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Athlete Quotes - USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships - Sunday, June 23

6/23/2013
 
Athlete Quotes - USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships - Sunday, June 23
Quotes will be updated after each event

Team USA Head Women’s Coach Beth Alford Sullivan
On the World Championships team: “The team is shaping up extremely well. This was a tremendous championship. The athletes came in prepared and competed well. It will be an exciting summer."
 
On the strength of the U.S. team: “I think this group will be motivated. Everybody is excited to get over to Europe and make a stance. I think there is a lot of momentum coming off London and they want to back it up."
 
Team USA Head Men’s Coach Mike Holloway
On the World Championships team: "I agree with Beth. This will be an outstanding team with a lot of mixture of youth and veterans. Everybody seems to be fit and competing at a high level. We have a good young team that has stepped up to the plate. I think we’ll be fine with this group.”
 
On relays procedure: "It wlll be the same procedure as in past. Nothing has changed. We have a relay camp in a few weeks. We'll have more than six people because we want to run two relays.  We won't over complicate it. We have two great coaches in Andrew Valmon and Amy Deem. So we'll follow their lead and give our opinions on some things.”

Adam Nelson, 2004 Olympic Gold Medalist - Men’s Shot Put
On the experience of getting his gold medal: "I think it's about as unusual for me as it is for y'all. This guy did this thing like nine years ago (2004 Olympics), what the heck is going on. Talk about milking it. Because it happened so long ago, I think the emotions are a little more subdued. It's been great because I've been able to share the experience with my family. I wouldn't have had that opportunity nine years ago.”
 
On waiting for the medal: "Better late than never. The way I look at it is I've got the rest of my life to be the gold medalist. I'm not going to look back. I've never looked back on any past victories or failures, I've always used them as learning points and ways to improve. That's how I'm going to look at this. This will be a way for me to learn and grow. Hopefully the message here is it does pay to do it the right way. It may not pay right away, but over the long term, you've always got your integrity and, eventually, it will pay off."

Tyson Gay, Men’s Senior 200m - Champion
On the race: “It was OK, it was a little sluggish. I haven’t ran the curve in a long time. I sometimes have a tendency to lean over to much, I think that’s what I did a little bit, but I ended up coming out all right.”
 
On doing both 100 and 200: “Little bit of pride, little bit of ego, kind of made up my mind that I wanted to double, so I didn’t really want to give up on myself. As long as I feel good I wanted to go for it.”
 
On making the podium twice: “It feels good, reminding me that I haven’t won since 2008, it feels good to do that, I am happy to be healthy, happy that my teammate made it. Curtis Mitchell is my training partner, definitely happy that he made it.”

Isaiah Young, Men’s Senior 200m - 2nd Place
On making the World Championships team: “It feels good. My coach was telling me all year long that I was ready to do something special and he told me that, first of all, I needed to believe in myself to make that happen. I just came out here today, ran my race once again, got to the final, it was pretty impressive, but Coach was calling it all year.”
 
On his race: “Technically, I thought it was good. But the last 10, I kind of broke down, looking over at Tyson instead of just pumping through and keeping my form. I still think it’s a great day. I made the team, second place. It’s been a long year for me and I think that’s pretty good.”

Curtis Mitchell, Men’s Senior 200m  – 3rd Place
On coming back from injuries to run a strong race: “It’s been two years since I came out of school so my body hasn’t been to 19 seconds since 2010. I’ve been hurt the last two years and even this year leading up to it. This was me digging deep, staying relaxed, hitting positions and not panicking when I see others in front of me. I focused on running my race because the finish is my strongest part. I’m glad I was able to put it together when it mattered and seal my ticket for Moscow.”
 
On if he was worried about being able to maintain his speed and performance: “Even the semifinals today, I ran real slow and my coach said I had a lot left. During my blowouts, I was flying. I knew I had a lot left in the tank. It was just a matter of putting it together when it mattered. Training with Tyson [Gay] we get our bodies to that speed all the time.”

Wallace Spearmon, Jr., Men’s Senior 200m - 4th Place
On falling short of making the World Championships team: “You win some, you lose some, and I lost today. Congratulations to those guys. No excuses. I’m going to go home and work hard.”
 
On his time of 20.10: “For the shape I’m in, that’s really good. I’m happy with my race, I just lost.”

Kimberlyn Duncan, Women’s Senior 200m - Champion
On qualifying for the World Championships teams: “I’m just overjoyed to have even been here to have the opportunity and I’m thankful to God to have come out here and run what I did.”
 
On her approach to the race: “My main thing was executing. I knew [Allyson Felix] and Jeneba [Tarmoh] were going to be on the inside beside me, so that was the main thing, just executing the race.”
 
On her reaction to running 21.80: “I didn’t know what to do. I was overjoyed. I’ll take that time, windy or not.”

Allyson Felix, Women’s Senior 200m - 2nd Place
On what’s next: “Get back home, get some training. Right now it’s about going back to the drawing board, taking advantage of this time I have and getting it right.”
 
On the race: “I felt like I had a lead coming off (the curve). I felt good coming down the homestretch, Kim (Kimberlyn Duncan) came down and got me. So that’s pretty much how I think it went.”

Duane Soloman, Jr., Men’s Senior 800m - Champion
On his preparation for the race: “I felt really good coming into today, so I knew I could do it. I knew, in order to make the team, I needed to be on my ‘A’ game. If I came with anything less, if I brought my ‘B’ game, I probably wouldn’t make the team. I came with my ‘A’ game and did what Coach [Johnny Gray] told me to do today and it worked out.”
 
On channeling his ‘inner Johnny Gray’: “He ‘said Take it to the Gray zone,’ and I think that’s what I did today. I ran a very good time today. The guys on the team, I think we have a really good chance of medaling in Moscow.”
 
On the quality of the race, with three Americans sub-1:44: “The resurgence of distance running in the USA, it’s great to have us coming up here and people not doubting us anymore. We can go into championships knowing that people are not going to count us out anymore. We’re contenders now.”

Nick Symmonds, Men’s Senior 800 meters – 2nd Place
On the quality of the championship field:  “These were really good times. This is the deepest field I’ve faced in a USA Championships. That’s a very good final and we’re sending three very good guys to Moscow that have an honest chance of being in the finals.”
 
On his race strategy: “I would have liked to move up on the homestretch but [Erik] Sowinski was on my shoulder just ahead of me and I would have had to pump on the brakes and go to the outside like I did on the corner to get around him. I would have loved to know if I could gone when I wanted to move, that being said, that’s risk you take when you do ‘sit and kick.’ Sometimes you can’t get around bodies. I feel I made some real big tactical errors and still ran a 1:43.70 in only my second 800 meter final of the year, so I’m pretty happy with that.”
 
On his health: “I’m 100 percent healthy. I felt as good as I’ve ever felt warming up, but I’m still raw. This is my second 800-meter final of the season. Typically you want to do five or six, maybe seven going into this race. We took a risk doing that with the expressed purpose of peaking in August.”

Brandon Johnson, Senior 800m - 3rd Place
On making the World Championships team: "It feels amazing. Hard work … don't stop believing in yourself. I'm a true testament to that. You can literally do whatever you want. If you would have told me I was going to run an 800 two years ago I would have told you you're crazy.
 
On his race: "In the prelims when I ran 1:44 I knew I was going to run strong in the finals. My and Duane [Solomon] are kind of similar in that we're both fast so knowing that he is going to go out, I just kind of ride the wave and know that my strength is going to bring me through. I didn't think there were too many people that could pass me in the last 200 because I'm strong and I'm fast.”
 
On international competition: "I'm adjusting in the 800 and we're going to get use to running fast."

Erik Sowinski, Men’s Senior 800m - 6th Place
On the level of competition: “The U.S. is so deep in the 800. You look at the world top list and there’s a lot of guys from the U.S. on there. You knew from the past couple of days that it was going to be fast. It was going to take 1:43, 1:44.”
 
On his race: “I’m definitely disappointed, but it’s been a long year and I’ve made a lot of progress. I PR’d two days in a row. It’s one of those things you take with a grain of salt and keep pushing on.”
 
On his breakout season: “This is the start of a journey. I’m looking forward to it. I’m disappointed, wanted to give the crowd a little better show than that, but it was a PR two days in a row.”

Alysia Montano, Women’s Senior 800m - Champion
On the race: “I can’t see what’s happening behind me, I don’t have eyes in the back of my head, but I knew it was going to be a race and I was excited for it.”
 
On her hopes for the World Championships: “I’ve been hoping for No. 1 for a really long time. It’s about being patient. It will come. You’ve gotta remember it’s about the climb.”
 
On how she gets to the next level: “Remember who you are and how you do it. It’s not about how anyone else does it. It’s not about how one person gets to that point. Everybody is individually different on purpose and I accept my individuality.”
 
Brenda Martinez, Women’s Senior 800m - 2nd Place
On the pace: “Think I just had to gauge how Alysia [Montano] was going to get out, so I think I gauged it pretty well, I’m happy with second place. Trying to gauge, I didn’t want to get out too hard, wanted to get out comfortable. I think with 300 to go, start gradually accelerating. By the time I hit the last turn that’s when I felt like I had to start picking up a whole lot more and give it all I had.”
 
On her chances of catching Alysia Montano: “It was a possibility, she’s very tough, I’m glad she didn’t make it easy on me. I didn’t know what was going on behind me, I was just looking forward.”
 
Ajee’ Wilson, Women’s Senior 800 meters – 3rd Place
On if she felt Kate Grace gaining on her: “I didn’t, but I heard the crowd going crazy and I hoped it wasn’t for that. I didn’t know who was behind me.”
 
On her time: “This is early in the season for me. Any time I’ve run this fast, it’s been in July or later. So to be at 1:59 already, I’m excited to see where I’ll go."

Bernard Lagat, Men’s Senior 5000m - Champion
On his race: “When I was evaluating the strategy with my coach, we knew it was going to be slow, that nobody was going to take it in the beginning, but then nobody was willing to take it later. I would not have cared if it averaged even 80 maybe as long as it was moving and I was out of trouble, which was the most important thing. I was waiting for four laps or even six just to go until [Ryan] Hill came over and took it really hard. That is what I was waiting for.”
 
On his close: “I ran 3:54 at the Penn Relays and I’ve had faster training times that I’ve run with my coach, so that time was not surprising.”
 
On how he feels moving forward: “I feel really strong, good, no injuries. I’m feeling strong right now because I’ve had good, good training in altitude in Tucson so I came here prepared. People didn’t know but I was really ready for this race.”
 
Galen Rupp, Men’s Senior 5000m - 2nd Place
On the slow pace: “You expect it a little. It’s not much different from championship-style races. It was fine with me, everybody thinks that they have a great kick in this race. It’s true and that’s something that we’re well prepared for and it doesn’t really phase us whether it’s fast or slow.”
 
On doubling back from the 10,000m: “I had plenty of time to recover. The heat made it hot but it wasn’t too bad because we didn’t run that fast. It was just a matter of getting hydrated and rested a lot. I just have to keep working on my speed but I’m really happy with where I’m at and how I ran today.”
 
On losing to Bernard Lagat: “He’s obviously a legend in track and field and he’s always going to be there. I talked to my coaches earlier and I really wanted to challenge myself in a way, so I got a little bit antsy so I wish I would have waited until a little later. I’m not sure if that would have changed anything but we looked at this as a great chance to work on closing hard in fast races because that’s what it’s going to be like most of the summer. It was good, good practice.”

Ryan Hill, Men’s Senior 5000m - 3rd Place
On making the World Championship team: “I honestly don’t even believe it right now. It’s exciting.”
 
On the pace of the race and what he was thinking as it went along: “I thought we’d go with 3K to go, then I thought 2K, and right at 1500 to go, I didn’t know if I’d be able to keep up with them when they went. It felt like a 1500 meter race. That’s what I’ve been doing all year.”
 
On how the pace suited his racing style: “It felt hard and was the way I’d rather run with a spread out race and only kicking down a couple people and not a crowd, so it really played into my favor.”

Jenny Simpson, Women’s Senior 5000m  – Champion
On her championship performance: “Molly [Huddle] and Amy [Van Alstine] did most of the hard work and led most of the race. It was definitely a little windy out there. A lot of credit goes to them. My strategy was to sit around and wait to pounce. That’s exactly what I did. It was a little hard for me to not take control of the race because that’s what I’ve been trying to do this season.”
 
On if she intends on competing in the 5000 meters at the World Championships: “I have no intention of running the 5K at the World Championships. Among other preparation, I need the standard in the first place. The 1500 is what I’m focusing on and what I’m best at and what I want to run at the World Championships.”
 
On if she got out of this race what she wanted to: “I did. I wanted to win. Anyone that had any questions about the motivation, given that I had a bye, I know there’s not a race in a long time in my life that I didn’t want to go and win. I really wanted to run hard here and get a win.”

Molly Huddle, Women’s Senior 5000m - 2nd Place
On the race’s pace: “It felt fairly comfortable for me, I was glad to shake off some of the more dangerous people the last few laps. The main goal was to make the team and, in the last two laps, try and win.”

Shannon Rowbury, Women’s Senior 5000m - 3rd Place
On coming back after running the 1500m Saturday: “I was really disappointed with yesterday. It was stupidly slow and I got out-kicked at the end. I hardly slept last night I was so disappointed about it. I was pretty tired on the warmup today and wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out and, even that last lap, they were pulling away but I just kept thinking happy thoughts and how much I wanted to be in Moscow. My speed came into play today.”
 
On her race: “Honestly, I got through four laps of the race and I was like, ‘OK, it says eight to go, I’ve only done a mile.’ The 5K is a lot longer than the 1500, especially after two days in this heat. I want to be in Moscow and I wish yesterday had turned out differently, but I’m really happy that I was able to get it today.”

Ryan Wilson, Men’s Senior 110m Hurdles - Champion
On the feeling: “Felt really good, I think the best race of the year, always happy about that in the U.S. championship. This is the best hurdle nation in the world, always has been. To be the No. 1 finisher, in a great field, the resumes of those guys are incredible.”
 
On the win: “It feels good, we all stepped to the line with the intention to win, today was my day. I executed I think the best of everybody.”

David Oliver, Men’s Senior 110m Hurdles - 2nd Place
On redeeming himself from 2012: “Honestly, 2012 is 2012. It’s 2013 and I don’t worry about that too much. I just came out here with the goal to make the team and I was able to do that. I had a complete performance throughout the rounds and I couldn’t be going with a better group of guys.”
 
On his time of 13.11: “Time is just time. You run to win. You look at the scoreboard and see whatever the time was. I didn’t know what I had ran today. I looked up, saw I got second, and it was ‘Mission accomplished.’”
 
On the difference between 2012 and 2013: “Just not being injured. I’ve been out there running on 1 1/2 legs since USAs in 2011. I got back on the team, I feel good, we’ll go to Europe and see what happens there.”

Aries Merritt, Men’s 110m Hurdles – 3rd Place
On his race: “Very, very rusty. But the main objective was qualify. I punched my ticket, so now I have about two months to get ready for Moscow. I was able to come out and make the team with two hurdle sessions before.”
 
On how the race developed: “I think my start was OK, but I lost my rhythm over [hurdle] four, but I had to fight because I knew I had to make the team. At that point, I probably lost my form and was just trying to get on the team. I’m not race sharp, as it shows.”
 
On his plan leading into the World Championships: “I’m going to take some time and train and then hit the [European] circuit. I do need to get some races because I’m not race sharp and my body feels ok. It’s not perfect and I have some kinks I need to work out with my hamstring.”

Dalilah Muhammad, Women’s Senior 400 Hurdles – Champion
On her race strategy: “My main goal was making the team. I knew I had a chance to win so I just went for it and that’s what I did.”
 
On what has led to her having a stronger season: “Just a new coach, training partner and strength coach. It’s all been coming together for me. That’s pretty much it. I ended up in a really good position.”
 
On how much different she feels physically: “I’ve been a lot stronger, a lot faster and workouts are a lot harder this year. I’ve just been focused on making the team.”

Dalilah Muhammad, Women’s Senior 400m Hurdles – Champion
On her race strategy: “My main goal was making the team. I knew I had a chance to win so I just went for it and that’s what I did.”

On what has led to her having a stronger season: “Just a new coach, training partner and strength coach. It’s all been coming together for me. That’s pretty much it. I ended up in a really good position.”

On how much different she feels physically: “I’ve been a lot stronger, a lot faster and workouts are a lot harder this year. I’ve just been focused on making the team.”

Georganne Moline,  Women’s Senior 400m Hurdles - 2nd Place
"We [Dalilah Muhammad] both are strong and have leg speed. It was like a dog fight, go and whoever finishes first… She pushed me so hard, and I'm very fortunate to have these girls in my race. I'm really excited going to Russia."

On her reaction to making the Worlds team: "Like my coach says, never underestimate your competitors. We all have a lane. I was nervous but excited knowing if I gave it my all it would be enough. I definitely wanted first but it’s all right. You win some you lose some. It’s great to have these girls going to Russia. We're going to have a great team."

Christine Spence, Women's Senior 400m Hurdles - 3rd Place
On her race and improvement: "I've been doing this for a while, so I finally got it the second round of the race. I'm still constantly building, so I know it's going to get better as long as I keep executing the race. I'm just excited to be representing the U.S."
 
On representing the U.S. in a strong event: "I think this is such an amazing event. We have the best soldiers ready to go represent the U.S. and lay it on the line for the U.S. Both of my training partners are going. This is going to be great.”

Evan Jager, Men’s Senior 3000m Steeplechase - Champion
On the race: “I wasn’t supposed to take the lead any time before 1K to go. Like every single time that I have taken the lead in a race, it just kind of naturally happened, over a barrier or a water jump. With just over three laps to go I came off the water jump and I must have had a really good one because I shot out right in front of him. I found myself in the lead and once I was there I just tried to slowly squeeze it down. I felt really good and was able to hold everyone off.”
 
On Dan Huling: “Dan’s really fit. He ran 8:13 and 8:14 two years in a row and he just had an off-year last year. I knew him joining the group, the biggest thing he lacked was strength and that’s a major part of our group. I knew once he got some of that in he was going to be pretty dangerous. I’m not taking him lightly. I thought there was a chance, if he was there with 200 to go, he could be a player.”

Daniel Huling, Men’s Senior 3000m Steeplechase - 2nd Place
On the race pace: “It was exactly what we talked about doing. We weren’t sure about the heat, we kind of made a decision, I don’t know, with 1000 or 700 [meters] to go, something like that, maybe later and Evan [Jager] found himself in the lead. I just sat there, sat behind Cory [Leslie] at that point, sat patiently, waiting for Jager to grind it down and once Cory kind of dropped off just got right behind Jager.”
 
On making the Worlds team: “Just really exciting, I had a pretty bad experience last year, so it feels good to come back, new coach, I have been kind of tired for a few weeks now, so it good to feel good, I was a little worried about that. It’s just really fun for Evan and I, to train together, were going to spend all summer.”

De’Sean Turner, Men’s Senior 3000m Steeplechase - 3rd Place
On advancing to the World Championships in Moscow: “I got the ‘A’ standard, which means I will be going for sure. My race plan was to stick in the front, and not let any one pass me that I didn’t think should be there and not to get into stupid traffic. I stuck with the guys that I thought would make the team.”
 
On his thoughts about moving on to the World Championships: “I am very excited. After college, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I stuck with it, and hard work pays off. I have to thank New Balance, my coach and my agent as they have done a lot for me, and I’m happy to be in this position.”
 
On what is next for him before Moscow: “I have a race next week, I will still be doing that. After that, I will just have some down time. I haven’t been in this position before.”

Erik Kynard, Jr., Men’s Senior High Jump - Champion
On his performance: “A win is a win. I’m looking to stay training well, stay healthy. I’m not a guy that gets hurt, I always stay healthy, just been doing a lot of things right. I have a great coach, great program, great system. I take off five feet away from the bar. I was just too close, the track is fast, but it all worked out.”

Dusty Jonas, Men’s Senior High Jump - 2nd Place
On his performance: “It was up and down. It’s about all I can say. I had some good jumps and some not-so-good jumps. I’d say, overall, considering where I was last year, it’s a whole lot better to be out on the track.”

Ronnie Black, Jr., Men’s Senior High Jump – T-3rd place
On his jump: “I was pleased with the place I guess, but my height did not hit the ‘B’ standard. I thought it would be over after this, but I’ll have to go to another meet to reach the ‘B’ standard and get on the team to Russia. Overall, I’m satisfied.”
 
On improving his standing from previous USA Championships: “I’ve been every year and Olympic Trials last year, but have never finished this well. Last year I was dead last. USATF always puts on good meets and you really have to appreciate it. You compete in all these small meets and to see what they put on for us is really nice.”
 
On putting himself to qualify for the World Championships: “To get myself in position is like getting a second life. After you graduate, you question whether you can keep competing or not. You’re right on the edge and to see that I have the potential to be on the U.S. team is that extra push that I needed.”
 
Montez Blair, Men’s Senior High Jump – T-3rd place
On the weather: “Whatever day it is, it’s just time to jump.”
 
On whether he felt comfortable: “Not really, I don’t know, my peak was sort of in the middle of the season, so I’m trying to get back. Long jumping and triple jumping, kind of hurt my heel, so I’m just getting back in the flow of things. Hopefully I get the standard soon and I can make the Worlds team.”
 
Jesse Williams, Men’s Senior High Jump - T-9th
On jumping at 2.25 meters: “The next couple of competitions, I will get it. Having experience now getting jumps at that height, I should be able to get it.”
 
On where he goes from here: “There is no pressure on me. It’s a really good feeling knowing in the back of my head that I can get through it as long as I stay healthy and I am making progressions. I’m fairly pleased with how it went today. I know the mark next to my name is not a typical Jesse Williams kind of mark, but I’ll get there, I’m not worried about anything.”
 
On coming back from injury: “I’m close. There’s still some consistency things and a few streak things to work on, but all in all, I’d say it’s been a good progression. Today, as hot and humid as it was, maybe I started my warmup a little too early and I was dead tired. I think Erik (Kynard) was, as well. The main goal was to make the team. I’m really happy about it.”
 
On the level of high jumping in the U.S.: “I think it’s on the up and up. There’s a lot of young kids coming out here and jumping really well. I’ve got to watch out.”

Jennifer Suhr, Women’s Senior Pole Vault - Champion
On going for the American record: “I think any time you come into this meet, and it’s a qualifying meet, you take a lot of jumps at lower heights to ensure third and then second and then first. So, a lot of jumps were taken early just to do that. By the time that I put it to 4.93 (meters), I was just too tired and too hot for that.”
 
On goals for the World Championships: “We planned this out perfect in my training. I’m healthy, I’m stronger, faster, so right now everything is leading up to Moscow and that’s what we train for. It’s always a guess if you’re going to make the team, but that’s what we train for, Moscow. I’m ready to go.”

Kylie Hutson, Women’s Senior Pole Vault - 2nd Place
On the conditions: “I’m pretty accustomed to with the wind and any elements. I have been here multiple times this year and competed, so pretty much ready for anything that was going to happen.”
 
On not making the Olympic team in 2012: “It was a big disappointment, they always say the first year out of college is your worst year. Come to find out I PR huge that year, then the next year was my worst year, and that was the Olympic year.
 
On rebounding from last year: “I just had to throw that year out the window, regroup and prepare mentally for the coming World Championships. I wasn’t happy where I was, it was just a tough year for me, nothing was going right.”
 
On making the World Championships team: “I still have a lot of work to do. I’m going to go out there looking for a medal. I’m really excited to be on the team. I am hoping to stay happy and jump higher.”
 
Becky Holliday, Women’s Senior Pole Vault - 3rd place
On qualifying for the World Championships Team: “I feel like I’m getting into my groove. I’ve made two teams the last two years and that’s really big for me.”
 
On what’s led to her success: “I owe it all to my coach. I went to Jonesboro, Ark., last summer and he got me on the Olympic Team. He got me on the team this year. It’s all him.”
 
On the competition: “I felt really good leading up to the last two bars and then I started cramping up. Luckily I made every bar on my first attempt. I had to stop because my left calf was cramping up but I was secure with a spot on the team and wanted to be safe.”

George Kitchens, Jr., Men’s Senior Long Jump - Champion
On his attempts: “They were pretty decent. I knew this had been a fast track in the past. When I was here in 2010 it was really fast after training on a slower track. One thing that gave me an advantage today was that I trained on the same surface, it felt good, great jumps.”
 
On his performance: “I’m happy with my performance. It was a windy day, but I had to come out and compete. I just focused on the competition and I did so.”
 
Thoughts on making the team: “I think it’s amazing. I made the Olympic team last year, but this is a little redemption for me. I made the team in 2009 to go to Berlin and I wasn’t even accepted to the USA Championships in 2011. So to come out here and be a champion, during the world championship qualifying year shows some redemption and that my hard work is paying off.”
 
On using his Olympic experience: “It was such an electric environment. Once you leave something that is that electric and that big you’re already a veteran, you’re already seasoned. This year I come in with more experience to handle a championship, how to warm up and take care of your body in the upcoming stages.”
 
Jeffrey Henderson, Men’s Senior Long Jump - 2nd Place
On qualifying for the World Championships team: “This is my second time making the team, so I’m just preparing for Moscow. The first time I was kind of scared. I was shocked that I made the team but I’m really prepared now.”
 
On how his experience prepares him for Moscow: “Oh yes. I was in a place that I would have never been. I was shocked to meet so many people in a different country.”
 
On his attempts: “I changed my rhythm today. I’m still working on that as we speak but it’s getting better every day. I’ve progressed much farther than I’ve been used to do. I changed my jump and I’ve gone farther and farther each meet.
 
On preparing for Worlds: “I’m training, I might get in a meet, but probably not. I need to work on my landing most of all, that’s been my biggest downfall.”

Ronald Taylor, Jr., Men’s Senior Long Jump - 3rd Place
On the competition: “I felt amazing, it was a fast runway. On my fifth jump, I started to cramp up, but I didn’t let that stop me. When Mike [Michael Hartfield] passed me on his last jump, I had to dig down deep and fight through the cramps and I pulled up, once I seen I was ahead it was amazing.”
 
On taking third on final jump: “I had to really dig deep, it felt like college all over again, where I was in third place and had one last jump, it was amazing feeling. I knew I had it in me all I need to do is go execute and I did.”
 
On waiting until Sunday to compete: “It was pretty tough. I got here pretty early, watching the competitions, cheering my teammates on, and finally get here and the excitement. Last night I could barely sleep, it’s been a long time coming for this, last year I fouled out at the trials. It’s really good to redeem myself.”

Ryan Whiting, Men’s Senior Shot Put - Champion
On his health: “I’m 100 percent right now. I’m not going to call anything, but I have thrown really far in practice this year and I definitely have a big chance to move up in the top 10 ever. I feel great about Moscow.”
 
On representing the U.S. in a strong event for the Americans: “With Christian [Cantwell] out this year, I really feel a responsibility to carry on what htose guys started. I think this is my year for a medal, if not the medal.”
 
On what he needs to do leading into Worlds: “Just maintain. I’ve been throwing well and my average this year has been 21.90 [meters]. I passed my last two throws here because, if I got hurt on my last two throws after making the team, I’d feel like a [fool]. Reese [Hoffa] and I both passed. We’re just really focused on Moscow.”

Reese Hoffa, Men’s Senior Shot Put - 2nd Place
On his success at Drake Stadium: “Somehow or another, I continue to throw very well here. Even when I’ve felt bad, I have found a way to throw well here. I don’t know how I do it. For some reason, I just make it happen.”
 
On his plan leading up to the World Championships: “Go home, probably train for about two days and then off to Birmingham and then Lausanne and then Switzerland. Those will be the last two meets and then I’ll do a home meet or something near the end of the month and then one in Germany toward the end of [July].”
 
On making Team USA: “It never gets old representing the U.S. I feel like I was very lucky that I had the bye coming into this and I didn’t really have to compete or really do anything really hard. It made it a lot more relaxed for me. I could kid around with the guys and that’s the way I wish it was always. Mess around for two hours and have fun.”

Zack Lloyd, Men’s Senior Shot Put - 3rd Place
On the competition: “I just treat it like a practice, I try to drown out the noise and make it feel like practice, where I’m calm and relaxed. It means a lot, especially now I have been throwing out of college for four years now, and struggling these last four years, it means a lot to me so it will be fun.”

Gia Lewis-Smallwood, Women’s Senior Discus – Champion
On her championship performance:  “I had a great day today with a wonderful throw on this field. I was really proud of myself. My goal was to execute my technique and get a good throw off. That’s what I did and won my first national championship.”
 
On winning the championships as a veteran athlete: “I’m 34 and have been doing this sport for a long time. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point. This is what being an athlete is all about, hard work and never giving up. I’m living proof of what happens when you do that.”
 
On feeling like this is a breakout performance: “It’s been rough. You lose more times than I can count. Today, I won and I won big. I’m so proud. This is what happens when you don’t give up.”

Whitney Ashley, Women's Senior Discus - 2nd Place
On her second-place finish: "It hasn't really set in yet. It's overwhelming. It's exciting and it's what we were gunning for this year. You never know what's going to happen. I tried to stay composed and I did it."
 
On if the weather was good for throwing: "Absolutely. It was warm with a slight quarter-wind. It was good."
 
On the strength of the competition: "These ladies always stress me out. So it's tough. Between first and second was like a foot, it's tough."

Elizabeth Podominick, Women’s Senior Discus - 3rd Place
On her performance: "I had really good warmups and then I tensed up a little bit in the prelims. Then my fifth throw was my best mark, but I couldn't save it. I just focused what I could control, which was in the circle, and try to make the team."

Riley Dolezal, Men's Senior Javelin - Champion
On his championships series: "I was feeling good in the first flight. It was nice then the wind was a little down so we got a little headwind in the second flight and finals. The first throw came out a PR, had a little different flight and messed up the footwork. Second throw, the flight wasn't quite getting to the right point. First throw of finals came in and hit one hard."
 
On coming back from injury: "My senior year in college, I blew out my elbow and had Tommy John surgery. Came back within a year and started throwing again. Definitely coaching has helped out at lot with the training and I hit it hard this year."

Sam Humphreys, Men’s Senior Javelin – 2nd Place
On his performance: “I thought my throws were pretty good. Especially throwing a new PR, you can’t be upset about that. The champion threw a bomb. The competition was great.”
 
On his goal for the USA Championships: “I wanted to place in the top five and throw as well as I could. I had no marks set and wasn’t expecting to throw as far as I did. I’m happy with my place and happy with what’s going on in the future.”
 
On his plan to prepare for the World Championships: “Training and sticking to the plan I’ve had for the past couple of months.”

Sean Furey, Men’s Senior Javelin - 3rd Place
On his performance: "I’m coming off a little bit of a shoulder injury to start off the season. It was building, so I went 75 meters to 77 meters. It started to feel better on every throw so I'm happy to have chance to chase the standard and make the world team.  I'm going to throw in two competitions … probably one in San Francisco and one in Chicago to reach the standard and head over to Russia."

Molly Josephs, Women's Junior 10,000m Race Walk - Champion
On her thoughts on the race: “I went out comfortable because I knew it would be humid and the temperatures might not be really good. So I wanted to go slower so I could catch girls when they fell off the pace.”
 
On going to represent the USA in Boston: “It’s really fun. I’m really excited to be a part of the team. All of the girls are really good and I’m good friends with them.”
 
On how she got her start: “I got started in a New York high school program. So my high school coach asked me if I wanted to race. They saw I could walk kind of fast. I got started doing 1500s and then I found out their was more than 1500s after that.”
 
Brenda McCollum, Women's Junior 10,000m Race Walk - 2nd Place
On the delayed start time: “I was a little worried [the start] might throw my off. I like to get my head in it, and I got a little distracted with all the time we had off. I got off a little bit, but I think I was able to get back on track.”
 
On having to race alongside the men: I kind of liked of it, I know some of them. They were really encouraging when they went by me.”
 
On her second place finish: “I’ve never come here before, so I’m excited. And now I get to go to Boston. I’ve competed here before, but not for junior nationals. I think I finished in between some really good people. Molly [Josephs] was awesome. I’m glad where I finished.”
 
Monika Farmer, Women's Junior 10,000m Race Walk - 3rd Place
On her third place finish: “It wasn’t the time I wanted, but I just wanted to get in the top 5 so I could to Boston. I’m excited.
 
On representing the USA in Boston: “I’m really excited. It’s an honor to represent the US in Boston. It’ll give me a chance to do better and work with better people.
 
On what she will do in between now and Boston: “I’ll be training with Gary Westerfield. There are a couple of races he has us doing to qualify for junior Olympics. The regional meet and the club national meet are really important to me.”
 
Tim Seaman, Men's 20,000m Race Walk - Champion
On trying to set a new personal best: “I was preparing my body for that if it was going to be good weather, but I knew it wasn’t going to be good weather. In this type of weather, you just have to be strong. I was pretty strong. I’m just tired. I’m tired. This my 46th national championship [I’ve competed in], my seventh championship I’ve won and my 21st year of competitive racing walking. I need a break.”
 
On whether he will compete in Moscow: “I don’t know if I’m going to go yet. I’m 41 and it’s not fun to go there and be the oldest person in the race. If you’re going to compete in Moscow, you have to be mentally prepared. I’m going to consult with my wife -- the London Olympian -- how is a great sounding board. We have an 8-week-old newborn and I have to see if I want to take the time away from my family.”
 
On considering retirement: “I’m really focused on coaching. I want to retire soon. I like to say, ‘Do as I say, not as do.’ But my athletes like to say, ‘No, no. Do as Coach Tim does not as he says.’ I try to lead by example. And today was a show of patience, focus and not giving up until you cross the finish line. That’s what I hope my athletes take away from today.”
 
John Nunn, Men's 20,000m Race Walk - 2nd Place
On the delayed start time: “I have to be honest, at one point someone said lets just go off the standing list. I was like, ‘ Dude that’s fine. A thousand bucks that’s fine with me.’ Now that everything is said and done I’m glad that we didn’t go that route.”
 
On representing Team USA in Moscow: “It’s good. I’m really excited. I’m going in the 50 km and so that’s been the plan all year. So getting second [place] was a pleasant surprise. I assumed if I got top 5 finish I would be ok, but we were able to pull off a second place finish.”
 
On racing on a wet track: “In the beginning, it was a mess. As things started to dry out, I started to feel a little better. We don’t race on the track very much. When it comes to racing in a 20 km or 50 km you’re doing some many laps that it is outside of training. It can become very monotonous. Whether on the track or the road, so I don’t really pay attention.”
 
Patrick Stroupe, Men's 20,000m Race Walk - 3rd Place
On his goals for the year: “Improvement. Just keep improving.”
 
On what he learned from this race: “Just have to keep working. You can’t take it easy.”
 
On the delayed start time: “Everyone had a delay not just me. Everybody had to do it, so I was the same as everyone else. It wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t easy for everyone else. They had a nice air-conditioned room for us to wait.
 
On what he did during the rain delay: “I laid down. I tried to get a little bit to eat. That’s about it. I had half a bagel to finish the half a bagel I had this morning.”



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