Athlete Quotes - Nike Prefontaine Classic


Jill Geer
Director of Communications
USA Track & Field

Brad Walker, 1st, men's pole vault: "To get the inaugural Maria Mutola award is great. It's a great honor. Someday I hope to have 16 Pre wins under my belt. ... Just because I did 6.04 today doesn't mean that the Trials will be easy. I'm trying to stay focused. My 5.90 jump was a little cleaner but I was on a bigger pole at 6.04. Sometimes you can do bigger tricks on bigger sticks.

"I've never heard cheering like I heard at my second attempt at the WR. It startled me. It's overwhelming. But I'll take that any day of the week. It was great."

Maria Mutola, 1st, women's 800: "It's been great for me. I've been training for several months. Its tough today, I'm very emotional. I knew I had to have a perfect time and perfect finish. I'm very satisfied and relieved. Everything went well I'm very happy and very glad to be back in Eugene with a wonderful Eugene crowd."

Kenenisa Bekele, 1st in Men's 10,000m: "I did my best. It was my fastest this year. The pace was a slow pace and around 4km I wanted to go faster, then I was getting cold. I'm satisfied. It was OK. I liked the crowd very much. The weather was nice, I like the fresh air very much. I like the sun.

"This is my first time to run [outside] in the U.S. It was a good race for myself and for the fans. I have many friends here and the crowd was good... I haven't decided about Running the 5,000 or 10,000 or both in Beijing. I 'm not sure yet."

Meseret Defar, winner women's 5,000m: " My legs were not relaxed. In the beginning I was a bit cold. I'm feeling good but the time was not very good. I am very disappointed but I am in good shape. My training has been going well since my championships."

Sanya Richards, 1st, women's 400: "I feel good. This year is all about the victories. I'm happy to come back in a couple of weeks. I've been really consistent. I love the new track, last year it seemed a little faster bit I think people will like this track. I love the new stadium. This is a great place to compete."

Darrel Brown, 1st, men's 100m: "My starting block kept slipping back so we went back the first time. It also slipped the second time, but we just kept on."

Gelete Burka, 1st, women's 1500m: "The race was good. Last week I ran the 5000 but I'm also working on shorter distances too."

Joanna Hayes, 1st, women's 100m hurdles: "I felt good for the beginning. At 8, 9, and 10 I started to lose control. For women's hurdles you really don't want wind. When I finally got to 10 I told myself to relax and not press it. I relaxed too much and hit the 10th hurdle ... The track is pretty good. Historically I run badly at this track. Now I tell myself its good. This surface is really good. I'm excited about running here for the Trials."

Anwar Moore, 1st, men's 110m hurdles: "It was pretty interesting. Lots of false starts, lots of pauses. Overall I'm happy with my race. I can't wait to come back for the Trials. It should be a good show. Whomever runs the hardest and the smartest race will win."

Adam Nelson, 1st, men's shot put: "I was just working to get my competition timing and rhythm for the Trials. It took me a while to figure it out but once I did I got some big throws. The Trials is going to be awesome. If we have weather like this and great crowds, there will be big throws. The big reason to come here was to get on the Trials circle and really get a good picture of what it'll be like at the Trials."

LaShawn Merritt, 1st, men's 400m: "When I pressed out of the blocks I felt my calf grab. I ran a race in Monaco last year where that happened so I knew what to do so I didn't press it a whole lot. I was feeling it but not enough to stop. I've never thought it was a one-man or even a two-man race. I feel like its an eight-man race. If I thought it was a one man race I wouldn't line up. There's a lot of great 400 runners outside the U.S., too. The Olympics is some months away, anything can happen."

Wallace Spearmon, 1st, men's 200m: "It was my first time breaking 20.20 here. It felt good with a good crowd. Hopefully I can break some more records. Maybe I'll even come here and break my own records at the Trials. At the Olympic Trials you never know what to expect. I still have some things to do but I feel like I'm in good shape."

Bernard Lagat, 1st, men's 2 mile: "Eugene is very special because the people know Track and Field. It's like you're in the Track and Field capitol. This race was very important, so I know now how it is going to feel in two weeks. I can only imagine how exciting it's going to be in two weeks. It's going to be wonderful."

Torri Edwards, 1st, women's 100m: "I'm very happy with my performance. Right now I'm feeling great. I wasn't focused much on the time, just on the race, so I'm feeling pretty good about the race. There's a lot of talent in the 100 meters, a lot of women who have dropped under 11. The Trials is going to be exciting."