Charleston Olympian Raven Saunders has been chosen to receive a grant of $35,000 from the USA Track and Field Foundation.
Saunders, a Burke High School graduate and four-time NCAA champion in the shot put, is one of 25 promising athletes to receive the grant awards, funded by a $2.75 million donation from USATF Foundation director Steven A. Schwarzman, the CEO and co-founder of Blackstone.
With no world championship or Olympic Games on the slate for 2018, Schwarzman views this year "as an important year for rising professional track and field athletes to rebuild, refocus and set clear goals," the USATF Foundation announcement said.
The grants are "meant to provide financial support to the most promising track and field athletes as they train" for the next world championships and the 2020 Olympic Games, according to the USATF.
Also among the 25 athletes to receive grants is Greenville's Sandi Morris, the American record-holder in the pole vault.
After winning four NCAA titles at Southern Illinois and Ole Miss, Saunders turned pro earlier this year. She currently stands in first place in the Diamond League women's shot put standings for the 2018 season.
My Old man always says keep working hard and the good things will come. Thank you soooooo much. I am so grateful for this. https://t.co/OZAMRTiiRe— Raven HULK Saunders (@GiveMe1Shot) July 27, 2018