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Team USA morning session quotes from 14th IAAF World Indoor Champs

3/7/2014
 

Inika McPherson, Women’s high jump qualification
“It was okay. Working on my run-up and I felt good out there but it was good competition. It’s how it goes. You can always take something from the jumps. I need to be more relaxed in competitions and do what I always do. I’ll be ready for outdoors.”

Joanna Atkins, Women’s 400m heats
“I don’t feel good about the race at all. I had a good start, got to the break first, had a good first lap but I’m going to have to talk to my coach and make some adjustments. Just going to have to go a bit harder.”

Francena McCorory, Women’s 400m heats
“It was great. It’s a little early so it’s hard for me to wake up, but I’m excited going into the next round. I’m going to try to get out of the first 200 a little faster.”

Ryan Whiting, Men’s shot put qualifying
“It went according to plan. I stayed out there to help Kurt. The older guys did that for me when I was on my first team. He didn’t get through but it’s a good experience for him. I have a ton left in the tank. I was kind of just coasting in first gear.”

Kurt Roberts, Men’s shot put qualifying
“It was awesome. I realized I still have a lot to learn: how to turn it on, how to turn it off, how to wait 45 minutes in between throws. I think there’s a little more of a learning curve than I expected. To watch Ryan throw tonight, I wish I was throwing with him but I’m so happy for the experience. It makes me want more. I didn’t want it to just be an experience.”

David Verburg, Men’s 400m heats
“My goal was to just get out and I wanted to get out harder than I did. I got caught on the inside and I wasn’t expecting that. I just tucked down into second place, stayed calm. Someone clipped my heel on the backstretch, so that kind of threw me off mentally but I had to keep my composure. I waited until it was right to make a move and came home. I finished strong so it’s just a matter of mental (composure).”

Kyle Clemons, Men’s 400m heats
“This is so amazing. I’m so happy David and I both made it. I have so many memories already. It’s my first team, my first time being in Europe and I just can’t even explain how amazing this is. I walked out there and my eyes just got so big. I just used that energy for my race and it went great. It’s a very fast track and I like lane 6 but I didn’t get out as fast as I wanted to. I just relaxed, didn’t get tight and just kept driving.”

Shannon Rowbury, Women’s 3,000m heats
“I knew they were only eliminating three people so the goal was to just be top five so I could make the final. I wanted to see how I could do and get my legs turning over. We kind of got into 9 minute pace early and the last few laps, it was kind of a revolving door of athletes, so I just made sure I was one of them.”

Gabriele Grunewald, Women’s 3,000 heats
“You always want to conserve a little energy to be ready for Sunday and I did that. There was a lot of pushing and I got pushed pretty hard from behind. The pack got a little frantic and that was when I wanted to make my move so it threw me off for a lap. After something like that happens, you have to collect yourself and finish the race. I kind of knew we’d be okay if we finished strong the last 1,000m. We started a little slow but I knew it’d pick up. I’m happy with my time; it’s the second-fastest indoor 3000m this season. I’m okay taking a time qualifer because it means I have five seconds more in the tank on Sunday.”

Wlll Leer, Men’s 1500m heats
“I had an idea that those guys were going to take it from the gun. We had the advantage of knowing what everyone else did. The announcer was extra super nice and let the crowd know the bubble time, so he told us too. I sat back, bided my time and I don’t feel fantastic so I’ll feel a lot better tomorrow I hope.”

Lopez Lomong, Men’s 1500m heats
“The race went a little slow so I thought I could sit and relax. But there was a lot of pushing but it’s a championship race and there’s a lot on the line. I ran the whole way and the race was just physical. But I’m so honored to have the opportunity to represent my country and wear this uniform. Final or not, it means so much.”

Ajee’ Wilson, Women’s 800m heats
“I don’t really know what happened. It just kind of got away from me. I got a little too comfortable and when they went, I couldn’t go. I need to be more aggressive and confident in myself. I didn’t have that there today and it reflected in how I did.”

Chanelle Price, Women’s 800m heats
“Coach wanted 58 and if someone’s not going to do it for me, I need to do it. I have to have confidence in myself either way, so I took it. I knew I’d have to get in on time if I didn’t win and I felt a little flat but I got my legs going, I get a day’s rest and I’ll see what my coach has to say heading into the final.

“This year is so different for me, mentally. I just don’t put all that pressure on myself anymore. I run to give God glory and just to have fun with this. We’re at Worlds, yes, but at the end of the day, it’s just another race.”

Erik Sowinski, Men’s 800m heats
“I just tried to do too much. That’s all it comes down to. I was stuck on the outside line the whole race. I never really got the chance to settle in and I paid for it at the end. I just need to put myself in better position. The tactics were poor and I paid for it at the end.”

Nick Symmonds, Men’s 800m heats
“I knew it was going to be fast. Glad to have been here. (This is) the only championship race available for an American this year. So I said even if I’m not quite ready for it, I want to be out there. So here I am. I ran a season’s best by almost a second, so I’m pleased with that. I’m a good month away from where I would need to be to be competitive with these guys. I’m very, very excited to watch the final on Sunday. They’re very fit and there are three guys who have already broken 1:45 indoors, and that would’ve been the American record if I was that fit. It’s going to be a very interesting final.

Amanda Brooks
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USA Track & Field
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