Savage, No. 42 on MileSplit's Class of 2020 recruits, will join talented company in Columbia
next fall. The Gamecock's strong and versatile recruiting class already
includes 400m standout Alysia Johnson and US No. 3 300mH returner Rachel Glenn. The men's program, laterally, has signed All-American
long jumper Christian Lewis, US No. 1 returning high jumper Jackson Marseille and the US No. 1 shot put returner Dylan Taggart.
of South Carolina was also major draw in for the senior. She first visited the
campus for the program's junior day.
got a good feeling from it [junior day] and I was like I'd really enjoy coming
back here," she said. "So, when the coaches reached out to me it was really
exciting because I just loved the environment, the people and the school."
Throughout her process, Savage constantly asked herself, "could I see
myself here?" She kept that question in mind as she met the team and saw more
of the campus.
In addition to
South Carolina, Louisville, Arizona State, South Florida and Ohio State were
also showing interest. However, Savage was missing a key component from them: One-on-one time with her possible event coach.
the visit, I really liked getting the one-on-one time with the coach [Coach Delethea
Quarles]," she said. "It was really cool to hang out with her and see what she's
like as a coach."
USC assistant head coach Delethea Quarles has built a strong
jumping tradition in her 22 years with the program. In 2018, she coached
her most successful women's jumper to date, Rougui Sow, a four-time First team
All-American with the No. 1 (22-0.75) and No. 3 best marks in program history
it's really cool because I'd always see her name and people would always say 'oh
Coach Dee from South Carolina, she was on the world team' and all this other stuff,'"
Savage said. "I'm super excited to work with her in the long jump, like I'm
In their final conversation on the last day of Savage's
visit, Quarles told Savage that by working with her and being at South Carolina, she could develop into a great NCAA athlete.
just have to trust in her and just do what I'm supposed to do on my part, and
everything will work out for my future," Savage said.
In the end, it
was Savage's gut feeling that lead her to choose South
get a comfortable feeling from the school, especially coach Dee and coach [Curtis]
Frye," she said. "I know they'll both have my back, that they know what they're
doing as far as training and I know they'll lead me in the right direction as
far as my future. I'm strongly confident in South Carolina for that."
The North Cobb Christian
senior had a breakout season in 2019. She's currently the US No. 1 returner in
the long jump for the coming indoor season with her 20-5 mark at New Balance
was the first meet where I hit 20 feet, and it was really cool to see how my
training paid off for that meet," Savage said. "My confidence was boosted after
that meet and carried through the rest of the season."
Since, her US
No. 2 indoor effort, Savage has stayed consistent in the 19-foot range, jumping at least
19-2 five times during the outdoor season. She even jumped a new outdoor PR of
20-1 in mid-April to win the McEachern Invitational.
The senior also
won her first GHSA State Championships in the 100m, 200m and long jump.
She also received her second All-American status, with a sixth place finish at
indoor and outdoor will place her in South Carolina's top-eight of all-time.
But, her commitment to the Gamecocks is only the beginning for her final
this season I'm trying to get into 20 feet again and consistently stay there,"
she said. "But also, one phrases we use is trust the process, so, for my senior
year I'm just going into it with a good attitude, strong work ethic, inside of
practice, outside if practice, working on somethings on my own."