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NACAC U-23 Championships - Day Two Quotes

Brianna Nelson, women’s 400m, bronze medalist
“It wasn’t really a good race for me, but I don’t think I got out very well. I’m happy to be here and compete for the U.S. The backstretch wasn’t too good. I didn’t get out as fast as I wanted to or should have, so I think that hurt me a little bit.”
“It feels really good. I’m just glad to be able to get on the podium even though it was definitely not my best race.”
Taylor Ellis Watson, women’s 400m, silver medalist
I tried to get out hard, which probably hurt me in the end. It wasn’t the best race, but I’m just happy to medal and compete for our country. I was just trying to keep my form and keep my legs going because I tend to overstride since I’m so tall. I was trying to make my stride a little shorter and quicker.”
Vernon Norwood, men’s 400m, fourth place
“It was my last one for the year. I just had to get out and try to finish strong for a medal. I just prayed that with all the training I had the strength to finish.
On winning a medal
It’s great. It’s the best feeling in the world at an international meet, competing against these great competitors. It’s a great feeling.”
Brycen Spratling, men’s 400m, gold medalist
“I tried to break stagger because it takes a lot of momentum away from the person ahead of me when you break stagger early. I’m pretty confident in my 200m speed, so I like my changes in the first 200. From there on out, it’s just coasting it to see what I have left in the last 200 and I was able to just hold on. I could definitely hear footsteps, and I knew I needed to pick it up a little bit. I was able to hold them off and get the win. “
Christina Hillman, women’s shot put, silver medalist
“It was more like a low-key meet, but it was still fun throwing with those girls. It went really quickly. I really just enjoy being here and being a part of this team and having really great supporters. We had a lot of people down there cheering for us, so that was nice.”
“I was definitely not using my legs a lot. I just jumped to the front and used a lot of my upper body. They weren’t the best throws in the world, but there are a lot of things I’ve been working on. It’s late in the season, so I’m really looking forward to where I can go from here next year.”
“It’s an honor. I love being here. I was thinking this morning that I’m wearing this uniform and it’s not an accident. I’m glad I was able to work hard and be able to come here and they recognize me as someone who is worthy enough to represent my country.
Kelsey Card
women’s shot put, gold medalist
women’s discus, gold medalist
“I won yesterday, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled with my distance so I wanted to come back today and try to improve on that. It started out super shaky, but then on the last throw, I finally got it together. I was really excited that after being out all day yesterday and then coming back today and finishing well. That’s what I really wanted to do – finish hard.”
“It was kind of funny because it was the same Canadian girls it was yesterday, so it was nice to already know them. I really like our throwing group. It was a lot of fun. I love the venue. We did have a bigger crowd down there cheering, so that was fun.”
Rachel Johnson, women’s 3,000m steeplechase, gold medalist
“I felt really good. I took it out I guess kind of harder and then just tried to hold on to the lead, but I’m really blessed to be able to represent the United States and really blessed to have this opportunity.”
“For the first few laps, I didn’t know who it was because I was trying not to look back. I could definitely feel somebody on my heels. I just tried to stay calm during the race and know in my head that I had trained hard for it and was ready.”
Courtney Frerichs, women’s 3,000m steeplechase, 4th place
“In the beginning I was just trying to go out kind of comfortable. I haven’t done a lot of steeple work because I’m trying to get ready for cross country, so it’s been a little tricky. I was happy with my pace in the beginning and the middle, but I kind of lost contact in the middle and I think that really got to me, and I slowed down a bit. Then I found it again in the last 800 or so, but I think I just ran out of room to catch up. I’m a little disappointed not getting a medal, but I know I gave it my all and hope I represented the country well.
LeTristan Pledger, women’s 100m hurdles, gold medalist
“I really didn’t know that I was leading for a minute, and then I was kind of off on the last three. My form got a little off, so I was just trying to finish it at the end. I’m happy with the gold, but I was not happy with the race.”
Vincent Wyatt, 110m hurdles, gold medalist
“I think I got out just fine. I knew who I had beside me, and I knew he always gets out. I just knew I had to get out and keep up with him as much as I could.”
“Towards the end of the race, I think I hit a couple hurdles, but for the most part, it was just fine.”
Eddie Crittenden, 110m hurdles, fourth place
“I felt really good going into the race. I felt loose; I felt strong; I felt like I had enough energy. I kind of had a weird start, and the first three hurdles were just weird. As the race went on, I got better. It was a good race. It was nice to keep training.  I think it went well overall. It’s exciting to be even be here.”
Sandi Morris, pole vault, gold medalist
“Overall, it was a good meet. We had great conditions. It went by really quickly. I had a good time, and it’s been a really great experience. It’s an honor to be here.
“It’s really cool to hold a record like this. It’s a big deal. It’s an international record. I haven’t done many of these, so its really good to come out and see new places and meet new people.”
“There’s nothing like wearing your country’s jersey. It’s the greatest honor an athlete could imagine. To be able to qualify for a team like this, it means so much and I hope I can make more national teams in the future”
Chris Bendsten, men’s 5,000m, silver medalist
“I gave it a shot. I just felt like why not run another race in a U.S. jersey. It’s still an incredible experience, and I’m glad I did it.”
Michael Shuey, men’s javelin, gold medalist
“It started off pretty rocky. I fell on my face the first attempt. My coach told me to clear my mind, and it was a little difficult to do that. I came back the next throw and almost had a PR. After that, I felt pretty good. I just went out there and had fun. 
“I’ve been chasing that school record for the entire season, and I was always like five inches or a foot away. Finally getting over that hump and them some was an amazing feeling.”
“This is a dream come true. I never thought I’d be doing anything like this a couple years ago. Now just being able to represent my country, my family and my school all at the same time and winning my competition is just amazing.”
Christopher Low, men’s 800m, qualified for final
“it was good. My strategy was just to get top three and make it on to the final. It was nice being in the second heat because I got to see what the first heat would do. I knew exactly the time I had to hit and went out there and hit it. I’m looking to win it, so I’ll do whatever it takes.”
Drew Windle
“I just wanted to see how it went out the first 2, and it went out pretty average of a pace, so I was really happy with that. After a little while I checked, and fourth and fifth were way behind me. I told the guys around me that we were good, and I started shutting it down. Those two wanted to race to the finish, but I saved a lot for the final.”
Brittany Howell, heptathlon, fifth place
“It wasn’t what I expected nor what I wanted. I’m thankful for the opportunity of course. I’m thankful that I came through and I finished healthy. It’s been a long season. I started training last August, so it’s been a long season. It takes a toll on your body. I’m just thankful for the opportunity from the U.S team. I’m thankful to my coaches for supporting me. This is just a stepping stone to getting better and to making another U.S. national team.
Quintunya Chapman, heptathlon, bronze medalist
“The second day was nothing compared to my first day. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be based on how I was feeling when I woke up this morning, but things happen. It’s been a very long season, and my body just literally couldn’t push itself anymore. I just did what I could to get through the second day and just ended up with third place, and I’m really satisfied with that.”
Ellie Ewere, triple jump, bronze medalist
“It was a lot of fun since it was my first international competition, and I didn’t really know what to expect. I just had the mindset of just going out there and having fun and just doing what I’ve been doing all year. It’s an amazing feeling to know that I can wear the USA on my chest and just go out there and do my best. I definitely enjoyed that and hopefully there will be more to come.”
Tori Franklin, triple jump, gold medalist
“Going into this meet, I really had to find my love for track again because my outdoor season wasn’t what I wanted. Getting another opportunity to come out here – come to Canada. I have never left the country. To represent USA was just a really good experience that I needed.”
“It’s exciting because I feel like I haven’t been jumping to my fullest potential. I know there were other times when I could have gotten the medal, and I know today that it was there.”
Margo Malone, women’s 10,000m
“Well I wanted to go out conservative because of the heat, so I just took it out. Once I found the pace, I just tried to hold it the whole time and really focus on consistent laps and just having fun. The whole trip is such a cool experience. It felt pretty cool just to put on the uniform too, so it’s just really awesome to be able to represent the country.”
Hannah Carson, women’s javelin, silver medalist
“Today was an interesting day. Competing internationally is new to me. I didn’t do as well as I wanted to, but I’m happy with my performance. It’s been a good vibe from the whole team. Everybody has been positive and supportive, so I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the team.”
Fawn Miller, women’s javelin, gold medalist
“Coming to Canada, I always love coming to this country. It’s so beautiful. It was a great experience overall. I always love coming and representing out country. It’s always an honor. I think I have a good shot next year. I have some things to fix, but hopefully I’ll be back on Team USA.”
Women’s 4x100m relay, gold medal
Cierra White
“I felt pretty good. It was a little shaky, but it was good I’m happy we got it around.”
Katie Wise
“I was just making sure that I was going to get the baton and then hand it off to by the time I was ready to exchange, and I’m happy we were able to get it all the way around the track. I can’t complain.”
Ebony Eutsey
“I’ve never run the curve before, and I struggled with the curve on the 200. Our handoff was good, so it was good.”
Octavious Freeman 
“I just thought about getting safe handoffs around the track. I knew that we could win if we just practiced having the safe handoffs and bringing it in to the end.

Men’s 4x100m relay team, gold medal
Remontay McClain
“It was my first time doing a first leg, so my goal was just to get the stick to (Aaron) Ernest. I did my part running the curve and then Aaron did his part.”
Aaron Ernest
“I saw Remontay (McClain) get out, and he got out very well. Then I got out. I know I brought the stick to Chris (Royster) in the lead. I knew that once he got it, there was no one who was going to catch him and (Diondre) Batson on the third and fourth legs.
Christopher Royster
“I kind of took off a little early, but I knew he was coming in, so I just maintained my speed. My mindset was to just maintain the lead that we already had and to just make sure that I ran through the zone to give it to Diondre (Batson) so that we could get the win.”
Diondre Batson
“I didn’t really worry about anybody else because you always have to worry about your lane. I’m blessed to have this team. I just knew that if I had the baton in the lead that I was going to keep it. My leg was a great leg, I had a great handoff, so I’m glad I got the win.”

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