USA Track & Field Press Conference excerpts


Vicky Oddi
Communications Coordinator
USA Track & Field

Eugene, Ore. - 2004 Olympic silver and two-time World Outdoor 100m medalist Lauryn Williams, 2004 Olympic 4x400m gold medalist Sanya Richards, 2004 Olympic silver medalist and two-time World Outdoor 200m champion Allyson Felix and two-time World Outdoor 200m medalist Wallace Spearmon addressed the media at a press conference Thursday held in conjunction with the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials - Track & Field, June 27 - July 6 at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore.

Below are excerpts from Thursday's press conference.

Lauryn Williams

I've been doing the same things I've always been doing before a USA Championship, nothing extraordinary. I've been preparing, getting ready for a top peak and a top three finish at Eugene.

It's pretty nerve-wracking for me, I'll say. I'd say that there's a good 8 to 12 girls and anybody's game. I just hope that I can get out there and get my adrenaline pumping and do what I've always done. I'll work the kinks out during the rounds. When the gun goes off, explode out of those blocks and hopefully, I get out great and finish great as well. So, it'll be me making one of the top three. I was saying the other day that if you run this race Saturday night might be the final, but run it again on Sunday and you might get a whole different three people. Of course, that's how it could turn out. Me being one of those three people on Saturday is what I'm gunning for. It's what I'm living and breathing the next 48 hours.

Sanya Richards

My training has been going really well. I'm just really excited that I'm in Oregon. I'm just overwhelmed and excited that I could make the USA Team once again. I'm thrilled, I can't wait, not just for my event, but for all events. I think it's going to be an amazing meet. I'm looking forward to it.

I think its incredible that they brought the meet here to Hayward Field. Eugene is definitely the track capital of the United States. I think that by having such great fans, its definitely going to be shown on TV that people really get into it and get excited. I know that all the athletes are excited. We have such a great group of athletes competing now. They're exciting to watch, every race is going to be very competitive. I think it'll do wonders for the sport. I think we're going to assemble the best team ever sent to a major championship, so it should be very, very exciting.

On how you sell the sport: I think having a full stadium and fans are cheering and fans giving standing ovations and you have great performances. I think that translates on TV and has the people are watching who really enjoy it. We can all do our best. We can all compete to the best of ability, run great times. The fans are going to think what they want to think. I'm just hoping with this batch of athletes, as we continue to compete, that you can see our natural progress. You can almost 100 percent say that we're all clean. I'm hoping that the fans will begin to have more faith in our sport, but I think that's more in our actions than in our words. You can say that you're clean over and over again. It's in your actions, in running well and never testing positive.

I think that the fans will fill up every day and the fans get excited. I think in other places you don't even fill the stadium and so, that translates onto TV where if there's not that many people here interested then why should the people at home be interested. So I think that with the fans coming out, cheering for the shot put, cheering for the pole vault that will translate across to TV.

I really haven't tested myself in practice, I haven't run back to back 3 or 400s on three consecutive days. What I can say is that I'm really confident in that I haven't missed any training. When I look back and reflect on my season in 2007, I missed a lot of training because of my illness. And of course, when your faith is affected that's what happens when you run multiple rounds. I feel a lot stronger this year. I'm fortunate to have two days off after my semifinals, so to have the chance to have to run to make it to the finals, I'm sure I'll be able to recover in two days. It's the same case for the Olympics. With my health issues, I still think I'll be able to run and be very successful here and hopefully at the Olympic Games

Allyson Felix

I've also been just training very hard the last couple of weeks and fine tuning some things, getting ready to go. I'm just really excited to be here.

My last few hundreds haven't been exactly what I wanted to do, but I've been really working on the start and working on executing the race. I can do it. I'm just really trying to put the right race together in the final. Hopefully it all works out for me. We have a great field. From that vantage, anything can happen on that day. I just really have to put the start together when it counts.

I've bought the blocks they've been using here, I've just been using them the last couple of weeks, they're a little different. Whatever little edge I can get I'm going to take it. Definitely during that little week we have off, I'm using those and focusing on the first 80 meters of the 200.

I think that in an Olympic year, it just produces amazing things. I think that the Trials just comes along with it and anyone can make the team. I think that's great, I think it's exciting. I think that there are some neat girls that are out there that could make the team. It makes for a really great relay, too.

I've always loved the 100; I love speed. I've not always been that great at it, but I've always been willing to work hard at it. Nothing's changed right now.

Wallace Spearmon

This is my first time in a major competition in the 100. I've run a few open meets and I've been trying to run a few 100s this year. I ran here a few weeks ago at Prefontaine and got used to the track. That was a great experience for me. Now I'm here hoping to win it, not just make the team but to win it.

I think the main focus this year, with the new breed of sprinters we have, everyone's geared toward making the team. Our direction, our attitude is that we're young, clean athletes and you're either with us, or you're against us. That has no effect on what I came here to do. I came here to make the team. I came here to run the best I can and I'll be running, just running. I don't have time to worry about that. This is a big year and I have to just focus on myself and my goals.

There's a lot of young people here, a lot of energy. I think there are a lot of people planning on going out and doing some things that will be amazing. Everyone who comes here will be entertained. This is the first time I've been to a major championships where every day is going to be cool, not just the sprint days or just a distance race. I think every day will be cool. It feeds through the crowd. Whatever the crowds do, the athletes will respond and go above and beyond in their performances.

I'm just hoping to go out there and stay calm. I'm going to treat this like an important track meet, but still any other track meet. I'm going to do my best. I'm going to leave everything on the track. This is what I've been training for. This is my NBA playoff, this is my Superbowl, this is my everything. This is why I'm here.