On Wednesday USA Track & Field conducted a national media teleconference with Carmelita Jeter as she prepares for the adidas Grand Prix scheduled for Saturday at Icahn Stadium on Randall’s Island in New York. The reigning World Outdoor champion in the 100 meters and 2011 Jesse Owens Award winner, Jeter owns the fastest time in the world heading into a loaded 100m field at the adidas Grand Prix. The meet will be broadcast live on NBC from 3-4:30 p.m. (Eastern). Below are excerpts from the teleconference.
Give us an update on how your training is going.
“My training is going really well. I’m following my coach’s plan and I’m going to do everything he wants me to right now. I feel good. I’m healthy and I’m strong.”
The 100m field is loaded at adidas Grand Prix. What can fans expect to see?
“I’m definitely excited. It’s going to be a great field. I haven’t run a 100m in a very long time so I’m excited to race.”
What are your plans for the Olympic Trials?
“Right now the 100m is the most important to me. It is what I got a gold medal in so it is my first task. After I make the team in the 100m, me and my coach will sit down and decide what were going to do in the 200m.”
What are your thoughts on your race at the Prefontaine Classic?
“You have good days and bad days. You have good races and bad races. I wish I could have run a lot better for the fans but I wasn’t able to put together a good race that day. Hopefully I can put together a good race in New York.”
You made some alterations to your mechanics. Are you still doing any alterations now?
“We’re still working on things. I’m still a student at what I’m doing. I haven’t put a perfect race together since 2009 so we’re just putting everything together for that perfect race. I’m still working on putting together my mechanics, block charge and other things.”
What has been your focus in your training in the last month?
“Mostly right now we’re concentrating on speed work. We’re focusing on sharpening me up and getting me ready to run the Trials.”
You had a great year in 2011. What was it that made it such a great year?
“I believe it was all the seasons combined. When you get with a new coach you’re learning him and he’s learning you. It’s a learning process. I got with John Smith in 2008 and every year I progressed and got better. Being around him things started clicking more and more so I want to say it started in 2008 not just 2011.”
Did winning World Championships take any weight off your shoulders?
“Winning the World Championships was an accomplishment and made me feel better about myself more than anything. I wouldn’t say now I’m running with less stress. It’s a new year. This is a new ball game. You can’t live off of last year. You have to be ready for right now. I look at this as a new year everyone wants to go to the Olympic Games it’s time for me to win a medal this year.
On her body and doubling at the Olympic Trials
“When you’re running at such top speeds and it’s such a competitive field you don’t want to try to do something else and tax your body and then you aren’t going anywhere. God forbid you get hurt. You have to be smart. We have to see how my body feels and then we’re going to go from there.”
How did you feel after your double in the 100m and 200m at Worlds?
“It’s pretty hard. I was tired for a good two weeks after that. It took me two weeks to recover from the USA Championships alone. It’s a lot of emotional and physical tax on your body. I was exhausted.
Walter Dix and other men sprinters are in your group. Do you train with them?
“We all train at the same time. The guys may go first and I go after them. It helps though. When we’re training I might ask ‘What did he run? OK I’ll try to get close to it.’ It’s a great group out there. Walter Dix is a great guy and he’s been working really hard. It’s going to be a great Olympic Trials.”
What she learned from 2008 Olympic Trials
“I learned you can’t take anything for granted. I learned that you have to be serious about the sport. This needs to be your job. This needs to be your life, not just a nine to five. I learned the hard way and sometimes it’s good to learn the hard way because you get better.”
What time are you looking at running going into the adidas Grand Prix?
“I need to execute that’s the most important thing. My coach has been drilling execution in my head. When you race I always say don’t go out to run fast. When you go out to run fast you never do. You’re always going to run slow because you’re so focused on running fast. I just want to go out there and execute.”
How didn’t you execute at Pre?
“Pre just wasn’t a good race for me. I just didn’t put it together that day.”
Being World champion you’re the one with the target on your back. Do you enjoy competing against the Jamaicans and other international sprinters or are there enough women in the U.S.?
“I think it’s great. I believe that it’s so good for the sport, especially for the women’s side. Sometimes we get overshadowed. We all just line up, compete and run well. I just think it’s a competitive nature. It’s good to run with the best of the best because you compete well. I hope it pushes me and all the other women.”
On why no one has broken the 100m world record
“I have no idea. Florence Griffith-Joyner was a spectacular sprinter. It’s still a time women are trying to get close to. It’d be great for us to get close to this record. Maybe we just need some right conditions with the right people in the race. You need everything to be perfect for a time like that.”
Do you agree with the arrangement for the Olympic Trials in the U.S. or do you like how other countries do it?
“I believe it’s fair for everyone to earn their spot. I like how we’ve been doing it. It’s been like that for years. What’s the point in changing it now? What other countries do doesn’t affect me. I just have to focus on what the U.S. does and lineup.”
How do you feel about the false start rule?
“I’m not going to put it in my head about it I’m just going to line up. Like any rule you have to abide by it until someone changes it. So that’s how I feel about it.”