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Day 2 Quotes - U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Track & Field

U.S. Olympic Team Trials — Track & Field

Hayward Field, Eugene, Ore.

Athlete Quotes

Women’s 10,000m, final

Molly Huddle, first place, 31:41.62

“Having seen some of the Ethiopian and Kenyan results, to medal I think you’ll need to be in 30:20 shape, which is a huge order and the American record. I’m going to get as fit as I can for that race, but I could have a great day and finish eighth, you just never know.”

On her relationship with Infeld following last year’s Worlds

“What happened last year, I was just mad at myself, but I was glad that another American placed, and [Infeld] was the only American medal at Worlds for the distance events. It would’ve felt worse if it weren’t one of my teammates, but we’ve always been friends.”

On distance running’s challenges with doping

“This week was a high pressure meet, so I’ve just been focusing on making the team, but looking at the results of what I assume are the Ethiopian Trials, it’s frustrating because there’s not a lot of talk about that country. But we have to get as fit as possible and just trust that rules will be followed in August. Team USA always takes really good care of its athletes, so honestly I feel we have the smoothest road ahead of us as far as health and safety concerns.

Emily Infeld, second place, 31:46.09

“I had a great year last year and an unexpected high finish at the World’s. I mean looking at the girls who have qualified for the 10k so far it’s going to be a tough event, but I obviously want to do my best and see if I have a shot at medaling. I don’t know how the race will play out but I’ll have the potential in the back of my mind.”

On her big smile at the end of the race:

“I love smiling, but I was so happy. We all looked at each other and I was like, ‘We did it.’ It was crazy. I was talking to my coach this morning and he told me that I’d dreamed of this since I was a little girl, but I didn’t want to think about that. I wanted to take it like it was any other race, but once I crossed the finish line I realized that it really happened. It was such a special moment.”

Marielle Hall, third place, 31:54.77

“I think I’m still competing in the 5k, so I’m still just taking it one day at a time. I’ve still got to talk to my coach and see where he’s at, but I came into the Trials planning on competing in both events.”

“Going into it, my coach told me two things, to be patient and to be invisible for the first half. It’s a really long race, so for me I had to get used to the waves. Sometimes there are surges and sometimes people are falling back, lots of contact, so being a part of the pack you can definitely feel the tension, but all of that is expected in this race.”

Jordan Hasay, ninth place, 32:43.43
“I expected that Molly would take me at some point, but her taking it from the gun was pretty tough. This heat was going to make it tough because she ran just about my PR to win. I did my heat training, but it was tougher than I expected to keep at that pace.”

Women’s discus, final

Whitney Ashley, first place, 62.25m/204-2

"Exciting, overwhelming, kind of speechless at the same time. I have really taken a leap of faith since college and just trying to listen to people when they tell me that I was talented and that this was going to be my event. It really all came together four years later for me."

"I still throw the shot put. My coach lets me I think to keep me sane a little bit because he knows where my heart is."

Shelbi Vaughan, second place, 60.28m/197-9

On finishing fourth in 2012 and second today:

“Someone asked me earlier what’s the difference feeling wise and I want to say it’s almost the same but this one’s a little bit better. Placing fourth as a 17-year-old was amazing but this is a little more amazing. I’m really excited to go to Rio.”

On the time between NCAAs and Olympic Trials:

“I made a couple changes to what I was doing and I got my confidence back up and it helped a lot coming back here. I’ve been here so many times and I love competing here. It just made it so much easier.”

Kelsey Card, third place, 60.13m/197-3

On when she knew she qualified:

"I had been following the marks throughout the rounds, so going into my last throw whenever [Valarie Allman], she was the only one who could pass me at that point, she just didn't quite get it. I knew going into my last throw that I made it. I think the announcer even said it too."

Stephanie Brown Trafton, fifth place, 59.65m/195-8

“Of course I’m disappointed, but I’m good at repressing my disappointment. I really wish I could have taken a victory lap, just to thank these people for so many great moments over the years. The percentage of me throwing beyond this year is low. I guess if I had to go out somewhere, Eugene is a good place to do it.”

Women’s long jump, final

Brittney Reese, first place, with 2016 world leading mark of  7.31m/23-11.75 which also set Olympic Trials record.

“I thought it was around 7.20-something, but I knew yesterday when I jumped 7 meters easily, I knew that today would be special, and I proved myself to be right.”

On breaking Jackie Joyner-Kersee’s meet record:

“I’m just honored. I’ve always looked up to her. She’s a mentor to me, but just to have her in my corner and break records of hers, she told me I have a lot left in me. To break records that she’s broken is just a testament to my training.”

Tianna Bartoletta, second place, 7.02m/23-0.5 (wind-aided)

On going between the long jump and 100m:

“I’ve known the schedule was that way for some time and I did talk to my husband and coach, we contacted my manager and begged for the schedule to be changed, but no dice. To accommodate the double we changed my practices so I would go from the runway to sprints and back to the runway. Even though the pressure of the this being the Olympic Trials is higher, my body was used to it.

On qualifying for the Olympics:

“I didn’t come into today trying to win the long jump because I knew it would be a difficult task having to run the 100m between rounds. We just wanted to be on the team in the long jump and then focus on the 100m tomorrow.”

Janay DeLoach, third place, 6.93m/22-9

"I wouldn't recommend anyone do what I did, which is to pull it out on the last jump. I was definitely a little bit nervous but I trained for this. This is what I do every day. I practice. I just had to calm myself down and trust that I had what it takes."

"This is a second Olympic team for me, so I'm pretty ecstatic actually. My family is here to watch it. I'm able to represent the U.S. again. I'm going to go start back at ground zero with training, get where I need to be and hopefully I can get on the podium in Rio."

Olympic champion and U.S. record-holder Jackie Joyner-Kersee on watching Brittney Reese’s performance Saturday:

“There’s more to come. She’s a great athlete and a great person. I’m happy for her. She can pass me and go even further.”

Men’s pole vault, qualifying

Sam Kendricks, tied for first place, 5.55m/18-2.5

“It was a fun day out there. It's a rare occasion that we can get all the guys together because I consider pole vault at this stage to be like a traveling circus because we all go around the country to the same meets trying to find the best conditions to get into this meet. Everybody just went out there and had fun.”

“I cemented my spot in the final, but I never took my shoes off because you don't know what those other guys are going to be able to do. You might have to jump again. We thought we were going to get in with [5.50m], but then some great guys jumped it on their third attempts.”

Brad Walker, DNQ - NH (American Record Holder)

On competing in the Trials:

“It wasn’t really on my radar until one of the coaches I was working with said my mark from last year got me in. I decided to spend the month of June after the college system got out and tried to put together some solid training. Coaching has been front and center on what I was doing and most of my energy. Once I freed myself up from that situation, I went out to see what I could do.”

On how he did today:

“I was pleasantly surprised. I put good height over 40 and I was on poles that weren’t too far away. I was going in here with no real expectations other than to enjoy the meet, have fun. Being in the Trials is a neat environment and atmosphere.”

On this being his last Olympic Trials:

“I’m 99.9 percent sure this is my last one. I have a responsibility now to get the Washington State program up and running. I want to get those guys jumping high and that is where I’m putting my focus.”

Women’s 800m, semi-finals

First heat

Ajee’ Wilson, first place, 2:00.81

“There were a couple position changes, so I just wanted to match them and stay close with three to go. I was prepared if anyone came up toward the end. There's only so much you can see from behind and looking at the screen. I don't want to focus on it.”

Second heat

Raevyn Rogers, fourth place, 2:00.61

“Running the second heat, I like how I felt because running against fast people can sometimes make you feel really under pressure. I'm really glad to be able to stay composed.”

Men’s 800m, semi-finals

First heat

Boris Berian, first place, 1:45.72

“If anybody had come up on me at the end, I had a little bit left. At least I think I did. Last year (at the USA Championships) I didn’t get past this round, so that’s progress.”

Second heat

Clayton Murphy, first place, 1:46.97

“I felt good, still adjusting to going out in 24 (seconds), but I felt a lot better today than yesterday. I was ready to go at 200 but didn’t want to swing into lane 4, so I waited until 100m (to go). I feel like if I’m there I don’t like to get beat the last 100 meters, so as long as I’m there with 200m to go, I give myself a decent shot.”

Brandon Johnson, second place, 1:47.02
“I’m here to compete hard and just the fact that I made the final means I’m really pleased with myself. The work is not done, but I’m happy I came here to do what I needed to do and I’m in the final. Whatever happens in the final happens. You have to be in it to win it, right?”

Charles Jock, third place, 1:47.35
“Last year I was in great shape the I got hurt the Saturday before about six days out. After that I turned my focus to this year. This is the biggest meet of a track athlete’s career to try and make it to the Olympics.”

On Monday’s final:

“It will be fast and I’m comfortable with that. My last two meets have given me the chance to remember what it is like to run an 800 and I’m pretty happy with that.”

Women’s 100m, first round

First heat
English Gardner, first place, 10.90
“You get out there and have a set plan and then you execute that plan, then turn to look at the clock and I said, ‘Oh, I might need to slow down.’ Things have been going for well for me in training, spiritually, mentally, physically. I’m so fit right now.”

“When we get to the final, hopefully Tori and I can can give you the best show of your life.”

Third heat

Morolake Akinosun, first place, 10.99

“I felt great. The crowd was great. The energy is great here. It was a really good race for me, a PR. There were nerves, this is the Olympic Trials, but it makes me feel really good heading into tomorrow. I just need to execute the same way tomorrow and make sure there is enough recovery time between the rounds.”

Fourth heat

Jenna Prandini, first place, 10.81 (wind-aided)

“It is pretty exciting. It just shows that my training is right where it needs to be and if I can just stay focused and stay relaxed and keep getting through the rounds I should be happy.”

On all the current and former Oregon athletes moving on:

“It’s fun. It is like a reunion when we are in the call room. We are all talking to each other, helping keep each other relaxed.”

Fifth heat

Tori Bowie, first place, 10.91
“Today was just about getting to the next round tomorrow. I came out and executed the first 60 and go to my technique from there.”

On if she put everything into today’s race:

“Oh no. We have to save some energy for tomorrow. I’m happy with where I’m at today. I’ll come back more prepared tomorrow.”

Men’s 100m, first round
First heat
Michael Rodgers, first place, 10.00 (wind-aided)
On today’s race:

“I just took it easy. There was a lot of movement in the blocks and stuff like that so I just had to refocus and run my own race.”

On the news of Usain Bolt withdrawing from the Jamaican Olympic Trials with an injury:
“We have the toughest Trials in America. We don’t get a bye. We don’t have a medical exemption. I felt like it is a cop out. He should run just like everyone else. But at the end of the day, he is Bolt. He is the Olympic champ, the world champ. So until someone beats him, puts him in his place, he is going to continue to do what he wants to do.”


Second heat
Justin Gatlin, first place, 10.03
“My race was good. I took it easy. My coach said to work my drive phase, come out check where everyone is. Cross the finish line and get ready for the next day.”

On the news of Usain Bolt withdrawing from the Jamaican Olympic Trials with an injury:

“It is an Olympic year and crazy stuff happens. He is Usain, so we’re going to see his face in Rio one way or another. When you command a certain power in track and field, sometimes you get to exercise it.”

“He is injured and he has a medical pass. That is what his country does. Our country doesn’t do that. You have to come to the line, come ready and if you are not ready that day then you’re not on that boat to get to the next destination which is the Olympic Games.”

Third heat

Trayvon Bromell, first place, 9.94
On his time:

“It was crazy when it came up, but I’ve run 9.8 so I know what it takes to run that. I’ll get out there tomorrow and hope to do the same thing.”

Fifth heat

John Teeters, first place, 10.00

“I knew something like this was possible. My freshman year in college, I put up a Road to Rio sign on my mirror. I was just a freshman in college with a best of 10.3, so I’ve come a long way.”

Women’s 400m, semi-finals

First heat

Francena McCorory, first place, 50.28

“I just wanted to cruise it in easy, I know we have a hard day tomorrow, but I’m just gonna stay positive and focus on my own race. It’s in God’s hands and you’ll see who makes it tomorrow.”

Allyson Felix, second place, 50.31

“I haven’t really raced this year so each race, each round, I’m getting a little sharper. I’d attribute my improvements from yesterday to that. It’s difficult to not feel like me, it’s a different year, so I have to go with what I have. I don’t feel like myself, but I’ve just gotta keep pushing.”

Second heat

Courtney Okolo, first place, 50.37

“Yesterday didn’t take a toll on my body. Today I’m fresh. I’m really happy about today, coming into the race I wanted to get out a little bit harder and actually make a move on the home stretch.”

On tomorrow and potentially running 49 seconds:

“Yeah, I hope so, it’s (the body) going to need to be. I’m not worried about time. I am trying to compete, whatever I have to run to make the team.”

Men’s 400m, semi-finals

First heat

Tony McQuay, first place, personal-best 44.24 (making him fourth-fastest performer in the world in 2016)

“It was fast, but I wasn’t thinking about time. It’s about place. It was windy down the backstretch, but I stayed composed and executed my plan.”

Second Heat

LaShawn Merritt, first place, 45.05

“It wasn’t bad. I wanted to run a little faster, but considering what they ran in the first round, hopefully they tired themselves out a little bit. It played out that way because Gil (Roberts) went out so hard, so the guys outside of him felt him early and the guys inside chased him, but my race was easier than the first round, body feels good for tomorrow.”

On the news of Usain Bolt withdrawing from the Jamaican Olympic Trials with an injury:

“I heard about that, I don’t know I heard he’s trying to protest or something but we’ll see. His fanbase is so big that if they’re watching him, they’re watching us. Do we need him? No, but he’s good for the sport.”


Ashton Eaton, first-day leader with 4561 points

“My fitness is coming back after injuring my quad in May. The goal here is to get in the top three. I don’t care about the score. The quad didn’t bother me, but I did have a problem with my hamstring. I guess that’s what happens when you’re a 28-year-old decathlete.”

On fellow Olympian Trey Hardee struggling to finish the 400:

“It’s tough. Trey is one of the guys who motivated me to be here. But this is life. This is sport. He said he’s going to come out here tomorrow.”

Trey Hardee, 17th place, 3329 points

“I dislocated my foot in January and wasn’t able to run until mid-May. I wasn’t even planning on entering until my wife did it for me. I didn’t want to take up a spot from one of the young guys. But I had some workouts and thought I’d give it a shot.”

On his plans to continue Sunday despite needing more than 70 seconds to complete the 400m:

“I’m going to show up because I want to be out there with the guys. This is my last Olympic Trials, and I want to watch it from the infield, not the stands.”


Susan Hazzard
Director of Public Relations
USA Track & Field

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