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Live Quotes Day 3 (Sunday, June 24) - U.S. Olympic Team Trials

6/24/2012
 
WOMEN’S POLE VAULT (FINAL)

Jenn Suhr, first place

On making Team USA…
“This is always something you train and plan for. It hasn’t set in yet. You train for months and I’m happy to have the chance to represent Team USA.”

On her vaults…
“When I missed the first mark I knew I didn’t want an ’08 repeat, so I focused on the second to get it right.”

On her time off…
“It’s hard with down time because your mind will wander. I tried hard not to think about pole vault, and instead what colors I’ll paint my rooms when I get home. Anything to keep my mind off pole vault.”

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Becky Holliday, second place

On how she feels…
“It hasn’t set in yet; I feel like I am dreaming. I have dreamt about being an Olympian for as long as I can remember and this is just amazing.”

“I think I am the oldest competitor out there. I want to tell USA Track & Field not to forget about the older competitors. It has been a long career for me though. I have been a pole vaulter for 15 years. I just really want people to keep the older athletes in mind and that’s all I can say.”

On her current career…
“I have been competing unattached for 15 years. I was injured for a lot of years and I think people thought I was gone and fallen off. I was just working a lot of jobs after leaving Oregon.”

On competing at Hayward…
“There is no feeling like competing at Hayward. After I left I felt like I had let my fans down because I haven’t made an Olympic team since 2003. I just have to thank my loyal fans for sticking with me through everything.”

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Lacy Janson, third place

On preparing for the Olympics…
“When I was young and did gymnastics I dreamt about that team, and then I did volleyball and dreamt about making the Olympic volleyball team. Here I made the pole vault team and I dreamt about this my entire athletic career.”

On qualifying…
“The magnitude of this accomplishment…This really is a special feeling. I’m glad it’s over, glad I’m in.”

On competition mind games…
“I felt on. I was on point through 50. The wind kept blowing and I wasn’t sure if I needed to move up poles or stay and that was nerve-racking…I walked away and thought whatever happens I accept it. I was waiting for the sound of the crowd to tell me what happened. The sound of the crowd told me I was in third place and going to the Olympics.”

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MEN’S LONG JUMP (FINAL)

Marquise Goodman, first place

On his jumps…
“First of all, honors to God because without Him there is no we.”

“Everybody came focused today and that’s when the biggest jumps came.”

On the support from his mom…
“Words can’t even explain how overcome with joy I am…I can hear her over everybody.”

On his bond with William Claye…
“Since ’07 we have been competing on a national level…We have become brothers…We all applaud each other when we do good…We have been competing for a while and it’s paid off.”

On competing in Oregon…
“I love Oregon. I always have good results here…There is a real great audience…This is TrackTown!

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William Claye, second place

On going to the Olympics…
“I thank God for being here; there’s not a lot of people that have this talent.”

On jumping today…
“Seeing Ashton Eaton jump yesterday really pushed us. I thought, ‘If he could jump 27 feet and he’s a decathlete, so can we.’”

On his relationship with Marquise Goodwin…
“It’s our third team together. On our first team, we really connected; he’s like my brother. He calls my mom, ‘Mom,’ and I call his mom, ‘Mom.’ I’m going to push him and he’s going to push me. We just need to keep it going. I’m so grateful to be here with him.”

On Christian Taylor not making the team…
“I was jumping against Christian in high school and we weren’t even at the same meets. I would look and see what he jumped and need to jump better. We’ve just really connected. We’re all so close and we push each other. I know he wanted to make the long jump, but he will try hard to make the team in the triple jump. He’s going to push me and I’m going to push him.”

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George Kitchens Jr., third place

On making Team USA…
“I do want to give an honor to God. Without Him, I wouldn’t be here. Everything mentally was on making this team. I was expecting this win.”

On his performance…
“I knew the talent was there. I continued to jump well. I’ve been doing this for a while. I’m happy I came through to prove myself.”

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WOMEN’S DISCUS (FINAL)

Stephanie Brown Trafton, first place

On qualifying…
“This was the most complicated and hardest meet of my life.”

On the road to London…
“I really feel like I can be at the podium at London, if I can mentally prepare…At this level technique is secondary to mental toughness.”

On competing…
“It’s about being out there and doing this for the glory of God.”

On being a veteran…
“I still feel like I’m a newbie. I’m excited to get back to London.  I have some family connections in London; this will be the most exciting competition of my life.”

Closing statement…
“The only reason I’m here is that God gave me a position to put me on the platform to speak.”

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Aretha Thurmond, second place

On making the Olympic Team…
“This is so exciting. Four times: It’s a dream come true. This wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for my support team.”

On her longevity…
“For me the key to longevity is taking care of yourself. It’s training smart.”

On making the team four times…
“It’s just been an awesome ride. I think competing at this level has made me a better person…I’m just overwhelmed having been able to do this for this long, and it still excites me.”

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Gia Lewis-Smallwood, sixth place (third member of Olympic team)

On her throws…
“I feel all over the place. I did not compete very well. But the good news that happened was I threw well all year.”

On making Team USA…
“It’s my first Olympic Team. I’m happy about that. I wish I could have placed higher, but I made it. I’m happy for the sacrifices I made. Every year I’ve just stayed in the game and for that I am very happy.”

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MEN’S SHOT PUT (FINAL)

Reese Hoffa, first place

On his performance…
“I wanted to leave here happy…perform well, throw 22 meters. It’s just tremendous.”

On his throws…
“First throw was basically a safety throw. On throw three, once I hit 22 I thought it’d be tough for anyone to catch. The rest I was hoping no one would catch me.”

On Team USA’s chances of winning gold…
“I think we have three really strong throwers. We always send a strong team. Among the three of us [Hoffa, Cantwell and Whiting], we have to get it done this time.”

On going to the Olympics…
“I have a lot still left in the tank and I’m ready.”

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Ryan Whiting, second place

On joining the Olympic team for the USA…
“It is indescribable. I watched these guys compete in Beijing and it’s crazy that I am competing with them now. It’s awesome.”

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Christian Cantwell, third place

On why he’s not throwing as well…
“My back has been screwed since April 17, but it’s no excuse. I’m in a cycle where I can’t find my rhythm.”

“I’m throwing good in practice, I just need to pull it together in meets.”

“I just need to take this for what it is and move forward for the Olympics.”

On what his coach said about him going to the Olympics…
“Coach says this is a good thing; they won’t see me coming. It will be like back in 2008.”

On the time until the Olympics…
“It’s a quick five-week turnaround. I’ll try my hardest until then or die trying.”

On placing at the Olympics…
“I will be happy with any color [medal], but I’d really like the gold.”

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MEN’S 400 METERS (FINAL)

LaShawn Merritt, first place

On the competition…
“I wanted to come here to Oregon and run three smart races…there were eight men lined up who wanted to go to London…I’m glad to go to London with [Tony] McQuay and [Bryshon] Nellum.”

On running in Eugene weather…
“The whole U.S. team has a psychological advantage we have running through this, but we will get there [London] and it’ll be the same in all lanes.”

On running a season best…
“I have been training very hard this season…if it takes 43 [seconds] and digging in London I’m willing to go there.”

On the team…
“This won’t be my first rodeo. I will go in confidently, and I am definitely confident in Tony and Nellum that they can handle this. They came out of college and now they’re with the big dogs…It’s a different mentality to run with someone who can run 44.8 in the first round.”

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Tony McQuay, second place

On qualifying…
“I’m blessed to come here and compete with the best track and field runners.”

On being young and qualifying…
“I’ve stayed hungry and smart…I tell myself stay poised, stay humble, stay hungry…I’m young, but I’ve stayed hungry and I won’t back down for nobody.”

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Bryshon Nellum, third place

On making the Olympic Team…
“It’s been a long journey for me. I finally had a healthy season. It’s a blessing to be able to compete out here.”

On returning from injury…
“I just put it all in God’s hands. It’s not my plans; it’s His plans.”

On the support from his family…
“My mom was here today. She’s been here from Day 1. She’s my No. 1 supporter.”

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WOMEN’S 400 METERS (FINAL)

Sanya Richards-Ross, first place

On the  race…
“Today was phenomenal. There is something so special in competing at Hayward…It’s a dream come true. You really can’t think about it [Olympics] until you get past this. I’m excited to rep Team USA…I feel like I have one of the best coaches in the world.”

On her physical fitness level…
“I am in the best shape of my life. I feel like I have grown up physically and mentally.”

On the support from her husband…
“He told me, ‘Just relax and execute.’”

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Dee Dee Trotter, second place

On the race…
“The race was amazing; it was very fast through 300 yards.”

“I wanted to have a solid start and stay ahead. When Francena [McCorory] flew by me, I didn’t know what I was doing. I just wanted to have a good, strong finish down the home stretch.”

On making the team…
“Making the team has been my only focus this year. I’ve been training for this all year long. This accomplishment today is a godsend; it’s really a blessing. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to work for.”

On the glitter on her face…
“It’s my glitter face, my war paint. It’s been my motivation to keep me running well. It’s been no secret I haven’t been running well; it gives me a little extra strength.”

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Francena McCorory, third place

On making Team USA…
“We all trained for this exact moment right here all year long. It’s a blessing to be alongside these ladies. We’re going to bring back the gold.”

On her race…
“I usually don’t run like that. I usually get out very slow, but I wanted to get a good start. I ran until my wheels fell off. I wouldn’t say I ran the smartest race, but I wanted to make the team.”

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MEN’S 100 METERS (FINAL)

Justin Gatlin, first place

On his race preparation…
“I knew I had to get out of the blocks, keep the middle flawless, bring it home precisely and have the technique coming through the line…I have a lot left in the tank.”

On the road this season and to this point…
“This season so far has been undefeated and just trying to ride that wave…I have a son now and he knows what daddy does. When I bring him to the track he empowers me”

On preparing for the competition of the Olympics…
“If he [Usain Bolt] is in lane four doing a tap dance, I’m in lane three doing my thing…I’m my own person. I can’t mimic that. I’m me.”

On the Olympic crowd…
“I accept them and let the crowd empower me. We are not only runners; we are performers and I want to put on a good show.”

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Tyson Gay, second place

On making Team USA…
“I feel pretty good, just excited to make the team. I’m thankful for all my sponsors supporting me since Day 1.”

On preparing for the Olympics…
“I’ll continue to take care of my body and stay healthy. I know a lot of those guys are sharp, running great times.”

On his training…
“I feel like I’m on my way up. This is only my second race of the year and I only started training in March.”

On his surgery…
“I had a successful surgery. Things were just a slower process for me. I had to just keep fighting and keep negative thoughts out of my mind.”

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Ryan Bailey, third place

On the race…
“I just reacted to the gun and just tried to get out fast. There was pressure behind me at the end, but I made it and I’m good.”

On running at Hayward Field…
“I’m truly blessed to be here and run at Hayward. Every time I’m here they have great fans. I’m just really happy. I can’t put it into words.”

On overcoming a tough childhood…
“When I was younger, I didn’t have the best childhood. I went down the wrong path and then realized I had to turn it around. My coaches and family were there and I’m just really happy right now. I don’t know what else to say. I’m just happy.”

On not going to a Division I college…
“I would have loved to go to a DI college, but things don’t always work out how you plan.”

On always moving as a child…
“It wasn’t difficult at all. I was always happy going to new places and making new friends.”

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Jeff Demps, seventh place

On not making the NCAAs and the Olympic team…
“It’s been tough for me. I’ve just had to stay positive and I’ve trained really hard.”

“I’ve been dinged up, so for me to go out and compete like I did, I’m proud.”

On competing here today…
“I’m happy I could get to the finals and compete well. I competed hard today and I’m really proud of what I’ve done.”

On the difference between racing here in high school and this year…
“As a high schooler I just wanted to run fast and compete with the big boys. This time I wanted to execute my race like I’ve practiced.”

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Walter Dix, eighth place

On not making the team…
“Things like this happen. I really can’t say much about it.”

On not competing at full strength…
“Tried to test it one step at a time and didn’t want to let up at the end.”

On the Olympic team…
“I’m just glad my teammate Ryan Bailey made it through.”


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