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Day Two Quotes - 2016 USATF Indoor Championships


USATF Indoor Championships

March 12, 2016

Oregon Convention Center - Portland, Oregon

Day 2 Quotes

Women’s Long Jump

Brittney Reese, Champion

How does another championship feel: “It feels good. Each one gets sweeter and sweeter. It was really important to come out here and establish some kind of rhythm on the runway before next week. I felt really, really well out there. Even though I did foul some big ones, but like I told them out there, it only means that it’s not time yet and I’ll go back with my coach and watch some film and see where I need to improve on in order to win another medal.”

What do you think happened on the fouls: “I wasn’t putting my foot down. And I wasn’t getting up under myself like I should have. I was bringing way more speed than I would bring in a practice, or any other meet that I’ve been in this year. Actually, that only means good things for me. I’ve been jumping pretty well in practice, jumping seven meters. It shows that I’m still there, and will just be looking forward to next week.”

What did you think of the runway: “Fast. It’s a real fast runway, and for the women’s long jump I think that it will be a really, really good competition. We should see a bunch of 7-meter marks next week.”

How did you feel about the crowd: “The crowd was great. It’s great to have the first indoor here, and we get to be on our own time schedule and we get to have our own Americans behind us and clapping for us to get better marks. It’s really important for the fans to come out and support us.”

Women’s 1 Mile Run (Masters)

Sonja Friend Uhl, Champion  

On how her race felt: "The track felt good. I had a big weekend last weekend at Masters nationals, we were at altitude. I did two 400s and an 800, so I was I feel like a little bit lactic, but it was a great race and I’m really happy they do this. I’m very grateful for us — for masters — they highlighted us at an awesome event."

Did she have a time she was hoping to run today: “I try to just go out and see how you feel, if the crowd gets you there, fine. I ran 4:49 about a month ago, that was at a big collegiate race. So I just wanted to get a win for my club, and run as close to 4:50 as possible. Was a little slower, but that second half was kind of tough without anyone there to keep pushing. I’m happy with it."

Men’s 3000m Race Walk

John Nunn, Champion

On building a big lead and holding on for victory: “I figured once I got out, I walked the first (kilometer), and I looked down and I think I was 3:45, and I felt OK, and I know what the others were capable of walking, and I realized if someone moves up with me they’re going to be hard pressed to try to hang this, and if I can hold close to this for the race I should be fine, I should start building a gap. It helps a lot in indoors with the two (video) screens because you never have to look behind you.”

On moving down in distance from 50K to 3K: “It’s actually a fun race. I did the 50k three weeks ago, and it was a brutal race. I had the flu the night before, and I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to finish. I ended up winning. And this time last year Nick (Christie) got me, because one of the kids - you can only pass on the straightaways in the walks - and one of the kids was sprinting the straightaways and slowing around the turns. Nick got around him, and I thought he let me go but the kid held me off, which opened a gap for Nick. And I fell asleep in the race. I thought, “I have plenty of time. I’ll make it up in the last couple laps.” And then I realized,  I forgot how short the laps were. And by the time I went to kick at Nick, there was no go.”

Women’s Pole Vault (Jake)

Sandi Morris

On her performance today: "Sixteen feet has always been this number that I've been chasing since I first started pole vaulting. Once I made 4.90 today the pressure was just lifted off of my chest."

On competing against Jenn Suhr: "I have nothing but respect for Jenn, I grew up watching her pole vault and aspire to be like her."

On competing on Team USA next week: "I'm gonna take some shots at the world record, that'd be freaking awesome."

Women’s High Jump

Vashti Cunningham, Champion

On competing well today: “I love the rain, so the weather could have had me in a good mood. And the warm-up area was very nice, so I got to do everything that I wanted to do going into the competition.”

On celebrating with her dad, former NFL quarterback Randall Cunningham: “He was very happy for me. He and I never really show our happiness or our emotions, but we both did a little bit today.”

On the crowd: “The crowd support was really good. They were excited from the very beginning. I’m not really use to people getting that excited for five-eight (5-08) or five-ten (5-10) so it was good to have them then.”

Men’s 200m (Masters)

Antwon Dusset, Champion

“I was hoping to get the American Record in the 200, but it just wasn’t there today. Legs feel tired after last weekend, but it’s always a challenge”

“The energy is phenomenal. The crowd is really into it. They make you want to run fast.”

“I’m getting ready for the World Championships in Perth, Australia, the Outdoor World Championships for Masters. Feeling good going into it. Looking for some phenomenal things”

Men Shot Put

Kurt Roberts, Champion

What were you hoping to do today besides just winning? “What I was in shape to do was not what happened today. I don’t know what it was. None of us could catch one. None of us could really get it rolling. I’m in really good shape right now, so I’m really excited. I got six more days to come back next week and give America what it needs.”

On beating veteran Reese Hoffa: “It’s funny. My first and second year on the circuit, I was so nervous I couldn’t even talk to him. And now he embodies what this sport is: a good guy that would take you under his wing when you’re in Europe or push you when you’re here. I mean it’s always an honor to be in the ring with someone like Reese.”

Women’s 3000m Race Walk

Maria Michta-Coffey, Champion

On her race: "Well we went out crazy fast. I wanted to hit 49’s per lap, and we went out 45. So it was like alright, let’s just go and see what happens. I was hoping to dip under the American record, which would have required 49s, and 50s were basically what I did. So I just missed the national and meet record. It was just trying to hold on a long as you can while the fatigue starts hitting you, and you go, 'those first two laps were kind of foolish.'"

On how the track felt: “The track felt great actually. This is my first time being on this track at all. I didn’t even practice on it or anything like that. So even just when we got to do strides right before the race, it just felt good right away — I had a great feeling about it. And that green is so vibrant, it just encourages you.”

On how it feels to win a seventh national title: “Each one is special in its own way. And this might be my last one in the series, because hopefully we have an awesome run up through the Olympic Games and then try to start a family. There’s no guarantees what the next season will bring, and so I just wanted to make the most of every moment. So this one is really special, to be able to go through that streak of seven straight through.”

“I would keep going if it was possible that my husband could carry the baby for nine months and I could keep training. Science isn’t quite there yet, though.”

Men’s 400m

Vernon Norwood, Champion

Race plan: “Before the race I saw 45.90 (top finisher from Heat 1.) I’m thinking that was the time to beat, so that’s what I was trying to do. I just stuck to my race plan, and when someone got to the break, be patient, pass them at the end. That’s pretty much what happened, everything fell into my favor.”

What do you take away from this moving forward? “Get ready to go for the world championships. I have the opportunity to represent the USA, one of the best countries in the world. Just got to move on, keep my momentum going and my confidence up.”

Are you looking forward to running on this track again? “Most definitely because green is my favorite color.”

Men’s Triple Jump

Chris Carter, Champion

On moving to the lead on his second-to-last jump: “It felt pretty good. Down the runway I was zeroed in, and I just went. When I landed it felt good, and when they showed me what it was, I was like, ‘Really?!’”

On not having the standard the World Championships coming into this weekend: “I have no idea [what that means for being able to compete at worlds]. I’m just hoping and praying that they will let me in because I don’t have the standard.”

If you don’t get to compete at worlds, what did you gain from this competition? “Confidence. All my jumps were better than last year.”

Women’s 800m Final

Ajee Wilson, Champion

On winning the championships: "I wanted to make sure this one was convincing"

On her race: "My plan was to go out hard and if someone fights for the lead then tuck in behind, I found myself in the lead, so I just took it from there"

Men’s 800m Final

Boris Berian, Champion

On his win today: "A lot of hard work paid off, I definitely could not be more excited right now."

On his mentality today: "I still wanted to be competitive. Even though I have the spot [next week] already, I still wanted it to be competitive, still make it a race and just go in trying to win it."

What it will be like to put on that Team USA uniform: "Exciting. I finally get to represent the country and I don’t even know how to explain it — just really happy."

On his race strategy today: "I still was trying to figure out for the first little bit if I wanted to stay in 2nd or 3rd or if I wanted to take the lead, and kind of at that time (near 150 in) I decided to go out and front and try to hold it."

On his goals for next week: “For sure I want to try and make the finals. All in all, try and get a medal and hopefully try to win it."

His confidence heading into the World Indoor Championships: "This builds it a lot, knowing that I can compete with all the great U.S. 800 runners and compete with the rest of the world."

Women’s 1500m Final

Brenda Martinez, Champion

What went through your mind when you made your big move to the lead? “There were different plans going in if it was going to be tactical. I mean, it went out perfect. I felt like it was an honest pace. I just wanted to stay on the outside, you know, the front shoulder, and just make the move when I needed to and just sort of commit to that, and I pulled it off. I didn’t want it to be gradual. I wanted it to be sudden so no one could react to it.”

On planning to focus on the 800M outdoors: “[This competition was] just to play with both events. Last year I didn’t touch the 1500 at all, and I felt like that hurt me a little bit with my strength. I’m a lot stronger this past season. The pace gets faster every year. I feel confident in the 15 or the 8.”

Women’s 400m Final

Quanera Hayes, Champion

On her race: "I'm still just trying to process everything and take a deep breath and see what can I do better next week at world championships It comes down to who wants it, and I wanted it."

Men’s 1500m Final

Matthew Centrowitz, Champion

On Robby Andrews and the end of the race: “He was definitely the guy I was looking to that was going to be by me. He’s such a fast guy that I think with less rounds he does better. So with this being just a final, I was expecting someone in the last 200 to come up on me. It was just a matter of how I was going to respond. I actually think he went by me at one point and kind of came back again in the last 10 or 20 meters. Obviously we have a great U.S. team going into Worlds next week, and just hopefully he won’t be in my prelim.”

“It was obviously a good feeling. That’s what you want in racing, to bring out the best in each other. But having him go by me was probably the first time someone actually went by me this whole year -- I’ve just been in the front going by other people. Definitely kind of stops your momentum at that time, because I felt pretty good. But I was happy with the way I responded, and that just kind of shows my strength right now.”

“I kind of thought I hope there isn’t another guy on his shoulder, so if there were two guys going by me then I might have found myself not even on the team. Without looking at the board and without glancing over, it was just a matter of digging deep and just looking past that finish line.”

“It was a super, super choppy race. I’d say more than in recent years. Last U.S. Indoor Championship, I don’t think it was this physical. About three or four times I felt myself getting tripped up.”

“I don’t think any of us had any more moves at that point. We pretty much showed all our cards by that point. I didn’t even necessarily know that I had another move until I did it. I was giving myself all I had but then once I had him go by me it was like dude, come on, I have to keep this undefeated streak going into World Indoors. So I just dug in again. It’s a testament to my strength right now -- very, very strong.”

“This year it’s all about championships. Olympic Games, Olympic Trials… If I don’t PR at all and I come away with medals this year, I think I’ll be pretty happy with that.”

“Just strength. In the 1500, I train with all these 5k and 10k guys. I think at that point it’s how much you want it, and I wanted this incredibly much. I had kind of an undefeated streak going this indoor season, and I had it in the back of my head and I wanted to keep that momentum going. Definitely something I was thinking about in the last 10, 20, meters.”

Women 60m hurdles

Brianna Rollins, Champion

On competing against a talented group of hurdlers: “The pressure is always on.”

What are you going to focus on between now and worlds? “Just stay mentally prepared, recover from this weekend’s races and continue to train.”

On her hair style: “I went with something new. I’ve never colored my hair, so I wanted to go with something exciting — red it was.”

Men’s 60m hurdles, Final

Jarret Eaton, Champion

On winning: "I'm ecstatic, I've worked hard for it. "

On the World Championships:"If I can run a clean race I have no doubts that I should be able to medal"

Women’s 60m

Barbara Pierre, Champion

On her race today: “I’m not going to say I expected to win, because we had a great field out there. But I didn’t even know I ran that fast until I looked back and I’m like, ‘oh my God!’ So I’m excited -- big boost of confidence going into Worlds.”

“I’m always a starter, I’m not always a finisher. But for some reason it all came together today. I’m working on a lot of things in practice and it’s definitely showing out there.”

On what she will do to prepare for Worlds: “I’m just staying focused and it really worked well out there today. Just staying in my lane. When [World Indoors] comes, I’m going to do the same thing and hopefully the best comes out of it.”

What she’s been doing to improve: “I’ve been doing a lot of base work — putting in a lot of mileage. I’m not a quarter-miler, but I do a lot of quarter-miler stuff because I need that strength and I’ve already got speed. So I need a lot of base work, and that’s basically what I’ve been doing.”

Feelings about outdoor track season: “With what I did today, I’m really excited about outdoor. I’m really wanting to see what I’m going to do.”

What will she focus on at the World Indoor Championship: “Same thing. Execution. I’m not doing anything different, because when I lose focus everything goes out."

Men’s 60m Final

Marvin Bracy, Champion

On his plan coming into the weekend: “I came in with one goal, and one goal only, and that was to win. So to do what I did, to get better and better each round, that’s a great feeling.”

On his expectations for Worlds: “I’m not going to put any expectations on myself. I just know that I lost this event two years ago, and you always vengeance in your heart, and I just want to go win.”

On his rivalry with Trayvon Bromell: “It’s definitely going to be a rivalry for years to come. We’re more like frien-emies. We’re good friends, really good friends. He pushes me. I push him. I’m happy with all his success — and likewise. We just going to come out and push each other next week and for the rest of the year.”

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