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Day 1 Quotes - U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field


July 1, 2016

U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field

Eugene, Oregon


Day 1 Quotes:

Men’s 10,000m, Final

Galen Rupp, first place, 27:55.04

“For me they are all special, being able to run Olympic Trials is just a whole other level, than a normal national championship. I’m just so thrilled to be able to represent my country again, and you know personally just to have my kids here, my family, this was definitely a little extra special”


On Rio:

“I’m keeping my options opening. I think definitely the 10k. I plan on coming back in the 5000m. I’m going to run the prelim and definitely run the final. I’m keeping my options open.”


On inspiring youth:

“Any time you set a goal it’s about staying driven and totally committed to achieving that. It’s not going to be easy and there will always be bumps along the way. For me it’s always been about taking a long-term approach.”


Shadrack Kipchirchir, second place, 28:01.52

On being coached by Dan Brown and U.S. Army Program:

“The program is really awesome at supporting us and they give us time to train and all the resources. They help us a lot. When I was on the line I didn’t want to let them down because of the support they give us. I ran tough for the support they give us.”


Leonard Korir, third place, 28:16.97

“With me and Shadrack making the team, this is a really nice opportunity to represent the U.S. Army Team and we are so happy.”


Bernard Lagat, did not finish

“I told myself I was going to stay with the two best, and I realized that I had over-committed. I dropped out (on the eighth lap) to conserve a little for the 5,000.”


Men’s shot put, Final

Ryan Crouser, first place, 22.11m/72-6.5

“There was really cool atmosphere out there between the older guys and the younger guys, a relatively seamless shift between Adam (Nelson) and Reese (Hoffa) and us younger guys. I told my dad this morning, I wanted to just make finals to say just one time in my life that I got to throw with Adam, because we were in different rings during qualifying.”


When ask about that being the best competition he has ever been apart of:

“Oh, without a doubt. I mean three guys over 70 feet … that’s always good. For me this was my first really big shot put competition.”


“Mac Wilkins, what he told me when I was a lot younger at World Youth is, he said, whenever you go into international competition expect for something to go wrong, because something always will.”


Joe Kovacs, second place, 21.95m/72-0.75

“I was a little tight today, but you always have to find a way. I went out there and had some good throws; it was a good day. This morning was about qualifying and this afternoon was about qualifying (for Rio). We all three have our eyes set on gold in Rio.”


“I do have a lot of family who already have their tickets booked to Rio. Seeing [my mother] today, it’s really nice to have that support, you know she is the one who gave me my first shot put.”


Darrell Hill, third place, 21.63m/70-11.75

“I was leading after round one because I was trying to win and the Ryan came back and hit his big throw to win and then I hit my big throw to try and beat him. Then came Joe with his big throw to try and get the competition back. All three of us are looking to win; anything is possible.”


Reese Hoffa, fifth place, 20.61m/67-7.5

“I’m going to take a couple of days to digest it, but I’m thinking this might be it.”


On Crouser’s potential:

“He’s so powerful. As long as he stays healthy, he can challenge Joe (Kovacs) for the best in the world.”


Adam Nelson, seventh place, 20.17m/66-2¼

“This meet gave me an emotional connection I’d never had before with my Olympic gold medal. Eugene is a special place.”


Men’s Shot Put, Qualifying

Ryan Crouser, top qualifier (20.97m/68-9.75)

“Qualifying is about just making it through. Nothing great can happen in the morning — only bad. Being one of the younger guys, I don’t have a problem with throwing twice in the same day. It’s going to be exciting tonight.”


Joe Kovacs, defending world outdoor champion, 20.75m/68-1

On shot putters having to qualify on the same day as the final:

“It’s a weird feeling, because everyone’s trying to qualify without throwing really far. The evening’s when the magic happens.”


Reese Hoffa, qualified fifth (20.38m/66-10.5)

“I’m happy to make the final. Once you’re in the finals, anything can happen.”


“This is my fifth Olympic Trials and I feel like I’m 100 years old. (He’s 38.) In order to last this long, you have to be lucky and be healthy.”


Adam Nelson, qualified with 20.22m/66-4.25

“I hope to inspire others that you can still excel at this age. I’m living the spirit of the Olympic Games, the true amateur model. I don’t do this full time anymore. I take an hour or an hour and a half day to train, but family and job take first priority. I’m going to have fun tonight.”


Men’s 800m, First Round

First heat

Drew Windle, first place, 1:48.66

“In college you’ve got all these races to look forward to. If you run cross, there’s three national championships, but as a pro you’re just waiting all year for this meet to come around. I’ve had anxiety about this all year but now that I got the first race out of the way, I should be a little more calm tomorrow.”


Joseph White, second, 1:48.68

"I was happy with my last 100. I had enough gas in my tank to finish strong. I feel good about tomorrow. There's a lot of young guys in the race. i feel good about being an up and comer.  Nobody's expecting me to do anything so there's no pressure."


Duane Solomon, non-qualifying fourth, 1:48.71

“I think I let up too much at the end. I didn’t know the other guys were there. It was a rookie mistake. It cost me.”


Second Heat

Boris Berian, first place, 1:46.03

On racing again following the legal proceedings surrounding his sponsorship:

“Now I can just concentrate on getting to the Games. I tried to leave the crazy legal stuff to my agents and lawyers.”


Erik Sowinski, second place, 1:46.17

“I haven’t raced the 800 in six weeks, so I got a good stint of training in. It was great to get the legs rolling again, but I was faster than I thought I’d be, and I thought my strength was there. Tomorrow I just want to have a chance with 100m to go and to just go out there, have some fun and see what happens.”


Brannon Kidder, third 1:46.22

"It was a big relief to advance. I was anxious for this one. It had been a while since I ran an 800. I thought I was in pretty good shape so it's nice to see it show.


"I need to get out a little better and battle for position early. I was surprised the first heat went slow but it worked to my favor. This was an honest and tactical race and I was pretty happy with the heat I drew."


Third heat

Isaiah Harris, first place, 1:47.60

“At the beginning of the season, I wanted to make nationals. After that it was making the finals, become an All-American. Now that I’m at the Trials, I just focused on the first round and didn’t think about anything else. But now that I’m in the semis, the goal is to make the finals.”


Casimir Loxsom, second, 1:47.76

"I haven't raced an 800 in almost two months. It's been a while. But with 200 to go I was counting on my fitness and I just didn't panic. I knew I didn't have to win the prelims. it was a good last 100.


“I will put myself in a better spot in the semis for sure. I have to rest and refocus. Today was a really hard first effort. Tomorrow will be a rough can't make any mistakes if you want to get into the final.”


Shaquille Walker, third place, 1:47.76

“I’m always tired after my races. I don’t know why. But it felt good and I qualified.”


Fourth heat

Clayton Murphy, first place, 1:47.61

“I had prelim-day legs. Everyone wants to go to Rio. Today took some victims (Solomon and Brazier), but I did my job.”


Donavan Brazier, non-qualifying fourth, 1:48.13

“It didn’t work out, so it’s back to the drawing board. I feel bad, real bad.”


Women’s High Jump, Qualifying

Chaunte Lowe, qualified at 1.84m/6-0.5

“It went really well, really easy. Now I’m able to focus on athletics again.”


On trying to qualify for fourth Olympic team:

“The way I see it, I watched LeBron James block Stephen Curry (in the NBA finals) and thought, thank God that’s not how the high jump works. All I have to do is concentrate on myself and the bar. I don’t have to worry about anything anyone else might do.”


Vashti Cunningham, qualified at 1.84m (6-0 1/2):

"I've been looking forward to this meet for years. And now I'm here and I gave it everything I had.”


“My dad (former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham) told me to take today like a practice so that's what I did. Everything went well and smoothly. Sunday (finals) I’m going to attack. I'm very confident.”


“I thought qualifying would be around six feet and a half-inch. I studied the qualifying marks from four years ago and that's how it was then so I figured that what it would be now and my dad got me ready that way.”


“I think there isn’t as much pressure on me as much as the people who have been here before. I don't think there's any pressure on me.”


Women’s 800, First Round

First Heat

Molly Ludlow, first place, 2:00.30

“The first round is always kind of iffy, but I felt pretty good. I’m happy with the win and to get the rust off my legs. Alysia [Montano] and I knew we had to get top two to secure our spots in the next round, so we probably ran a little fast, but it felt good.”


Second Heat

Brenda Martinez, first place, 2:00.85

“We kind of knew what time would be needed to qualify, but I still wanted to get first.”


On Duane Solomon and Donavan Brazier failing to advance out of the men’s 800m heats:

“It’s the Olympic Trials — the craziness just happens.”


Chanelle Price, second place, 2:01.13

“I knew Brenda [Martinez] would be coming. I know she’s really strong so I tried to hold her off, but when I knew we were clear, I just secured the second position. Tomorrow the semis are going to be like the final. You’ve got to just go for it, and it’ll be sad for a lot of people, but it’ll be fun.”


Third Heat

Ajee’ Wilson, first place, 2:03.31

“My coach told me to go out and if I found myself in the lead, slow it down. I was happy with how I handled the surges but I just wanted to maintain the lead. I might not be peak sharp because I still have to think about the Olympics, assuming I make the team, but I’m definitely ready for the semis tomorrow.”


Olivia Baker, second place, 2:03.68

"I felt like I closed pretty well. Earlier this season I had trouble real positioning from 500 to 600 meters. But I felt today around 575ish [meters], I just made a definitive move to put myself in second and in position to close really hard in the last 100.”


“Having run rounds in the NCAA Championships this season has been a huge benefit, so I'm definitely prepared to get back out there and run tomorrow morning.”


Fourth Heat

Laura Roesler, fourth place, did not advance

“I was in a good spot coming off the last curve, but my finish wasn’t as strong as I wanted. It was an OK performance.”


Fifth heat

Kate Grace, first place, 2:01.36

“I don’t like being in the middle of the pack like I was today, but I felt confident in my ability to close.”


McKayla Fricker, second place, 2:01.53

“After the first three, I felt I was slowing down, but I knew my pace so I picked it up, hit 58 like the plan was and just kept pushing from there. I felt really smooth and relaxed, like right now I don’t feel as bad as I usually do, so those are all good signs.”


Raevyn Rogers, third place, 2:01.67

“I’m just glad I qualified. I was shaking before the race, I was so nervous. Today is a reminder that everyone wants to make the team as much as I do. I’ve got to get to the point where I want it even more than they do.”


Women’s Discus, Qualifying

Whitney Ashley, 61.16m/200-8

“I made it on my first throw. I was very confident. The last two weeks of training, my power started coming through and I liked what I saw. I’ll be ready to go in the morning.”


Stephanie Brown Trafton, 60.79m/199-5

“It was nerve-wracking. I could hardly breathe. It’s pressure but it’s so much fun. When I entered the ring for my third throw, I had a big smile on my face. I thought, ‘This is why I’m doing this.’”


Kelsey Card, 60.74m/199-3

“In 2012, I made it to the Trials in the shot, and even though I knew I had no shot, I came to get the experience. That was a good move. It really helped me today.”


Shelbi Vaughan, 60.09m/197-1

“It was nice and easy, relaxed. It’s my second Olympic Trials, and it’s a lot easier than it was when I was 17.”


Women’s Long Jump, Qualifying

Brittney Reese, 7.01m/23-0 (wind-aided)

“I wanted to come out here and get it done on the first jump and establish that rhythm really quick. I thought I did a pretty good job doing that and qualified for the next round. I’m pretty comfortable with 7.01, and that was kind of without effort. I just feel really good right now and think I’m in the right position for tomorrow.”


Tianna Bartoletta, qualified on second jump with a wind-aided 6.77m/22-2.5

“The goal today was to get through and save my legs for the final. I did that.”


Men’s 400m, First Round

First heat

Najee Glass, first place, 45.41

“I ran just how I was supposed to run and now I’m right where I want to be. If I do the same thing I did today, maybe give it a little more push at the end I should be fine.”


Wil London, second place, 45.76

“I was nervous, but just ran hard and executed. Running in lane eight is tough because you can’t see anybody, but you just have to run fast. I thought I would have to run a low 45, so to get in with a 45.7, I’m blessed.”


Second heat

Geno (Arman) Hall, first place, 45.61

“It wasn’t my best race, but I’m glad I made it through. I felt sluggish.”


Aldrich Bailey, second place, 45.73

“My left leg got a little tight, but I have to focus on finishing a little better tomorrow. It’s my first race back in a little bit longer than a month, and just to qualify, it’s a blessing.”


Jeremy Wariner, fourth place, qualified on time at 45.88

“I have nothing left to accomplish. I’ve done a lot in this sport. I’ve won Olympic and world titles and I got pretty close to the world record. Now it’s time for me to come out and enjoy myself. I ran a good race today, my best of the season.”


Third heat

LaShawn Merritt, first place, 45.54

“There was some wind on the backstretch, but that’s to be expected in Eugene. It was cool.”


On whether he will also run the 200 meters later in the Trials:

“I entered. I paid my money.”


Fourth Heat

David Verburg, first place, 45.31

“My goal here is to win each heat. If I win each one here, I make the Olympic team.”


Marcus Chambers, second place, 45.87

“Last year was my first time racing against pros, but I’ve already done it before now, so there’s no difference to me. It’s just like any old race now.”


Women’s 400m, First Round

First heat

Natasha Hastings, second place, 51.21

“I didn’t realize we were going that fast. When I looked up at the clock, I was surprised that the times were that fast, but I think that’s a good sign of fitness. I’ve been battling some hamstring issues, so to be able to come out and advance to the semis, I’m pretty pleased.”


“What I’ve learned over the years is with age comes experience, and experience brings wisdom, so I think I know how to get through the rounds comfortably to give myself an honest shot at the finals.”


Third heat

Courtney Okolo, first place (qualified first), 50.78

“I just wanted to go out and run a smooth, controlled race. I wanted to compete and rise to the occasion. It’s one thing to run at the NCAAs. It’s another to compete with the best 400m runners in the world.”


On Sanya Richards-Ross:

“She means a lot to the sport. I’m pretty sure everyone that came up when I came up watched Sanya, and she was our idol. When you think of the 400 that’s who you think of. She’s always gave me great advice to stay focused and remember why I run, why we do this.”


Sanya Richards-Ross

On receiving a standing ovation from the Hayward Field crowd:

“I’ve had an amazing career and it means so much to me that these fans showed me such love. It was really special. I didn’t win every time I stepped on the track, but I think people appreciate my heart and the fact that I’m a good person.”


Amanda Brooks
Marketing and Communications Manager
USA Track & Field

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