COLUMBIA -- Raven Saunders threw herself into the limelight at the 22nd annual Taco Bell Track & Field Classic at Spring Valley High School's Harry Parone Stadium over the weekend.
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Saunders, a senior at Burke High School, set a national record in the shot put with her throw of 56 feet, 8.25 inches. She eclipsed the mark of 54-10.75 established in 2003 by Michelle Carter of Red Oak (Texas), an Olympian and the current American record holder in the event.
Saunders, who has signed with Southern Illinois University, already holds the national indoor record at 56-7.5.
Saunders, named the field events MVP, also set a meet record in winning the discus with a throw of 159-11 -- the fifth-best in the U.S. this season.
Bryanna Hames of Myers Park (N.C.), was runner-up in the discus with 156-3 -- ninth in the U.S. and third on the all-time Taco Bell list.
The girls track MVP was Fort Dorchester junior Jasmine Quinn, who scored all of her school's 32 points and led the Patriots to a runner-up finish behind Elizabeth Seton (Md.), which had 45.5 points.
Quinn won the 200-meter dash (24.22), finished second in the 100 (11.90) and the 100 hurdles (13.55) and came in third in the long jump (19-1).
Quinn, who recorded the fastest time in the 100 hurdles (13.33) the previous weekend at the Father Kelly Classic in Charleston, finished second to Chantel Ray of Hampton (Va.), who posted a 13.53. Ray's time is second in the U.S. this season and third on the Taco Bell all-time list. Quinn now has the first- and third-best times in the U.S. and the fourth-best on the Taco Bell list.
Anna Cockrell of Providence Day (N.C.) took third in the 100 hurdles in 13.79 -- 11th in the U.S. and sixth on the Taco Bell list. She also won the 400 hurdles with a time of 1:02.92 that's sixth in the U.S.
In the long jump, Makyla Stanley of James Island won with a leap of 19-8 -- tied for the fourth-best in the U.S. and tied for the second-best ever at the Taco Bell meet. Angelica Collins of Wando was second with 19-5.5 -- tied for 10th-best in the U.S. and fifth-best on the Taco Bell all-time list.
T.C. Roberson (N.C.) set a meet record in the 4x800 relay with its 9:16.93, which is the ninth-fastest in the U.S. this season.
The top three in the girls 400 all posted times in the Taco Bell meet's all-time Top 10. Brandee Johnson of Nansemond River (Va.) won in 55.36, followed by Riley Egbula of Hillcrest in 55.60 and Lauren Jackson of Dunwoody (Ga.) in 55.63. The three are now sixth, ninth and 10th, respectively.
The girls 3200 also caused a shift in the Taco Bell's all-time Top 10. Libby Davidson of E.C. Glass (Va.) won in 10:44.56 -- fifth on the Taco Bell list. Sara Platek of Ragsdale (N.C.) was next in 10:44.89, and Morgan Ilse of Marist (Ga.) was third in 10:45.82, putting them at sixth and seventh, respectively.
Bailey Weiland of Marist (Ga.) won the high jump by clearing 5-8 -- tied for the fifth-best mark on the Taco Bell list.
The other individual winners were India Brown of West Florence in the 100 (11.85), Lauren Jackson of Dunwoody (Ga.) in the 800 (2:15.05), Ashbrook Gwinn of Aiken in the mile (5:02.13), Javonne Antoine of Elizabeth Seton (Md.) in the triple jump (40-10) and Mariel Finger of North Gaston (N.C.) in the pole vault (12-0).
Elizabeth Seton (Md.) took first in the 4x400 relay with its 3:54.13, seventh-fastest on the all-time Taco Bell list, and Bullis (Md.) had the eighth-fastest time (47.35) in winning the 4x100.
The boys track MVP was Darryl Haraway of DeMatha (Md.), who won the 200, finished second in the 100 and helped his team to a runner-up finish behind Northwestern, which had 46 points to DeMatha's 41.
Haraway, a junior, won the 200 in 21.2 -- 12th-best in the U.S. and fifth on the Taco Bell list. His time of 10.62 in the 100 was second to Trentavis Friday of Cherryville (N.C.), who crossed in 10.5 -- the fourth-fastest time ever at the Taco Bell meet.
The boys field MVP was Victory Christian (N.C.) junior Marcus Abraham, who won the shot put (55-4.75) and came in sixth in the discus (156-7).
The boys 400 hurdles produced four of the 17 fastest times in the U.S. this season. Northwestern's Tre Stanley placed first in 54.67, which is sixth in the U.S. Irmo's Brandy Holmes was runner-up in 55.19 (10th in the U.S.). Will Adams of Mallard Creek (N.C.) was third in 55.63 (13th in the U.S.), and Kato Junior of Wando was fourth in 55.92 (17th in the U.S.).
The 800 saw two of the five fastest performances in the 22-year history of the meet. Ryan Speer of North Raleigh Christian Academy (N.C.) finished first in 1:53.33 -- 15th in the U.S. and third on the all-time Taco Bell list. Ryan Hastings of Porter Ridge (N.C.) was second in 1:53.81 -- fifth on the Taco Bell list.
In the 3200, Patrick Sheehan of Lake Norman (N.C.) won in 9:13.56, just ahead of Daniel Navarro of Marist (Ga.), who ran a 9:13.67. Their times were the seventh- and eighth-best, respectively, on the Taco Bell list.
Mallard Creek (N.C.) won the 4x100 relay with a time of 41.61, good for ninth on the Taco Bell all-time Top 10.
The other boys who placed first in running events were Deandre Daniels of Goose Creek in the 400 (48.88), Zack Langston of Lexington in the mile (4:18.15) and Isaiah Lewis of Hillcrest in the 110 hurdles (14.43).
Along with Abraham, the field events champions were Quantarius Caldwell of Northwestern in the high jump (6-6), Kenny Waring of Wando in the long jump (23-0.5), Malik Scott of Richland Northeast in the triple jump (45-8.5), Kenneth Brinson of Marist (Ga.) in the discus (166-10) and Harrison Hix of Wren in the pole vault (15-0).
Lake Norman (N.C.) won the 4x800 in 7:58.09, and Hopewell (N.C.) won the 4x400 in 3:21.24.
- Bob Castello