Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+
Glenn Picks the Right Time to Have Her Best Day
Track and Field  . 

Glenn Picks the Right Time to Have Her Best Day

by Brad Muller, Director of Content

Rachel Glenn picked the right time to have her best performance, and she didn’t do it just once. South Carolina’s freshman high jumper from Long Beach, Calif., made three of the highest jumps of her life at the NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships held in Fayetteville, Ark., earlier this month to finish as the national runner-up in the event. While she was confident in her abilities, she may have surprised herself.

“I’m going to assume it all comes down to practice and trusting our coaches,” said Glenn, who is studying biology and wants to become a physician’s assistant. “Coming into the competition, I was 12th, and I was thinking that I’m a freshman, and I’m just going to do what I need to do and just jump. I didn’t really have high expectations. Then I jumped 6’1” and I thought, oh my gosh!

“When I jump in competition, I actually don’t pay attention to the heights because that makes me more nervous. I didn’t realize I had jumped over (her personal record) until I went over to my coach, and she said, ‘do you know that you just P.R.’d? Then I looked at the height and realized I did!”

While finishing as the national runner up is certainly a big deal, especially this early in her collegiate career, it’s her path getting there that is remarkable as well after she made three of the highest jumps of her life on the same day.

Prior to the NCAA Indoor Championships, her best jump was 1.80m (5-10 3/4). She picked a good time for a growth spurt when it comes to her jump as she cleared bars at 1.81m (5-11 1/4), 1.84m (6-0 1/2) and finished with an amazing jump of 1.87m (6-1 1/2), which was the fourth-best mark by any individual anywhere this indoor season and is the third-best high jump mark in school history, indoors or outdoors.

“I haven’t had that happen before,” Glenn said. “Usually, I will clear a high bar and then go to the next bar and maybe miss it. This time, I wasn’t aware of the height. I was just jumping.

“As the bar got higher and higher. I kept looking at the ranking on the board. I went from seventh to fifth and then third, and I said, oh snap! We can get top three! That’s pretty good. Then I was second, and I thought I might as well go for first.”

“The coaches help me a lot mentally.”

Glenn started competing in the high jump as a sophomore at Wilson High School, which is the same high school attended by former Gamecock 11-time All-American sprinter, National Champion, Olympic medalist, and World Champion, Lashinda Demus (2002-2004). However, Glenn didn’t have a lot of formal training, making her pretty raw coming into college.

“My junior year, I didn’t really have a coach, and then my senior year, Corona happened. We didn’t really start practicing until the week that everything got shutdown.
Rachel Glenn at 2021 NCAA Indoors
Assistant Head Coach Delethea Quarles & Rachel Glenn.

“What I like about my event is that there’s nothing really to think about. You just do it. There’s not a lot of pressure. I just go over it, and then if I need to fix something, it’s easy to fix.”

That being said, Glenn is appreciative of the South Carolina coaching staff in expanding her abilities.

“The coaches help me a lot mentally,” Glenn said. “I think I have a lot of natural ability. It’s the technique that I have to get down and consistency. It’s that and mental things. They’re there to help me when I’m doubting myself or if I get nervous to ensure my confidence.

“That week I was nervous, but as I got there, I was more relaxed and comfortable. A lot of it had to do with my coaches because I can get super-nervous. I thought, I’m a freshman. Just go out there and do it! Right before I jump, I’m going through the jump and the motions. I have to visualize myself. Then I just go.”

So, after qualifying for nationals and placing second in her event among the nation’s elite, where does she go from here?

“Practice again! I have to go back to the lab. Now that I know I can go over six feet, I’m going to shoot for 6-4 or 6-5. I’m really excited for outdoor season.

“I think there will be high expectations now, but I don’t want to think about it, so I don’t get nervous and psych myself out. I just have to go into each competition and try my best. They can’t get mad at you if you try your best.”