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NACAC U-23 Championships - Day One Quotes

Brittany Howell, heptathlon
“The hurdles was my first race back. I came out and ran a pretty decent time. I wanted more, but it was pretty decent. High jump, it was the same thing – not as sharp. But I still had a pretty decent high jump. For shot, I was just two centimeters off my PR, so I’m definitely happy with that. With the 200, I just wanted to make sure I got out the first 150 and that  I could hold on and execute the race how I wanted to. I’m really happy with it going into Day Two, and I’m hoping for more improvements.”

Quintunya Chapman, heptathlon
“Hurdles went better that I expected it to be. It being a few weeks after nationals, which was my last race competition, I did PR, so I was excited about that. High jump didn’t go as well. It’s always been a weakness of mine, but I came back in the shot put with another PR, so that really got my spirits back up. And that meet record really pushed me and gave me more momentum for the rest of Day One and for Day Two tomorrow.”

“I am looking forward to tomorrow. Long jump would be my best event tomorrow and javelin would be my weakest, I’m going to focus more on my javelin. I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow.”

Shanay Briscoe, women’s high jump, silver medalist
“It was good. I just tried to go out there and make it onto the podium. It was fun. I had a lot of fun.”

On representing Team USA
“It’s always an honor. This is my fourth team, and it’s always a surreal feeling, putting on the red, white and blue and representing your country. It’s a great honor, and I’m proud to be here.”

Braxton Drummond, men’s long jump, gold medalist
“It’s amazing. It’s a nice venue and the weather was great. I was just hoping I would come out and give my all, and I did. I could have done a little better, but I’ll take it.”

On winning a medal for Team USA
“It feels good. It’s the first time doing this, and I’m trying to do this a lot more. I love it. It’s a great feeling.”

Devin Field, men’s long jump, silver medalist
“Competing today was really fun. I didn’t really compete like I wanted to, but it wasn’t a bad way to end my season, seeing as I am coming back from a bad season last year.”

“It was really great. It isn’t easy getting the opportunity to compete for the USA, so that made it great before I even arrived in Kamloops. The support from the team is great considering you meet some of the people a day before you compete.”

Tavis Bailey, men's discus, silver medalist
"It was a different meet. It’s been a long season, so I was just trying to put something together today. I had a decent day, and I’m happy with second place. It’s a huge honor. This is my first USA team. Hopefully, it’s not my last. It was just a really good experience for this to be my first, and hopefully I make another one in the future.

Rodney Brown, men’s discus, gold medalist
“I went into the competition thinking that this was the last meet of the season, and I’m going to have a little fun. It turned out pretty well. I go the meet record. It’s a good accomplishment. I’m glad to end my season this way. I didn’t have the season that I wanted to I had a lot of highlights, which I am very proud of, and I know what I’ve got to work on next year.”

Matthew Hillenbrand, 1,500m, gold medalist
“I didn’t really know what to expect, so I kind of went out at a semi-honest pace and made sure to keep the whole thing honest throughout. I wasn’t afraid to take the lead today, so I just went out there feeling good and waiting for someone to make a move and then kick home.”

“There were different guys switching off moves, and I was just trying to call as many as I could.”

“This is my last collegiate track season, so to top it off with this is an unbelievable feeling.”

Hillary Holt, women’s 1,500m, silver medalist
“I just went out and was actually expecting to probably have to take the lead because that’s usually how I run the strongest. I was pleasantly surprised when the girl from Canada just took it out, and she made it a great race. She got out hard. She wanted to run fast and she did. I tried to hang on for as long as I could.

I would have like to have done a little better the last three hundred meters, but I’ve been running since August of last year.

I’ve been going hard for a long time, so to be able to come out here and even if it wasn’t perfect, it was still good considering I have had a really long year. It was really fun just to put on the USA jersey for the first and hopefully not the last time. I hope to do it again.”

Diondre Batson, men's 100m, gold medalist
“I just wanted to be patient through the first 40. Whenever I do that, I close really well.”

On representing the USA
“It’s amazing. It’s indescribable to medal, especially when you’re representing your country. It’s something I will never forget.”

Antwan Wright, men’s 100m, fourth place
“I still have things that I need to work on, but all in all, it was a pretty good race. It was friendly competition among people. It feels amazing. This is my first international team. I am grateful. I’m blessed. I’m just happy to be here in Canada with everybody.”

Katie Wise, women’s 100m, silver medalist
“I ended up getting second. It wasn’t my best race, but I’m happy with what I did. I was able to get second. My teammate was able to get first, so I’m glad we were able to get one and two. I’m good with that. We both get to be on the podium, so I can’t complain.”

On being a part of Team USA
“It’s an amazing feeling and a great opportunity. I’m glad I can bring home a medal for USA.”

Cierra White, 100m, gold medalist
“I felt really good. I was really nervous going into it, but I think I did exactly what my coach told me, and I’m happy I got a chance to represent the United States of America and win.”

Christopher Bendtsen, 10,000m, gold medalist
“It was very similar to Sacramento. We were running together pretty much the whole way, helping each other out. It was just a ton of fun, feeling like Chris was just my teammate. I felt like I had been running with him for years, but we’ve been here a weekend. It’s been a lot of fun and congrats to the Costa Rican athlete who ran a personal best time today. That’s fantastic! All three of us are really happy.”

“We agreed that we would fight to the finish and we tried to put on a little show for the crowd. He made a strong move and I was hurting, so I was just trying to hold on. I just felt I had a little speed left in me for that final lap. It was just a ton of fun, coming in hard, battling it out and still feeling like we are teammates.

“It means the world to me. This kind of stuff is what you dream about when you’re in high school running. Just putting on that Team USA jersey it’s one of the best accomplishments that I could have ever dreamed of. I’m so incredibly happy, grateful and I thank God that I can have this opportunity.”

Christopher Enriquez, 10,000m, silver medalist

“As for my strategy, I kind of let him take it a couple laps, and then at the end, I was actually getting a lot more tired than I had thought I would be with the two mile to go.  Then I made my move with three laps to go, and it was a fight to the finish.”

“I felt strong on those last few laps. I didn’t really feel two tired on the third lap or second lap to go. When it came down to the sprint, that’s all speed. You could be durable those last couple laps, but then speed comes into play. “

“It’s a great honor to represent the team, the country that supports us and the other support that supports us. Again to come here with a teammate and getting some experience, I mean congrats to both of the guys in the field and go USA.”

Vernon Norwood, 400m semifinals

“I felt a little bit rusty because I took almost a month off since Sacramento, so I’ve just been practicing. I knew I just had to get out and see what I could do – see what type of shape I’m in and be aggressive. I was just trying to maintain what I had – the velocity that I built up and just try to finish strong to secure a spot to the finals tomorrow. “

On preparing for the finals
“It will be a much faster and much more aggressive race.”

Alex Collatz, women’s discus, silver medalist

“I wasn’t really that great today, but it was a good experience because there was hardly any pressure. I got six straight throws, so it was just a time to really enjoy the nice facility. It’s not really good discus weather because there was a bad tailwind, but it was really just an opportunity for us to all enjoy the event without worrying about pressure or this or that.”

Kelsey Card, women’s discus, gold medalist

“The first throws were a little shaky. I didn’t feel quite in the groove, but then it got better. My farthest throw was on my second to last throw. It was kind of hard because it was a smaller group, but it was nice to have your teammate there that you knew from college. It’s a great facility. Overall, It wasn’t as far as I would have liked, but we got it done.”

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