Day One Quotes - USATF Outdoor & Junior Outdoor Championships

Day One Quotes - USATF Outdoor & Junior Outdoor Championships

Provided by USATF

USATF Outdoor Championships - Quotes

Women’s 800 meters - Brenda Martinez, Heat 1 winner

“I was really comfortable (after the first 400). [Finishing in the] top three is good enough for me. If I finish third, I feel like I won because I made a team. I shoot to win and top three. I tried to let the heat not bother me. Everyone is dealing with it. You have to do everything you can to stay cool.”

Women’s 800 meters - Charlene Lipsey, Heat 2 winner

“Overall it was a good performance. This heat is pretty tough, you can hear it in my voice. It caught me off guard but tomorrow we run a little later so it might be better. (The goal tomorrow) is finals.”

Women’s 800 meters - Raevyn Rogers, Heat 3 winner

“It is motivation. It was not the plan to win but my coach knows what I can do. I know what I can do. It is a matter of going out there and doing it. I will have to see (what time I can run). We will see. I am not done. This the meet I want to do really well for. I felt composed and in control. I was trusting the process.”

Women’s 800 meters - Ajee Wilson, Heat 4 winner

“Even on my way to the track today it was kinda a breakdown. It is about getting to the line. I just want to stay as focused as possible on my race and get through these next three days. I feel pretty good (about my fitness). Charlene is a good gauge where I am. In workouts, if I am able to stay with her or just a little bit off. I can fine tune based on how she is performing. I am taking it one round at a time.”

Women’s 800 meters - Alysia Montano, ran 5 months pregnant

“I felt amazing. People were telling me I was going to run faster than you did last time because you are less pregnant. I am still pregnant. It is hotter out there today. I didn’t warm up really and I did my after warmup. I did not run around. I just stepped out there and was warmed up.”

“I was pregnant here in 2014, it was such an amazing experience. I reached so many people and women who let me know my journey and story had inspired them in so many different ways. There is something about coming out to any venue not really expecting to win but going along with the journey and seeing what comes out of it. It is the most beautiful part about me being a track and field athlete with the platform I have, I feel so responsible to be a representative for people who don’t have a safe platform or voice that I do.”

Men’s 800 meters - Jesse Garn, Heat 1 winner (1:46.76)

“It’s my fourth straight (USATF Outdoors) and it’s the first time I made it out of the prelims, so it feels great! The race played out exactly how I wanted it.”

Men’s 800 meters - Isaiah Harris, Heat 2 winner (1:48.09)

“Tried to keep myself from being nervous. Whatever happens happens. The work’s been put in and I just out go there and do my best, no matter what. I am feeling pretty great and trying to survive the heat and keep advancing.”

Men’s 800 meters - Erik Sowinski, Heat 5 winner (1:46.55)

“It was nice being in the last heat. We know how fast everyone else ran. I told the guys on the line ‘Let’s go, let’s run fast.’ The heat doesn’t matter to me, I rather run in the heat than 50 degrees in the rain.”

Women’s 100 meters - Barbara Pierre, Heat 1 winner (10.99)

“The season’s been up and down. I had faith and worked a couple of kinks out the last couple of tries. I feel good at my last practice and I think I am in good position. I just gotta go one run at a time. I am not thinking about finals right now; it’s just one race at a time.”

Women’s 100 meters - Morolake Akinosun, Heat 4 winner (10.98)

“It was a good race. It was the first round. I haven’t raced since pre. And it was a good race to get back in it. I don’t know if anyone is used to (the heat), it’s hot in Texas but not this hot. You just have to be smart about it, stay hydrated and stay out of the sun as much as possible.”

Allyson Felix, second in Heat 4 (11.03)

“I plan to run the 100 and 200 here. That’s what Bobby (Kersee) wanted me to do right now. My focus at worlds is on the 400 for sure. We’ll see what happens as far the relays go.” (As defending champion in the 400 meters, Felix receives an automatic bye to next month’s world meet in London.)

Men’s 100 meters - Jaylen Bacon, Heat 1 winner (10.01)

“It was a pretty good start, honestly. I felt like I should have done a lot more. There is a lot of technique stuff that I got to work on. Making it through to the next round is really the goal. Tightening everything up and make sure everything I do is crisp and make everything is on point so I can run as fast as I want to. I love the track. It is a good track. I thought it was going to be hot but I am glad they put water on it.”

Men’s 100 meters - Christian Coleman, Heat 2 winner (9.93)

“It felt pretty good. I just wanted to come out here and get through the rounds and execute as best I can. I wanted to make it through, that was the goal.”

On how he feels after college season...

“I feel like I still have something. After the collegiate season, you don’t have worry about really and can just come out here and focus on each race. That is what I did today.”

Men’s 100 meters - Isiah Young, Heat 3 winner (9.97)

“Dealing with USA sprinters, you know going in all the heats are going to be fast and full of competitors. I just went out and focused on my lane, executed my race and came out with the win today. The goal for tomorrow is keep taking it one round at a time, attack every 10 meters the best i can and stay aggressive.”

Men’s 100 meters - Justin Gatlin, Heat 4 winner (10.00)

“Tomorrow’s going to be even faster.”

On the possibility of racing Usain Bolt in the Jamaican’s final major meet in London...

“When I was coming back in 2008, my goal was to run shoulder to shoulder with him, and I did that. I want to make it to his last final.”

Mike Rodgers, second in Heat 4 (10.00)

“It was good having Justin in my heat. The old guys got to flex a little bit. I checked over at 60 and then shut down to get ready for tomorrow. As long as your top two qualify, [just getting to] the next round is cool. You want to win the heat to get a preferred lane.”

Men’s 100 meters - Kyree King, Heat 5 winner (10.19)

“I felt like my heat was good. They were all fast and anyone could win. I had to come out and execute and get the job done. The pan for tomorrow is execute a little better and advance.”

Women’s 400 meters - Quanera Hayes, Heat 1 winner (51.20)

“I just really wanted to set myself up good. I knew I was in the heat with Shakima (Wimbley) and I know how strong she is, so I wanted to get out good and hold and execute my race the way I was supposed to.”

Women’s 400 meters - Courtney Okolo, Heat 2 winner (50.97)

“I feel good. I didn’t really know where I was since this is the first race. Being in lane two, I just wanted to be aggressive and not get out slow because then it would have been hard to finish. I just try to get out aggressive and come home in first.”

Men’s 400 meters - Michael Cherry, Heat 1 winner

“The first thing I wanted to do was execute my zones. I did that pretty well. My coaches told me to win the heat. Whatever it took to win the heat, that is what I had to do. I didn’t want to run that fast because it’s early. But I got to deal with it today. Same thing moving forward. I want to try to win. I want to get back in the lane tomorrow and try to advance the final. I should be Ok..”

Men’s 400 meters - Gil Roberts, Heat 2 winner

“I am happy with the win to automatically qualify. I am upset i ran that fast in the first round. Not bad because I got through so that is all that matters. I am going cool down, get something to eat and go to sleep.”

Men’s 400 meters - Tony McQuay, Heat 4 winner

“The whole goal today was to come out and focus on your lane. It is the first round so you want to take it easy. I think I took it a little too easy. I am trying to adjust to this time zone over here. Today I felt a little rusty. I was able to maintain and finish the race for the win.”

Men’s 400 meters - Fred Kerley, Heat 5 winner

“I did good in my heat. I crossed the line first, that’s all. The plan was to qualify for tomorrow. It was pretty easy. I qualified for the next round. I put in the work. With practice, you can do anything.”

Men’s 400 meter, Patrick Leeper

“I am excited. It is my first race of the season. I have been training really hard for this moment to be here at the trials - the first double amputee ever. I wanted to advance, but if I don’t I have won already. Just being here and showing everybody what you can truly do with a disability . My training partner - Gil Roberts, has been pushing me. There is something about training with the best in the world. It was a PR. I am excited. I could have had a better race but i am happy where I am it. I want to be in the 44 and be competitive. I am glad i am here and getting the applauses. I want to be a competitor and I want to fight,”

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase - Emma Coburn, Heat 1 winner

“I am looking forward to race in the final. Winning the heat doesn’t really matter as long as you are top five, but I wanted to get a little bit of a quicker pace in my legs in the last lap just to be a little bit closer to goal-race pace for me. But it was good, it was comfortable.”

Women’s 3000m Steeplechase - Courtney Frerichs, Heat 2 winner

“I think it’s great to have (the race) to be super competitive. That was one of the most exciting part of last year’s trials which was the depth. It was super exciting to be in that field, especially since the 2015 NCAAs. It was so fun to be with Leah and Colleen (Quigley), so it would be really cool to kind of see those young ones progress to that point like we had. I know it was really fun that every time you step on the track you had to be your best because those girls’ gonna bring out the best in you.”

Men’s 1500 meters - Ben Blankenship, Heat 1 winner

“It felt good. It was good to come out and do something, turn the lights. It is a little different 2017 season). There are a lot of younger guys in it. We will see how it shakes out.”

Men’s 1500 meters - Cristian Soratos, Heat 2 winner

“It went exactly how my coach and I talked about it. I stayed out of trouble, kinda a little in lane two. I did not panic about it. I liked having my own space out there. It gave me a clear lane when I started to go. After that and I took the lead, I told myself I have a little more, I have a little more. I helped me stay relaxed the last lap. It worked great.”

Women’s 1500 meters - Kate Grace, Heat 1 winner

“When I talked to Drew (Wartenburg, her coach) this morning, he thought I will be more relaxed if I am in the front, (because) you never know with the first heat you want to be sure you are in top 3 going on time. I never done it before, I usually just let it go in prelim, so I was a little bit nervous about it, but I am happy. I feel confident with the training and confident in Drew. I never run here when the video is on. I wasn’t exactly sure before. I knew I wanted to be able to gage in the final stretch who’s behind me, but I don’t really know...I haven’t seen (the video) so that’s a new one for me.

Women’s 1500 meters - Jenny Simpson, Heat 2 winner

“I give Sacramento props for doing what it can for the heat. We got mist going, everybody’s got ice baths. It’s a lot of heat prep. I think it paid off, the first heat went relatively fast and it was a good heat. I think I show tonight I am kinda back to myself and ready to take charge of the situation and really show I am ready to go for the season.”

Women’s 1500 meters - Gabe Grunewald, Heat 1

"It's so meaningful to be here this weekend. This is definitely the end of a journey for me that has been full of ups and downs, but it's been so overwhelming to have the support of the track and field community. I'm just grateful to have so many people out here tonight who really care what I'm going through, and I hope that other people can see that I'm trying to be the best example that I can be of somebody who's trying to persevere through something difficult.

I'm just really overwhelmed and really excited to be part of the Together: Nothing Is Impossible campaign, and so I really hope that USATF and the American Cancer Society can benefit from me sharing my story and being out here this weekend. I'm super grateful for the support, and I hope I can be back in the future and not running on chemo and be cancer free -- that's the goal."

Men’s Hammer - Alex Young, first place (241-11)

“It is really awesome especially coming off NCAAs two weeks ago. It is a great experience to be out here and compete with some great guys. To comeback and actually win the championship after finishing second at NCAAs. I am really grateful. My sequence of throws was some what scattered. I was trying to go after it and see what I could do. I knew I had to hit the world standard out here [and that] would be my best bet for worlds. It did not quite happen but I had fun and came away with a small PR.”

Men’s Hammer - Johnnie Jackson, second place (235-2)

“I felt absolutely great (about my finish). I came in ninth overall on paper. I was lucky to get near my PR and throw one. I felt really good today. I felt fast and sharp. I knew it was going to be a great day. Of course, i did not come up with a PR. I was glad to be able to get out a good throw. At NCAAS I threw 71.72 and today i threw 71.69. I am ecstatic with the consistency.”

Men’s Hammer - Sean Donnelly, third place (234-5)

“Today’s competition was OK. I definitely would have liked to throw farther but everyone always wants to throw farther. The heat was hard with 18-person prelim was very poorly planned especially with conditions like this. Everyone has to deal with it and you have to go out and perform, make finals and do your thing. Unfortunately, it is hard to get in a rhythm with warmups and the first couple rounds are tough. I came away with third place and I am pretty happy with that. It puts me in a better position for world qualifying which is good.”

Women’s Javelin - Kara Winger, first place (206-0)

“Nobody likes the heat. I was trying to hydrate the whole time. It was just a little bit difficult energywise sometimes when you are in the warm-up track and not in the main stadium, it’s really hard to get the excitement going. My last round’s energy was what I wanted in the first round so I am not necessary happy today but I am happy with my seventh national championship.”

Women’s Javelin - Ariana Ince, second place (191-4)

It started out a little rough. My first two were about 50 meters. Then I slowly kept building up. If there were more throws maybe I would have kept throwing farther because I never really hit one. ^8 is not terrible. (On heat) I am from South Texas so this is about normal.”

Women’s Javelin - Rebekah Wales, third place (181-4)

“I can’t be mad. This is my third USA meet. I could not be more excited about the future and the opportunities. I always want to throw better. I did a decent series today.”

Women’s Triple Jump - Keturah Orji, first place (46-9½)

“I am alright with (today’s competition). I wish my series was more consistent, but a win is a win and I am very happy to win today. It’s more humid (in Georgia), I don’t think it’s this hot. I was very confused as to how to stay warm because you are already so hot but you also want to stay warm so I was confused but I am happy with the win.”

Women’s Triple Jump - Tori Franklin, second place (45-3½)

“From the beginning I just knew it was going to be a good day. I woke up with really good energy in the air with a lot of support from friends and family and even strangers. I just came to the meet with really positive attitude and just a lot of confidence -- and it show in, not all of my jumps because I fouled most of them, but if you could have seen those fouls it would have shown in those, too. I am still happy with my result.”

Women’s Triple Jump - Andrea Geubelle, third place (44-8½ wind-aided)

“I definitely didn’t. I really did not think it would hold up for third today. I was out there to jump further and hopefully jump the standard today, but it’s been a rough year training-wise coming off the Olympic year. Still trying to wrap my head around track and field.”

Women’s Discus - Gia Lewis-Smallwood, Winner

“We had to work for that performance today. All of felt the heat a little bit. It cooled off in the end being in the heat today we had to really work for it. To get this win is special. I took a little bit to get moving and going. Once I did I was lucky enough to get a good throw to win the meet. With the hot spell and trying to stay hydrated and fresh, to win under these conditions is phenomenal. This is my fourth national title so it is always very special. I am so proud of all my competitors. They worked so hard. To be a national champion amongst that field is very special.”

Women’s Discus - Whitney Ashley, second place

“Man, it was a tough meet! I came out, I warmed up really well. My first two throws were like 55 meters, I looked at my coach and I said ‘uh-oh what’s going on?’ and He said ‘You’re fine. Believe in the technique and get after the next one’ and then it picked up in the third round. After that it was smooth sailing, but I was a little worried. I am not gonna lie, it was not easy.”

Women’s Discus - Valarie Allman, third place

“It’s pretty great right now. My emotions definitely fell all over the place, but mostly I feel so incredibly fortunate and blessed right now. Once that third throw happened it kinda solidified that I can get to Finals and have three more my mentality of survival went to ‘okay, now you can compete and do the things you’ve done a thousand times...just to be able to get into the flow that’s what makes it most exciting.”

Stephanie Brown Trafton, tenth place (171-4)

Brown Trafton confirmed that she’s retiring, concluding a career that included a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics and three U.S. Olympic team berths:

“We don’t realize our legacy until years down the road. I feel like my legacy is the young throwers who have said they were inspired when they saw me on TV. There’s not an age limit in this event, but I want to get on with the rest of my life. I can still be a part of the sport and try to make it better for athletes and fans.”

Women’s 10,000m - Molly Huddle, first place, 31:19.86

“I just wanted to pour it all out on the last lap. It’s good preparation for worlds. Winning is never a given. This is an amazing year depth-wise. The younger kids get faster every year. I didn’t run well in my last race, so this one was a good sign. I think I’m going in the right direction. I’ve still got a month to get ready.”

Women’s 10,000m - Emily Infield, second place

“I knew Shalane (Flanagan) was going to take it and kind of make us hurt and work for it. She’s so strong and I am just so impressed with her and her comeback. She just continues to impress me and I loved having her to look up to. To be in the race with her it felt like a comfort when she was there, it was nice. I was prepared for awful, awful conditions and it actually wasn’t too bad. I was expecting it to feel like the worst I have ever felt, but with the sun setting it felt so much cooler.”

Women’s 10,000m - Emily Sisson, third place

“This was a very deep field and all the girls I expected to be there. I had doubts creep into my mind. There were five us and only three spots, and these girls can kick. I gave it everything and if that’s enough, then that’s enough. I had hoped (I would make a team). I remember thinking when I made my last junior team in high school, I really hopes I made senior team one day. But you never know. The talent in the US and the caliber is so high, especially tonight with so many amazing women on the line, I was really hopeful and I have been training hard hoping it paid off.”

Men’s 10,000m - Hassan Mead, winner

“I picked the right spikes today because i usually go with very aggressive spikes. For being a 10K, I went down a notch or two. My legs felt comfortable. Anytime my legs feel comfortable, breathing is nice. I was very comfortable and controlled out there the whole race. It was pretty good. (On moving race back) “The temperature seemed perfect. I was eyeing yesterday what it would feel like at 9 or 10. I was pleased with it. Once the sun goes down it cools off and the breeze comes across. It was a plus they moved it back.”

Men’s 10,000m final - Shadrack Kipchirchir, second place (29:01.68)

“Unfortunately, Hassan surprised me and it was too late to chase him. I really wanted to win. This is a really strong team. I want to medal at worlds. That’s what we’re training for.”

Men’s 10,000m - Leonard Korir, third place

“The race was good. I am happy that I made the team. The main goal coming here was to make the team. At some point, I thought maybe it was going to be really tough, but I am happy today that I was able to make that position.”

About how he feels about having teammate Shadrack Kipchirchir making the team with him:

“(It feels) so good. So good. We train together all the time and to have my teammate on the team with me is something amazing.”

USATF Junior Outdoor Championships - Quotes

Women’s Discus - Laulauga Tausaga-Collins, winner

“I was pretty confident coming in. I didn’t throw what I wanted to throw, but I am happy I made the [Pan Am Juniors] team. That was the main goal and focus coming in - make the team and make it to Peru. It is pretty awesome. The first throw was the throw that got me first place. The second and third were fouls. I was not moving the way I was supposed to in the ring. I was glad after three or four really bad throws that I came back and hit a really good mark at the end. From start to finish, I think I did pretty well.”

Men’s Javelin - Liam Christensen, winner

“It is a big relief. I was a little superstitious after what happened last year. It is nice to have the weight off my shoulders and be done and look forward to Peru now. On the last few throws if I had to take one to keep the lead or top two, I would have. I was not looking for a potential way to get out of the position I was in. I was confident that I would be alright so I figured it would be the smartest move.”