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Charleston's Raven Saunders signs with Nike, finishes third at USA track and field championships

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Charleston's Raven Saunders, seen here at the 2016 Olympics, has signed with Nike and finished third Sunday at the USA Track and Field Championships. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

It was a big weekend for Charleston's Raven Saunders, who announced that she has signed with Nike and finished third in the shot put at the USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.

Saunders, a four-time NCAA champion at Mississippi and Southern Illinois, turned pro earlier this year. She confirmed Sunday that she has signed to represent Nike, one of the top athletic gear and apparel companies in the world.

"It means that I now am a part of a great family of athletes past and present," Saunders told The Post and Courier. "It's pushing me to do my part in showing how great a brand they are."

A 2016 Olympian, Saunders threw 18.74 meters (61 feet, 5¾ inches) on Sunday to finish third at the USA championships at Drake University. She won the U.S. championship last year.

Another Nike athlete, Maggie Ewen, won the U.S. title Sunday with a throw of 19.29 meters (63-3½), with Jessica Ramsey third at 19.23 meters (63-1¼).

Reach Jeff Hartsell at 843-937-5596. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_fromthePC

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