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Team USA Press Conference - Portland 2016


IAAF World Indoor Championships - Portland 2016

Team USA Press Conference

Wednesday, March 16

Ryan Hill

On his championship race last weekend

“It was a really good 3k at the championships last weekend. The two guys we’re sending are really good and it’ll be a fast race. I hope me and Paul (Chelimo) are going to do well this weekend.”

On strategy for this weekend

“I’d say the general strategy is to get to the front and stay there and get a good kick at the end. I’ll have a good position and hopefully I’ve been training hard enough to where it’ll work. Top five is possible and if I have a good day, hopefully I can get a medal. I think getting a medal will be a bit more difficult.”

On running rounds indoors

“The rounds will be weird because we’ll only eliminate four people. I’m not super excited about that, but it has to happen since it’s a World Championships. I’m hoping to get through it.”

On if he’s more suited for the 3,000m than the 5,000m

“The 3000 is probably my best event. I’ve never run it outdoors but it’s the main thing indoors for me. The distance itself is the biggest advantage for me. Because the focus is the Olympics, my group has been training like 5k runners but running a 3k off it. We haven’t changed specifically for the 3k but it suits me and my system really well.”

On getting to compete in his training city

“It’ll be cool to be the home favorite during the 3k, even if you’re just a U.S. fan or from Portland and want to cheer for the Portland-based runners. Hopefully it’ll bring more support our way. Running for Bowerman Track Club, we have a lot of support in the state anyway. My home is two miles away. I look out my bedroom window and see the spires of the Oregon Convention Center, and it’s weird.”

On the post-meet tweets between Bowerman Track Club & the Nike Oregon Project

“We were all hanging out after the race and tried to compose a comeback. There’s no anger or animosity. We see each other on (Nike) campus now and then, but it’s mostly friendly. It’s not a big deal. We got a laugh out of that.”

Brenda Martinez

“I would say my indoor campaign has been smooth. I’m lucky to be healthy. I stayed on the west coast for the most part except for Boston (New Balance Indoor Grand Prix), which was a good day for me. Portland is my backyard. It’s just a 2 hour flight and it’s the same time zone, so my family and neighbors can watch on TV. It’s a good stepping stone and will set me up well for outdoors.”

On running the 1500m over the 800m
“I definitely wanted to go over distance this season indoors. I haven’t been doing a lot of strength work lately, but the intensity of my strength work in the fall was a great benefit. I had no interruptions. I wanted to go for it for the 1500m, but I’ll go back to the 800m outdoors. I’m not snappy but I’m strong.”

On her winning race in Boston

“I definitely need to get used to racing in the front and maintaining. It was a good confidence builder for me. There were plenty of mistakes I made in that race that cost me time. I’m in 2:02/2:03 shape and I ran 2:04. There are plenty of Ethiopian-born girls in this field and I can perform better.”

On Russia and their IAAF suspension

“It’s good not to have the Russians here. They’re suffering the consequences. Hopefully they can be the example not to cheat. Some of us have been robbed from those experiences and you hope they’re going to clean it up sooner and all we can do is focus on what we’re doing, doing it right. They shouldn’t be in Rio. You can’t clean it up in a year. It’s not my call. You can see the results and times have slowed. But there’s only so much you can talk about. You hope it’ll get cleaned up and all you can do is focus on yourself. I know what my potential is and I only feel sad for Alysia at every championship but you kind of pray everything will be sorted out.”

On the first IAAF Championship on U.S. soil since 1987

“I’m definitely excited. My family gets to watch and once I step on the line, I’ll be thinking about them. You feel that support in the States and wearing the uniform. You just want to do your best on that day.”

Marquis Dendy

“It definitely feels good to represent my country and hold my world lead. I want to continue to extend that and I have a lot of work to do. Being on U.S. soil is incredible, and it feels good to have the home crowd with us.”

On jumping a world lead at USATF Indoors

“I actually was a little frustrated because the runway is really fast. I didn’t have enough time to test out the runway beforehand. On the beginning, my first four jumps were a struggle. I was running really fast and I wasn’t able to get my foot in the right position. Took me a bit to adjust to it. I’d rather test it out at USAs instead of Worlds. I’m going to be able to adjust really well and will be able to jump farther (because of that). Trying to get it down but I’d rather have it happen at USAs vs. Worlds.”

On if he’s going for the world record

I’m definitely my eyes on all world records. Last weekend, it was hard to adjust. The runway is fast, so I had to make those adjustments and I Didn’t get into the right area until my 5th jump. So I’m piggybacking on that and I’ll be able to hit my marks earlier and go for Carl’s record.

Michelle Carter

“I’m excited for World Indoors. For me being a glider, the ring doesn’t matter because it’s 7 feet 2 inches. For some of them, it’ll matter for them. To open for 19.49m is my second best opener ever, so I’m excited to go to Worlds and see what we can do.”

On if she’s surprised that the team hasn’t received more questions on doping

“I’m not surprised we haven’t received doping questions, and we’re here to focus on ourselves and our team. We’re focused on representing our team and representing our country well. Our organization and the IAAF, everyone is taking care of cleaning up the sport. The IAAF is doing their best and they’re going to do what’s best for the sport and for everybody.”

On being a veteran on a young team

“Being one of the oldest on the team, I get a lot of questions. Having the experience, I love passing it on to the team and I’m happy to pass down the experience. I want their transition to be as smooth as possible. The more comfortable they are, the better they’ll perform.”

On being active in the Portland community this week

“I enjoyed speaking to the kids yesterday. They were excited to be there and meet me. You can show kids, ‘hey, you can do this if you work hard.’ (Track & field) can open up doors to other parts of life you never thought you can do. I’ve traveled the world, I received a free education, so it opened doors and it brings more value to the sport.”

On if other countries catching up in the medal count affects Team USA

“It’s not something I think about because we’re Team USA. We’re still the world’s greatest team. There’s a changing of colors. There’s people retiring and people getting their first team experience. I have to work harder to show the young ones and then they’re working hard and all around, it helps us be a better team. I think we’ll do well and I’m looking forward to it.”

Ron Allice, Team USA men’s head coach

“This is my first time representing the United States. It’s an honor and unbelievable experience to meet and be a part of this group. There are some veterans but this (team) is the future. It’s an Olympic year, so people had to make choices in terms of their training schemes. Our own hourly time clock and having experience in that facility is going to be advantageous over the next four days.”

On the relays

“(The) people who are responsible for relays in representing the United States, we’re going to try to do the best we can. We’re going to be on the right track. (We have) a lot of young people who are the future. They’re hungry and everyone wants to run. I’m excited.”

Tim Cawley, Team USA women’s head coach

“Anytime you get a chance to represent the United States, it’s a tremendous honor. To be on this team and to be on home soil for the first time 30 years, it’s a great honor to be in that situation. We have a nice mix of veterans and fresh new faces, new talent coming up. Everyone is pretty relaxed and pretty excited to compete.”

Amanda Brooks
Marketing and Communications Manager
USA Track & Field

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