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Day One Quotes - 2016 USATF Indoor Championships


USATF Indoor Championships

March 11, 2016

Oregon Convention Center - Portland, Oregon


Men’s Weight Throw Final

Colin Dunbar, winner

“Everything just kind of came together today, all the training that I’ve been working on over the last couple months, things that I’ve been doing in practice finally all showed up in the meet. Just practice paying off.”

On last couple marks being best throws
“I still get that little jitter in my first throw so getting out and finding that rhythm. Getting in the finals it goes so much quicker so you actually have time to create a rhythm for yourself.”

“Indoors is a great way for me to break up all my fall training, get some competition in, get that competition spirit ready before we go into outdoors.”

Women’s Weight Throw Final

Gwen Berry, winner

On competition between her, Felisha Johnson, and Amber Campbell

“It’s been really fun - having some girls that actually enjoy throwing the weight and not just the hammer is pretty cool.”


On taking an early lead

“Usually my first throw, I just try to take my time, get a good mark, and then after that I just go for it.”


On the win

“I’m pretty okay with the win. I really want to throw farther. I had a far foul that I wish I had kept in. But I came for the win, so it’s okay.


On how she wants to improve

“More experience. I changed the way I’ve thrown from the past couple years because I hurt my back really bad last year. I’m just trying to change to power throw and it’s working so far. Just more years of throwing correctly and I’ll be fine.”

Women’s Triple Jump Final

Christina Epps, winner

“The track here is really fast and really bouncy, so I had to adjust a little bit. Once I adjusted I got going and things became easier and I got my rhythm down.”

On the crowd

“I love Oregon. Coming here you always get the Tracktown USA feel and the clap-ups are great here, they never let you down.”

Women’s 60m Hurdles, First Round

Heat 1

Janay DeLoach, winner

“It felt pretty good, there’s definitely some things that I could work on, I need to have a little bit of a better start, I just need to execute the race like I came here to do.”

On what was wrong with her start

“Just low, I didn’t have the same pop that I had in the practices we did before. That’s okay, it’s something you can fix. Really it’s just about going out there and doing what I know I can do. Today, like I said, a little bit shaky, but I know I can do it.”

Heat 2

Sharika Nelvis, winner

On the race/preparation “I’ve been too serious with indoors, so I’ve been getting back to just having fun like I was last year.”


How she is making it more fun for herself

“I switched coaches, so I’m like, ‘Oh, I’ve got to be serious, focused.’ But I can be fun and be focused at the same time, so I’m just getting back to having fun and being all bubbly like I was last year. Training has been going great.”

Heat 3

Kendra (Keni) Harrison, Winner

Mentality going into the race

“The mentality was to just get through the round. You know, don’t really worry about other people around you, but execute your race, and get out and just run across that line first.”


On being in Portland

“It feels pretty good. I like running in Eugene, so I knew this track was going to be fast, and I’m ready for the next round.”


On advancing to the semis

“I think I’m going to go in with the same mindset. All these girls, you know … everyone is running about the same time, so you know you can’t really sleep on anybody. But just execute your race.”


On training leading up to race

“I didn’t really get the best warm-up, but I was able to do all that I needed to do and get through the round and you know, take it one step at a time.”


On if potentially making it to the World Indoor Championships has more incentive with the meet being in the U.S.

“Yeah of course. The number one goal is to make the team. But you can’t really think about that, you’ve just got to go one round at a time. If you get caught up in what’s to come you may not make it there. So I’ve just got to stay focused each round. “


On preparing for Saturday

“I think tomorrow I’m going to have a better warm-up. I know semis are going to be really tough – I’m expecting some fast times from everybody. So I know semis are going to be good.”

Women’s 60m, First Round

Heat 1

Miki Barber, winner

On her start

“When I heard that gun I just wanted to get out and go. I haven’t won a race in a long time and it’s only my second 60 of the year, so I knew the field was great with Jenna [Prandini] and Tianna [Bartoletta], so I just wanted to be the first one to cross the line”

On what she’s been doing differently this year

“Working on my start. My start has been the hardest part of my race. I always have a good comeback but I’m kind of the last person in the blocks.”

Adjustments for races tomorrow

“Dip at the line. I forgot to dip. That Gail Devers dip.”

Heat 2

Barbara Pierre, winner

On what went well during the race

“Execution. I’m just trying to execute this year. I’m not thinking about running fast. I think if I execute everything else will work.”


On what she is working on

“My ending. My beginning is off the charts but my ending I have to work on. But I felt great today, so I think it’s going pretty well.”


Mentality for Saturday

“I’m not changing anything. Whatever you do in practice, do it in the race. I’m just going to go out there and do the same thing.”


On the chance to run at Worlds in Portland

“You’re basically at home. It gives you that extra momentum. You have to fight for your country. So I’m excited, because usually when we go to Europe it’s always overseas and to finally have something here means a lot.”

Heat 3

Tori Bowie, winner

Mentality for this round

“The first round is just prelims, the goal is to get top three and just execute the start – I’m focusing on that a lot this season for sure. I’m going to have to master it in order to do well – in order to make the team and in order to make the Olympics.”


On how today’s race went

“I think today went the way it should have went. Now, it’s back to the books to get ready for tomorrow.”


On Barbara Pierre running 7.13

“Yes, I saw Barbara Pierre’s race – she looked fantastic. But you know, for sure, we’re going to give you guys a good show tomorrow.”

Men’s 60m, First Round

Heat 1

Mike Rodgers, winner

What to tweak for next round

“Just to be a little more aggressive at the start. I wanted to listen to the gun because it’s an electronic gun today and they said it’s going to be there for next week.”

Heat 2

Trayvon Bromell, winner

What he thought about his performance

“I’m not trying to push too much. I tried to run fast, and run fast in the finals.”


On his training

“It’s been great. I feel like I’ve been running well in my practices. I’ve been focusing on what I need to get done.”


Goals right now

“Just to be better than I was last year. I feel like I set a standard for myself last year, and now I’m just trying to better that.”

Heat 3

Marvin Bracy, winner  

Why he has run fewer races this year

“It was an inside decision. You know it’s obviously working out for the best.  I mean obviously the speed is still there. Just got to put the race pattern in and you never know what you’re going to get.”


What are you hoping to do in the next round

“Just hoping to execute in the semis and make it to the final and become a three-time champ. That’s it.”


What are you doing to prepare for tomorrow

“It’s just about getting the jitters out. I was a little nervous coming into the competition, because I already sized up my competition knowing that these guys have been 6.5-mid to 6.5-lows all year, so you know for me, now that I know that I’m in 6.5-mid shape, I just need to get better and better in each round and put it together and you get what you got.


How did the false start affect you

“When something like that happens, it relaxes me for some weird reason. You get to test the bugs with the gun and the starter and shoot out for a bit and go ‘Ok, I got this, I know exactly what to do coming into the next few rounds when the gun goes off the next time,’ it actually helps me a lot.”


Going into tomorrow

“When it comes to this type  of racing, especially with this type of competition, you actually don’t change much. You just go and execute your race and just do what you can. Because when you come out here and try to change things, especially in a USA Championship, and a hot one like this, bad stuff tends to happen. So I’m just going to come out and do the same thing I did today, and execute and I’m pretty sure I’ll see a better time if I do that.”

Men’s Pole Vault, Final

Sam Kendricks, winner

“We were all hurting for a little bit of crowd attention because there were so many great jumping events going on. We were trying to find a space to really let the people see the vault. It was really cool, I kind of fed off the long jump vibe, the high jump vibe.”

“I’ve been here since Tuesday. I had to wear a hard hat to drop my poles off. I came on Wednesday to sneak on the track, don’t tell Vin Lananna I said that, because he kicked me out. But we got in here today and yesterday, and I just knew this is the place to put your best on the line.”

“I knew I only had to make an opening bar because it was a really strange coincidence that only two American pole vaulters had the standard. The fine print says you only had to make a bar but I said, ‘where’s the honor in that?’ We’re all going to compete for our best today.”

“My goal coming in was 5.80 meters, and 5.90 meters was a personal best of mine… It was really the easiest thing.”

On 5.96m indoor record

“I think my heart was going a little too fast to attempt that tonight, maybe next week at Worlds.”

Women’s 800m, First Round

Heat 1

Winner Laura Roesler

“Obviously that starting situation was a little messy – we were hearing an echo. Disclaimer We’re not stupid, we know what a gun sounds like. We were hearing two sounds … like the echo of the gun before the actual … we compete in the Diamond League, we know what a gun sounds like. And of course the time they test it, there’s no echo. So that was that, but the race was pretty messy. Everyone knew that we were first heat, and we’d be running two times after that – you had to win that heat, so that was what everyone was going for.”


On the last 50 meters of the race

“We got tangled – I don’t know if that was my fault… I’m not going to blame it on anyone.”


On if she was surprised that the race was so close “Yes and no. I mean, I never underestimate anyone going into that race and I knew I had a really good heat, and the first heat, and then on top of how I felt I’m lucky to speed through.”


How will you regroup heading into the next one Just going into it knowing that I’m going to feel better tomorrow. That overall I just felt like – that was like the hardest 203 of my life. And that’s how I’m expecting rounds to feel, but I haven’t ran rounds since colleges so … I don’t like the feeling. I didn’t miss it. “

Heat 2

Shannon Leinert, winner

On strategy

“I had a race plan go out in second or third place [and] stay mentally tough and just go for it the last 200.”

On her final lap

“It may have crossed my mind for a second, but I was so engaged in trying to sprint and mechanics.”

On Olympic Trials

“I pretend like this is the Olympic Trials. The more opportunities you can practice and compete at this level, the better the Olympic trials will go because you’re more seasoned.”

Heat 3

Ajee' Wilson, winner

On gameplan

“Just to take the lead and run comfortably for the rest of the way.”

On final lap

“Everyone was still pretty close. Coming off the first turn, I felt a little surge and had a little space. The last part, it kind of came back hard.”

“I’m really happy where I’m at right now. I came off a PR at my last race and training is going really well.”

On having the World Indoor standard

“I still want to come away with the win and national championship. While a little pressure is alleviated, it’s still the same pretty much… Just hoping things go well.”

Heat 4

Geena Gall, winner

“Having this many heats puts a lot of pressure on you. So I knew I had to beat five girls and just go out there and run my hardest. If they beat me, that’s awesome. But I wasn’t about to leave anything on the track. I didn’t want to lead but that’s how it panned out. I’m used to being in the front, kept pushing it each lap. I’m happy because I got first and I’m on to the final tomorrow.”

“It’s a lot of hard work to basically lead the entire race, but, like I said, I’ve had lots of races under my belt where that’s been the case. My experience has definitely helped me through that race and my confidence going into the championship meet.”

On training

“It’s going really well. I haven’t raced since a month ago, so first time back on the track is always a little rusty. But I feel good about it – I did what I needed to do.”

Strategy against Ajee

“I like when girls take it out hard, I want an honest race. I want it to be a battle the entire time. I don’t want a slow race and a last lap kind of burner. I rather prefer a girl taking it out really hard and us just hanging out and going for the ride and making a move the last lap. I’m not intimidated or worried.”

Men’s 800m, First Round

Heat 1

Patrick Peterson, winner

On strategy

“I didn’t really care how fast I ran so my coach told me to get in like second or third and that was what I was trying to do. I’m not really a front-runner. I’m more of a kicker.”

On the final lap

“My coaches, on the bottom hundred, told me to go wide. It felt great so I made a pass at the turn. That was questionable. I wasn’t sure I was able to do it.”

Heat 2

Drew Windle, winner

On his race

“It was not very comfortable at the beginning but with about 250 to go I started feeling pretty good and just made a hard move on the back to get the lead before the turn and just kind of coasted in from there. It felt really good. I think that it will help me tomorrow – that I’ll feel a little better going into tomorrow than I do today.”


On his game plan for today

“I wanted to be in contention, and just make sure that with 2, 300 to go that I could make a move and get to the front pretty easily.”


On what his goal is for tomorrow

“Just give it all I got. This is my first U.S. final ever. Just get in there and compete – that’s the best I can do.”

Heat 3

Erik Sowinski, winner

“I don’t know if I let off or was aggressive as I could have been in the first part of the race. I closed pretty hard. It’s really tricky at the indoor final, only six go out of an already pretty small field. The heat draws are guys who are getting ready for just this meet.”

“I think tomorrow will be fun. Prelims are always pretty stressful. I would have liked to have a better showing in prelims, just in terms of being a little closer to those guys. But I think I’ll be in a good spot for tomorrow.”

Heat 4

Boris Berian, winner

On possibly winning USATF title then going on to Worlds

“It would be amazing. It was a big disappointment not making that. So getting started, having more experience and training, and going on maybe an indoor world team.”

How winter training helps for outdoors

“Definitely in a lot better shape this time than I was last year. A lot more strength and experience. That’s the big thing, just outdoors and trying to make the team. That’s the big goal.”

On training in Big Bear, California

“It’s really a relaxing life. We don’t do much. We literally run, eat and sleep.”

On if the field should be more competitive

“It’s a great field, they’re great athletes. I love running against them. I mainly focus on myself.”

Men’s High Jump, Final

Erik Kynard, winner

On his series today

“It was good. The track was pretty fast, so I made a few adjustments, but other than that it was an easy day.”


How do you feel about competing at this level I can’t focus on that.

“Nobody knocks down the bar for me, so I just need to focus on doing what I train to do and just execute jumps and be clean and under control.”

Men’s Long Jump, Final

Marquis Dendy, winner

On having the world-leading mark

“It feels pretty good. It feels like the last time I guess. I’m glad I’m continuing to improve every single time. I just want to continue to improve and to continue to work on things. I still have to work on these last 38 centimeters, and hopefully get the world record. So that’s always been a big goal of mine, just working forward and keep getting these major records.”


What improvements will he try to make on his technique

“It’s really, really little things. Even on that fifth jump, my coach sent me a bunch of text messages about ‘Oh, you’ve got to fix this, you’ve got to correct that,’ it’s the little things that really take a lot out of you. So I was a little bit too far forward, it could have been a way better jump than that. I’ve definitely got something to kind of work on coming with this next week.”


I was kind of frustrated a bit throughout the whole day. The runway was actually really, really fast. I didn’t anticipate that too much, so I was way ahead of my check mark – I was moving a bit too fast. I had to slow down a lot at the board. A lot of adjustments came down, which is why it took so long for me to get that big one. But now that I have made those adjustments now, I can go back to Worlds and know where I’m going to be at.”


What he is going to do to prepare between now and Worlds

“Definitely take care of a lot of things. First and foremost, rest up. I kind of jammed my knee a bit on that last one, but again that was because there were a lot of little things that I could have done better. Just rest up, go back to figure out my whole jump model, and do the same thing.”


Does competing on this track today give him an advantage at Worlds

“Yeah, absolutely. It’s just like times back when I was in college, like when Arkansas’ indoor had nationals and SECs at the same place -- would be the SECs and then we would come back for nationals. Being on the same runway for me is definitely going to work out a lot for me, and I get better as I continue to actually jump. It is just going to feel really good next week.  

Women’s Shot Put, Final

Michelle Carter, winner

“I just wanted to execute. I know getting ready for indoor world’s the rotation is gonna be different so every throw counts. The quicker you get it going, the better you’ll be.”

On his strategy

“I was working on my technique… It’s my first competition of the year so I really wanted to work out some kinks getting ready for Worlds.”

Women’s 400m, 1st Round

Heat 1

Phyllis Francis, winner

On how the race felt

“I did what I needed to do to qualify, and that was the goal.”


On how it feels to be running in Portland

“It’s always good to come back to Oregon. I love the fans, the crowds, and it’s just – I’m home. It feels great.”

Heat 2

Ashley Spencer, winner

On today’s win

“I feel pretty good. My first 200, I didn’t do exactly what I wanted to do, but my second 200m was executed, so I’m happy.”


Going into tomorrow

“Just want to make the team, come out healthy, and get ready for the next one.”


On how it feels to be running in Portland/on this track

“It’s such a beautiful track, a beautiful facility. I’m really happy to be here.”

Heat 3

Natasha Hastings, winner

On her start and pace

“Wasn’t intending to go out that fast… I’ve been focusing a lot on my technique so I’m starting to feel like it’s clicking a little bit more so time is starting to reflect that.”

Reflecting on season and future

“I have to say this is one of my best indoor seasons. What I like about it is that I’m not changing the plan. The goal is still Rio so if I can change through and still perform the way I’m performing, [then] I think I’m on the right path.”

Heat 4

Quanera Hayes, winner

“It went well… had faith in God and trust in your training and if you get out the first 200m and stay relaxed when you feel yourself breaking down, then you’ll be good.”

“I knew I was going to win the fastest time, but for me today it wasn’t about winning my heat. You’ve got to get a good heat for the final, because it’s a two heat final.”

“I’ve never come through that fast in the first 200m for indoor, so it took me back. I was like, I got to keep pushing because I don’t want someone to come up on me and I get a bad lane for tomorrow.”

Men’s 400m, 1st Round

Heat 1

Chris Geisting, winner

On his race

I got out slow, the whole field was ahead of me. I just tried to stay calm and knew that the race wasn’t out of distance yet. And then I just prayed that an opening came – I just sat and waited. I could have been boxed in, but luckily there was just enough room to try to slip in between. It ended up working out.”

Heat 2

Patrick Feeney, winner

Goals for the final

“1,2, make that World team, that’s the main thing. Stay here, got done with the first day, so it will be fun coming back tomorrow for sure.”

On if he and Giesting had similar game plans (they train together) “We usually tend to get out a little bit slower, so a lot of times that’s what it comes down to. But mostly just staying in the race. We train with each other every day.”


“We tend to like to tie pretty much every time, so maybe we’ll be a couple of tenths or hundredths off, but who knows. I’m glad we’re both in the final. It’ll just be a fun time, that’s the main thing – enjoy it.”

Heat 4

Vernon Norwood, winner

“It was a good race. I was a little nervous. I got out a bit aggressive like I wanted to, finished strong… It was a good nervous, not a bad nervous.”

On false start

“I was a little worried, I thought it was me. It didn’t bother me too much, you just have to refocus and get my gameplan going.”

Going into tomorrow

“I just want to win, represent my country. That’s it.”

Women’s 3000m final

Shannon Rowbury, winner

“I knew going into the race that my 8, 1500 and 3 and 5k PRs were the strongest in the field, so that gave me a lot of confidence going into it -- knowing that if I ran smart, I had every ability to win the race. But you never know until you actually run in the race and you do it.


“Emily put out the pace, made it strong so it wasn’t falling throughout, and I was trying to get by with about 400 to go – there was a pretty wide wall of women, but I knew that I needed to start moving. So I just made a quick move past and stepped on the gas and I thought that people would be a little bit closer than they were. But I had a bigger lead than I expected, but that’s kind of fun.  You’ve got to enjoy the last 100 meters. “


“This season I’ve been really trying to push myself in races, which has meant that I’ve done a lot of solo racing. I love championship races ... I love having people around me. But I’m really trying to push myself. I know against the World’s field it’s going to be a fast, hard race, so I need to be ready to grind it out. “


On next week

“I’m excited! To have the World Champs be in the USA, to have it be in my second hometown. And this facility is amazing. I feel like it’s going to be a hard race, no doubt about that, but it’s going to be a great experience.”

Men’s 3,000m Final

Ryan Hill, winner

“I benefitted the most from it because I didn’t do any work. The other three guys wanted it to be in the 730s anyway, and I didn’t really care. It was a thrust on them too to make it fast.”

“The other guys wanted to make sure it was a 730 honest race. We didn’t want it to be an 8 minute race and finish four through eight, or something and go home disappointed.”

On the last year

“It’s right in the peak of my career, or what should be the peak. I think I’ve built up to that – my potential. Hopefully there’s a little bit more left in my career.”

On his teammates

“It’s incredible. It’s unreal. I look back and think, what if a college could have recruited all of us in college. It would have been so great. It feels like an all-star team sometimes.”

On Rupp

“Based on all the marathoners I’ve known, they’re not ready a month after. Unfortunately we knew it was going to be really tough for him to be a factor. But I don’t even know how he finished. The fact he finished is pretty impressive.”

“I don’t really have a plan the last 1000. I normally have to see what’s going on. I decided to take the lead a little earlier.”

On indoor season

“To me it’s really important. You can’t just sit around and obsess about outdoor track. I think you have time for two peaks. It’s healthy to peak in March and come down for the other season. So, it’s just as important as outdoor to me because 3k is my best event. I want to bring it for indoors.”

Galen Rupp, second place

“Obviously I’m a little tired from (the marathon). It’s two very different events. But I have no regrets. I’m glad that I came back and at least gave it a shot. It would have been really easy to not at least give it a go, but that’s the way it goes sometimes and I have no regrets.”

On the early pace

“Those guys threw a couple of their teammates out to set the pace. They thought that was the best shot to get their guys on the team, certainly allowed to do that. All the credit to them.”

On lack of energy

“I definitely felt a little tired, for sure. Obviously the marathon takes it out of you, there’s no real other way to put it. It’s tiring. I had some decent work outs, very up and down. I thought I had a shot so I definitely gave it a go.”

Fan support

“Obviously got a lot of family and friends in the crowd here. It’s a little disappointing when you don’t run well in front of them, that’s just the way it goes.”

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