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USA Championship Quotes (Day One)

6/23/2011
 
USA Track and Field Championships - Day One
June 23, 2011
Hayward Field

Attendance: 9,949

Shelbi Vaughan, First Place, Women’s Discus Throw (Junior)

On her goal:
“My goal was do to my first throw the very best I could.”

On the event:
“It was really exciting. I wasn’t expecting (to win) because I’m the youngest of the group.”

Derek Eager, First Place, Men’s Javelin Throw (Junior)

On the event:
“I felt good, it was the biggest meet that I have competed in. I went up against a lot of good guys and I’m happy with the result.”

On feelings prior to event:
“I felt nervous but I was mostly excited.”

Phoebe Wright, First Place, Women’s 800 Meter Run (Senior)

On pace:
“I just needed a smooth 200 meters in order to get what I wanted out of this race.”

On meet:
“I am just focusing on making the team, that is the importance of this meet.”

Tyler Mulder, Heat 1 Winner, Men’s 800 Meter Run (Senior)

On his performance:
“I didn’t feel 100 percent, but my coach said I may feel a little sluggish the first day. I trained hard to get here and I knew I could advance.”

On the race:
“I thought it would be a faster race since there were so many front runners in the heat. I was scared someone would do something foolish early, but I was prepared to relax and move into the second or third spot. I was glad I was able to conserve some energy for my next race.”

Elijah Greer, Second Place, Men’s 800 Meter Run (Senior)

On fast start:
“I notoriously start out fast, but it was nice to start out in the lead.”

On overall race:
“This was one of the fastest races that I have ever been a part of, it helped me keep my intensity up.”

Elijah Greer, Second Place, Men’s 800 Meter Run (Senior)

On fast start:
“I notoriously start out fast, but it was nice to start out in the lead.”

On overall race:
“This was one of the fastest races that I have ever been a part of, it helped me keep my intensity up.”

Nicholas Symmonds, Second Place (Heat 2), Men’s 800 Meter Run (Senior)

On his race:
“I felt really good today, I was slow the first 200 meters, which is what I wanted because I wanted to ease into the rest of the race.”

On tomorrow’s race:
“I’m going to treat tomorrow like the finals and run a textbook race.”

On what’s next:
“I’m trying to peak in September instead of June like I did last year, but I have to make Team USA first.”

Mark Wieczorek, First Place (Heat 3), Men’s 800 Meter Run (Senior)

On his race:
“I hit the time I wanted to hit. I got to the next round and hopefully I’ll move on to the finals.”

On what’s next:
“I’m going to race tomorrow to win and advance, tomorrow I’m treating as my final.”

Khadevis Robinson, First Place (Heat 4), Men’s 800 Meter Run (Senior)

On his race:
“I felt fine, it was a good race. I eased up too fast. I need to be ready for tomorrow. I’ll figure out some race plans tonight and come out ready tomorrow.”

On the competition:
“These young guys, and college kids are sharp and confident. I have to be carefully mentally because I’m not as young as them and I’m not from here. But these guys will push me and help me do well tomorrow.”

Turquoise Thompson, Second Place (Heat 1), Women’s 400 Meter Hurdles (Senior)

On the race:
“It was a steady pace the entire race, just was worrying about bringing it home (advancing).”

On strategy going forward:
“I just want to treat every race like it’s a final because you never know how the race will go. I always want to do my best.”

Lashinda Demus, First Place (Heat 3), Women’s 400 Meters Hurdles (Senior)

On how things are going:
“Things are moving along right now. But I have high expectations for myself. As long as I move on I can’t complain yet.”

Jasmine Chaney, First Place (Heat 2), Women’s 400 Meter Hurdles (Senior)

Thinking for the race:
“I was more focused on the length of my strides rather than my overall race time.”

On recent races:
“I was ready for this, even though I have been doing a lot of races recently. This race was my focus, the one that I am putting all my effort into.”

On prepping for Finals:
“Fifty four seconds is where I need to be in order to be considered.”

Christine Spence, First Place (Heat 4), Women’s 400 Meter Hurdles (Senior)

On the race:
“My anticipation for this race was much higher than my time demonstrated.”

Plan for tomorrow’s race:
“Attack tomorrow’s race, today was more of a pace race. I am getting myself ready for the next couple of days.”

Allyson Felix, First Place (Heat 1), Women’s 400 Meter Dash (Senior)

On today’s race:
“Today was a good set up for the finals. It is important to take it one stage at a time.”

Debbie Dunn, First Place (Heat 4), Women’s 400 Meter Dash (Senior)

On the race:
“I felt good today, it was a good win. I wanted to come out and get a good lane for tomorrow and I did.”

On how to prepare for tomorrow:
“I’m going to rest and relax tonight and then come out tomorrow and run a good race. I want to set myself up for a good lane in the finals.”

Michael Berry, Second Place (Heat 1), Men’s 400 Meter Dash (Senior)

On his performance:
“I just did what coach told me to do today. Just advance.”

Jamaal Torrence, First Place (Heat 1), Men’s 400 Meter Dash (Senior)

On the race:
“My finish was the best part of my overall race. My goal is to do the same thing tomorrow, there is nothing that I feel like I have to change for tomorrow.”

Greg Nikon, First Place (Heat 3), Men’s 400 Meter Dash (Senior)

On his race today:
“I ran to try and win. It was tight on the backside, but I finished.”

On tomorrow:
“I’m going to run the same plan for tomorrow, but I just want to pick up a little bit.”

Tony McQuay, First Place (Heat 4), Men’s 400 Meter Dash (Senior)

On today’s race:
“It went really well, felt good to be out there. I felt really relaxed and just wanted to make sure that I kept my feet underneath me with solid, long strides.”

LaShaunte’a Moore, First Place (Heat 2), Women’s 100 Meter Dash (Senior)

On the race:
“I felt a little rusty since it was my first race in three weeks. I usually like to race every two weeks to stay in a rhythm. Overall, I feel good and healthy.”

On future competitions:
“I am going to try and improve my start, that’s the weakest part of my race right now. Hopefully I will feel a bit smoother as I continue racing.”

Stephanie Brown Trafton, First Place, Women’s Discus Throw (Senior)

On what she’s going to do after winning:
“I’m going to party with my family, that’s all I want to do after winning.”

On throwing a great first throw:
“That’s kind of my pattern, I won the Olympics on my first throw and I won today on my first throw. It puts pressure on others.”

On the meet:
“I wanted to have an awesome meet and the first throw made me feel good. I had to dig deep in the end and finish.”

On planning to ice everyone after first throw:
“That’s my pattern. I normally have an awesome throw on my first throw. I won the Olympics on my first throw. I think I might have won my 2009 title on my first throw. I won my California state championship on my first throw. “

On if the throw helped her relax
“It puts pressure on others. It’s not something that you come out and say, ‘I’m going to have my best throw on my first throw.’ You come out and you want to just have an awesome meet. It ends up that I have a great first throw. And my last throw…my coach said it probably wasn’t farther. It was right on the same as the first. That’s awesome progress for me. I want to be able to compete. Aretha’s (Hill Thurmond) last throw, I don’t how far it went, but it was far. She was sixth and she bettered her last throw. I knew that if she came out with a throw that would be farther than me. I was like, ‘Oh, no, where do I pull it from.’ One of my coaches was saying, ‘You have to pull it from the well.’ It’s one of those things where you have to dig in deep, where you have that inspiration. For throwers, you can’t go faster in the ring to go farther. You have to have a longer wind up. You have to turn your foot solid, and you have to feel like you have a 10-foot pull hanging off your right side. It has to be long, strong and big. I am long, and strong and big. It worked out for me today. Congratulations to all the other girls. Gia Smallwood-Lewis is going to her first world championship. I’m looking forward to going on to the World Championship with one of my friends.”


Justin Gatlin, First Place (Heat 1), Men’s 100 Meter Dash (Senior)

On his start:
“I’m not known to be a good starter, so I wanted to mix it up a bit and come out well.”

On what’s next:
“I’m built for rounds, so I’m ready for tomorrow. Each round I build more confidence. My competitors are great, they are helping and supporting me.”

On his goals:
“I’m running for gold this time, I want to get my edge back. I’m shooting for a dominant place.”

Ivory Williams, First Place (Heat 5), Men’s 100 Meter Dash (Senior)

On his race:
“I felt really comfortable, it was a good race and a good delivery.”

On how he feels:
“Everything is ready to go, I feel good about where I’m at. I did the Prefontaine Classic and other tournaments to prepare for this.”

On how to prepare for tomorrow:
“I just need to come out and do the same thing I did today.”

On what this win means:
“I had to focus on me today. This win gives me confidence that I can compete with some of the fastest guys in the world.”

Carmelleta Jeter, First Place (Heat 3), Women's 100 Meter Dash (Senior)

On race:
“It went really good for the first round. Nothing for my to be overly excited about, but nonetheless still good for day one. I have to come out tomorrow and bring it.”

Michael Rodgers, First Place (Heat 2), Men’s 100 Meter Dash (Senior)

On today’s race:
“It was nice, a nice warm up for tomorrow’s race. I wasn’t too happy with my start, but that’ll be something that I can fix for tomorrow’s race.”

Jeff Demps, First Place (Heat 4), Men’s 100 Meter Dash (Senior)

On race:
“I am just racing to qualify, racing for another day.”

On race expectations:
“I just had to put all the expectations and pressure behind me and enjoying running.”

Tyson Gay, Second Place (Heat 5), Men’s 100 Meter Dash (Senior)

On the race:
“My start was a bit sluggish, my whole goal was that I didn’t false start.”

On health:
“I am feeling good, just starting to get back to full strength.”

Kibwe Johnson, First Place, Men’s Hammer Throw (Senior)

On his throw today:
“I had to harness the energy when the crowd got behind me. I didn’t know my throw was a PR, but I knew it was a good one when I released it. I just wanted to be somewhat technical with my throw, but I let the energy take it the rest of the way.”

On how he felt after he got his PR:
“I was weak in the knee when I found what that I got my PR, I was so happy.”

On how his year has been:
“It’s been a good year, I changed coaches when I moved to Canada in 2008. I had a horrible 2009 year, which we expected, but it’s been a steady improvement ever since then.”

Matthew Centrowitz, First Place (Heat 2), Men’s 1,500 Meter Run (Senior)

On how he felt in the race:
“I felt strong and smooth during the race. It was great running front of everyone.”

On what it would mean to qualify for the Olympics:
“Ask anybody who has made the Olympics from this (Oregon) program. It means a great deal to all of them and it would mean a lot to me.”

Jennifer Simpson, First Place (Heat 1), Women's 1,500 Meter Run (Senior)

On the race:
"I didn't think of their being wind, but 200 meters into the race, I was thinking wow there is a lot of wind."

On her training:
"The last couple of weeks I have been putting the training in and getting readu. I wanted to be here today and be ready for it."

On how she feels:
"I feel sharp and ready in the 1500 meters training wise, so I chose to run this race."

Andrew Wheating, First Place (Heat 1), Men's 1,500 Meter Run (Senior)

On the race today:
"It was absolutely the way I wanted it to go. I was singing and jumping around under the grandstands before the race. I was focused, but in a good way. I felt really comfortable down the stretch, I have lots more left in me."

On how he feels:
"I felt total love for this sport out there today, I felt really comfortable."

On getting ready for the finals:
"I'm on cloud nine right now, I need to bring myself down and focus for the finals."

On having AJ Acosta place second:
"I was so excited that it was AJ there with me. I was cheering him on down the stretch."

Jordan Hasay, Sixth Place (Heat 2), Women's 1,500 Meter Run (Senior)

On her race:
"I'm tired after the long season, I did the best I could. The crowd really helped, it was a good race. I'm happy I'm still through, but  I don't know how much more my legs can handle."

On getting this far:
"I'm excited to be moving on, but this is all good experience for me. I know what to do for next year. I'm happy to be doing this meet."

Kyle Alcorn, First Place (Heat 1) Men’s 3000 Meter Steeplechase (Senior)

On his race:
“It played out way different than I thought it would because I was leading the first mile. I’m not used to doing that, but I just went with it.”

On how he feels going into the finals:
“I felt comfortable out there in the first mile, so I feel ready. You won’t see me leading the first mile in the finals. I’ll be sitting out there in the back until the last lap or so.”

William Claye, Second Place, Men’s Triple Jump (Senior)

On strategy:
“I just wanted to go out and make the team, then be ready for the long jump.”

On having Christian Taylor as a teammate:
“Christian helps me and vice versa, it is really helpful having both of us push each other.”

Christian Taylor, First Place, Men’s Triple Jump (Senior)

On Coach’s strategy:
“Coach got us ready to peak now and get ready for worlds.”

On coming to Hayward Field:
“It is always fun coming to Oregon, it truly is Track Town U.S.A. here.”

Ashton Eaton, First Place (Through Day One), Decathlon (Senior)

On today’s events:
“Today was consistant for me, not an incredible day, but overall a good one.”

On competition:
“Some of the other competitors haven’t done this in a while, their body language can tell whether or not they are fully ready for this. I am used to this, it is me competing agaist myself.”

AJ Acosta, Second Place (Heat 1), Men’s 1,500 Meter Run (Senior)

On race strategy:
“I just wanted to make sure that I ran a solid race and that I was positioned well for the final 300 meters.”

On race:
“I am not sure why it was so easy for me to qualify today, but during regionals I couldn’t go out and get it done. Oh well, I am happy with today and ready for the fianls.”

Brian Clay, Second Place (Through Day One), Decathlon (Senior)

On beginning events:
“I let myself get distracted easily in the beginning and then once I was focused, fatigue set in. I felt fine with today, but I know I am capable of doing better.”

Bernard Lagat, First Place (Heat 3), Men’s 1,500 Meter Run (Senior)

On the race:
“5,000 meters is my focus, but today was a good way to get my legs ready for tomorrow.”

Ben Bruce, First Place (Heat 2), Men’s 3,000 Meter Steeplechase (Senior)

On race:
“It went just like anyone could have wished out of a preliminary race. The key is to qualify without any issues.”

Jarred Rome, First Place, Men’s Discus Throw (Senior)

Mentality for today:
“I was really nervous, the older and older I get the more and more nervous I seem to get. It has become expected of me to make the team consistently.”

On goal for Worlds:
“I am currently 3 months behind on my training, but by Worlds my technique is going to be perfect.”

Michelle Carter, First Place, Women’s Shot Put (Senior)

On competition:
“It was really fun out there today. I felt good and finally I could show off all my hard work I have been doing.”

Goal for time before Worlds:
“Keep working hard and training to fully perfect my technique so that I can be standing on the podium for Worlds.”

Kara Goucher, Second Place, Women’s 10,000 Meter Run (Senior)

On her race:
“I wanted to go for a great time. Once the gun went off I just went for it.”

On placing second:
“I’m really excited to have made the Team and I’m really happy my son was here. I’m hard on myself though; I wish I would have gone a little faster tonight.”

Shalane Flanagan, First Place, Women’s 10,000 Meter Run (Senior)

On her race:
“I wanted to run aggressively tonight, I wanted to come out and run my own race. I was excited to make the team. I hit a nice rhythm and I felt really good.”

On her training:
“Training has been going great for me in Flagstaff. I didn’t know how fit I was, but the altitude has apparently done me well.”

On how she’s feeling for the summer:
“I’m excited that I’m feeling sharper and I’m getting my legs back under me. I think my best times will come in August and September.”

Matt Tegenkamp, Second Place, Men’s 10,000 Meter Run (Senior)

On the race:
“I thought the runners would separate earlier and it would be a fight to the finish. This was a race that was suited to me. I give a lot of credit to Galen (Rupp), he ran a smart race.”

On his performance going forward:
“In this situation and the year I’ve had, this is the type of race that will come down to a test of fitness at the World Championships. I’ll definitely be ready for it.”

On the last four laps:
“I didn’t notice where Galen was until probably the last 700 meters and I didn’t feel him coming up on me until the last 200. He ran a smart race. I think I’m just coming into my stride after missing last year.”

Galen Rupp, First Place, Men‘s 10,000 Meter Run (Senior)

On race:
“This race was very tactical, every race is, even at this level, so my technique is what helped me finish strong.”

On final lap:
“After hearing that bell, all that triggered in my mind was to drive it home to the finish line. I am happy with the race and I look forward to taking it to Worlds.”

Being back in Eugene:
The community here is incredible, everyone wishes me luck and congratulates me. I love coming here!”


Katie Branham
Marketing & Communications Manager
USA Track & Field
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