South Umpqua senior Savannah Slay has signed a letter-of-intent to compete in cross country as well as track and field for the Umpqua Community College Riverhawks next school year.

“Savannah will add depth to the top of our cross country program and throughout our distance events in track,” UCC coach Alan King said. “We are excited to have another local athlete.”

Slay said she knew she wanted to run in college since she was in middle school. However, when the Riverhawks reached out to her in the fall, her college plans didn’t line up with the available courses at the community college.

“I was thinking of becoming a cosmetic dermatologist, but I was kind of on the fence about it because it’s 12 years of school and with the cost of school and med school I wasn’t sure I could do that,” Slay said. She then learned that she could become a cosmetic nurse and work alongside cosmetic dermatologists with a nursing degree.

“I changed my career to nursing,” Slay said. “UCC has a great nursing program and I have a lot of friends going to UCC.”

The Riverhawks signed South Umpqua senior Ashanti Potter earlier this year to their cross country program.

Slay reached back out to the college and had a number of conversations with King about the program and her role.

“I think he’ll be a super fun coach and help me and my running career,” Slay said. “I’m super excited, I wasn’t ready for it to end.”

Slay competed in the 2017 OSAA Class 4A cross country championships in 20:59.0 over 5,000 meters at Lane Community College in Eugene. She posted a personal best of 20:16.4 at the Far West League district meet where she finished eighth.

Potter won the Far West League Championship cross country junior varsity race in 23:32.5.

Slay is currently competing in track and finished the 1,500 in 5:38.75 during the Far West League meet on April 24.

She ran a season best 12:34.43 in the 3,000 meters during the April 14 Meet of Champions. Her personal record, which she ran during the 2017 season, is 11:48.78 in the long distance run.

Sports reporter Sanne Godfrey can be reached at 541-957-4203 or via email at Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey

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