    Saturday, Jan 24
    SPORT LOCATION TIME MEDIA
    Track Nashville, Tenn. All Day
    SIU