Team USA member Darius Savage of Morse High School in San Diego, California sat down today to talk about his aspirations this year. The 17-year-old will compete Wednesday in the men's shot put at the 4th IAAF World Youth Championships in Marrakech, Morocco.
Q: What is your goal heading into the World Youth Championships?
DS: My first goal is to make the finals in both events (shot put and discus throw) and then go for the gold. I want to at least get a medal (for Team USA) in each of event.
I've just been trying to work some of the kinks in my technique during practice.
Q: How do you feel about making Team USA and competing internationally?
DS: This is a big sense of pride. It will be a good experience to take back home, dealing with the weather (very hot) and conditions. Then I will be able to use this next year for the outdoor track season.
Q: How do you like Morocco?
DS: It is a nice place, really clean and the people are extremely friendly, but I definitely appreciate the things we have back in the U.S.
Q: How did you get started in track & field?
DS: I was 7-years-old and wanted to sign up for football, but they said I was too big for my age group. My mom wanted me to do something (in my spare time) so she found a track club (MLK Blasters) for me participate in.
Q: What made you choose the shot put and discus throw events?
DS: I started out running the 100m and 4x100m. I wanted to try throwing since my mother and father competed, plus I was a head taller than everyone in my age group.
My mother was a runner in high school and was able to throw the shot put and discus to score points for her high school. My father competed in the big man relay, but he mainly threw the shot put.
My mother played softball at San Diego City College and my dad played football at Fresno State.
Q: What is your favorite field event?
DS: The shot put is my favorite because it is shorter, quicker and you get to show your speed, agility and your control.
Q: What other track & field events interest you?
DS: I might try the javelin and hammer when I get to college just because it would be something new to learn. I do not have a desire to compete in the decathlon.
Q: With interest in javelin and hammer - have you taken pointers from your teammates Walter Henning (hammer) and Dan Haddock (javelin)?
DS: I learned a lot by watching Walter practice in the hammer throw yesterday. I did not actually get a chance to see Dan (Haddock) throw yet.
Q: Do you compete in other sports?
DS: I play power forward and center with my high school basketball team. We did not have as good of a year.
In football, I play offensive tackle and defensive tackle, where I was All-State (for California).
Q: Do you plan on competing in both track & field and football while in college?
DS: Yes, I hope to compete in both on an athletic scholarship in college.
Q: What are your goals after college?
DS: I would be an athletic trainer if I don't have the opportunity to compete in sports after my college career.
Q: Would you like to compete in the Olympics or in pro sports?
DS: Which ever one comes first, I would compete in the Olympics and pro sports. That's my one of my long term goals.