Raven Saunders knew she would have a good throwing day Saturday.
The shot putter and discus thrower for Burke High in Charleston set the national indoor shot put record on March 15 in New York.
She added the national outdoor record at the Taco Bell Track and Field Classic on Saturday at Spring Valley High’s Harry Parone Stadium. Saunders’ shot put throw of 56 feet, 8 inches shattered the national record of 54-10.75 set in 2003 by Michelle Carter in Red Oak, Texas.
“Warming up, I knew I was going to have a pretty good day,” said Saunders, a senior who will attend Southern Illinois University in the fall. “One of my half throws was 54 feet, so I knew I had a pretty good chance.”
Saunders’ throw closely matched her indoor effort of 56-7.5 at the New Balance Nationals Indoor events at the Armory in New York. With a slight wind and no humidity at Harry Parone, she could ask for no better day to set a record.
“I knew that if I could just correct one or two things in my technique, I knew that it was going to go far,” Saunders said. “I didn’t know how far, but I knew it was going to go.”
Saunders also set a meet record in the discus, with her 159-11 effort surpassing the 157-3 set by Aslynn Halvorson in 2009. Saunders’ discus effort came as a surprise.
“I scratched my first two throws,” she said. “But the same thing works with the disc as it does the shot put. I just fixed a couple of things, and it just went.”
Northwestern won the boys title, with DeMatha Catholic the runner-up.
Elizabeth Seton claimed the girls events with the conclusion of their first-place 1,600 relay effort.
Jasmine Quinn, the sole athlete for Fort Dorchester’s girls, took second place.
Quinn won the girls 200-meter dash with a time of 24.22 seconds. She took second in the 100 dash at 11.90 and the 100 hurdles at 13.55, and finished third in the long jump with a 19-01 attempt.