Raven Saunders' big summer adventure continued last week when the former Burke High School standout walked the red carpet at ESPN's glamorous ESPY Awards Show in Los Angeles.
Saunders, the Gatorade national girls track and field athlete of the year, wore a black and white ensemble and her trademark black frames as she mingled with top athletes and celebrities at the ESPYS, held last Wednesday night at the Nokia Theater in Los Angeles.
"I was just staring at everything that was going on," said Saunders, the top female high school shot putter in the nation. "You never get a chance to see so many famous people, so many athletes in one spot. It really made my jaw drop. I was photo-bombing a lot of the athletes that I couldn't get pictures with."
Among the athletes Saunders met were basketball star Lisa Leslie and Kevin Durant and retired pro boxer Laila Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali.
"She was probably the most impressive," Saunders said. "When I was little, I wanted to be a boxer just because of her. Getting to meet her was the biggest thing to me."
The night before the ESPYS, Gatorade held a banquet to honor its athletes of the year from across the nation.
"That was really fun," said Saunders, who will head to college at Southern Illinois this fall. "After the banquet, we did media interviews by the pool, and all the athletes decided to jump in the pool while the whole party was going on. The next morning, we all had fun getting dressed for the ESPYs with hair and makeup appointments. It was fun bonding with all the other athletes."
Meanwhile, on the track, Saunders won the shot put at the USA Junior Nationals in early July, earning a spot on Team USA for the World Juniors this weekend in Eugene, Oregon. A live webcast of the World Juniors can be found at http://oregon14.com/, with shot put scheduled for Friday. Qualifying is at for 1:10 p.m. (ET), and the finals set for 9:30 p.m. (ET).
The Universal Sports Network will also air coverage of the World Junior Championships.