[image-1]Burke High School alum Raven Saunders proved that she is among the best athletes in the world, finishing fifth in women’s shot put at the Rio Summer Games.

Supporters of the Lowcountry native gathered at the Burke High School Friday evening to watch Saunders break a personal record with a throw of 19.35 meters (63 feet, six inches). Earlier in the day, Saunders braved the rains in Rio de Janeiro to qualify fourth and make it into the women’s finals. The passionate crowd in the auditorium was brought to their feet with each throw as Saunders represented the United States in competition. Currently attending Ole Miss, the 20-year-old Olympian graduated from Burke two years ago. She has gone on to claim three NCAA shot-put titles and the record for longest throw.

Saunders’ Team USA member Michelle Carter claimed her first Olympic medal, winning gold in the event with a throw of 20.63 meters. Although Saunders did not bring home a medal in her first Olympics, she remains optimistic about her future following the games.

“May not be top three, but fifth ain’t bad for a first-timer,” Saunders posted on Instagram. “These past 365, I have faced many big changes. They say what didn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I believe that’s how I got to this point. Thanks for all the support this season.”