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US Champs Quotes -Begley, Hasay, Sisson, etc.

David Smith – Junior Men’s High Jump winner

 

On what a USA championship means:”It means I’m blessed.
Really, I just see it as a blessing – making sure that you put God first

and everything else will follow.””My plan was to excel. You might
come up short, but things happen for a reason. That’s how I see it.”

 

On how he felt technically today:”I’m not really sure to be
honest because when I see myself jumping, I just jump. That’s how I see
it. I jump and just reach for the sky. That’s all I really try and do.”

 

On beating a fellow Georgia high school state champion,
runner-up Maalik Reynolds:

 

“Oh yeah, that’s my buddy. Maalik and I jump together in a
lot of meets and I see it as just good competition – competition that
gets the best out of you.”

 

Justin Hunter, Junior Men’s Long Jump winner

 

On the winning jump: “I thought I was jumping bad on all my
other jumps. For my last jump, I moved my mark up some because I felt
like I was jogging to the jump. After changing it up, I felt like I
pushed harder going to the jump on my last attempt.”

 

On his first jumps: “All of my jumps to start were pretty
much the same. I was slow on my approach, which kept me the same on the
distances.”

 

On how he won: “If I hadn’t changed my mark, I might not
have made it.”

 

On the field and weather: “This is my first time here, its
one of the best places I’ve seen so far. It’s just hot.”

 

Emily Sisson -Junior Women’s 3,000m winner

 

On what made the difference to win after being second last
year:

 

“I think the big difference coming in this year was I’ve
been working with a lot of good physical therapists and message
therapists and I just was able to stay healthy for a long period of
time. That made a huge difference. I really think them for making that
happen”

 

On winning among a talented field, including six-time junior
national champ Jordan Hasey of Oregon:

 

“I knew coming in it was a really deep field with Jordan and
Aisling (Cuffe) and Emily Jones. So I knew it was going to be really
tough. My whole strategy was just to sit off and wait on the shoulder of
them and kick at the end and try and be in the top two.”

 

On what it was like dueling Hasey down the home straightaway
to the finish line:

 

“It’s crazy because I’ve been racing Jordan for so long –
since we’ve been in middle school. And every time she’s been so far
ahead of me. And just being with her that last 100 meters was really
cool. It was a really fun race.”

 

Jordan Hasay -Junior Women’s 3,000m runner-up

 

On her goal for the race:

 

“Obviously, I just wanted to make the [U.S. national] team. I
wanted to win too, but unfortunately it didn’t happen today. I felt
actually really good through the mile and then coach told me to ‘Go for
it,’ and I went and I thought I’d gapped them [the closest competition].
And Emily came back up on me and ran a great last lap and I just didn’t
have it then.”

 

On her plan to run the 1,500 too [where she’s the defending
champ], regardless of the 3,000 outcome:

 

“Yeah definitely. I’ll talk to coach but I think I’ll run
both, unless, maybe, I’m tired. We’ll see. I haven’t run a 3K in a while
so I was pretty happy with that time.”

 

On the final lap and her awareness of Sisson:

 

“Yeah, I was looking at the video board and saw that I had a
little gap and coach told me to go for it a little more and I said ‘OK,
I’m pretty tired, but I guess I’ll make a big effort a little more.’
And then Emily passed me on the last lap. But it was a really close race
and we’re going to have a really great team for worlds.”

 

Dakota Peachee, Junior Men’s 3000m Steeplechase
winner

 

On race strategy: “I really didn’t want to go out and lead
the first 2K. I just wanted to sit until the last couple of laps and
then go. With it being the end of the season, I wasn’t sure what I had,
but it turned out really well.”

 

On making it to the World Juniors: “I am so stoked, it’s an
honor.”

 

On the end of the race: “I started to go with Michael Jordan
about 800 meters to go and I just decided to go with him. We picked up
the pace then and the last four hundred meters I decided to really pick
it up and try out jump the pack. A couple of guys caught me. We made it
to the water pit and they kind of stumbled, but last minute made the
pass on that corner and made it through to the finish.”

 

On the weather: “Better than it is in North Carolina, it’s
really hot, but everyone deals with the same thing, so it’s not so bad.”

 

Caleb Ross, Junior Men’s 110 Meter Hurdles winner

 

On the race: “The prelim race wasn’t a good race. It was a
little sloppy, so today I just want to come in and stay tall over the
hurdles. My effort finally showed in the race.”

 

On the finish: “When I hit the eighth or ninth hurdle, I
could see them closing. I just tried to push through as fast as I
could.”

 

On the weather: “This is much more humid than Arkansas. It’s
hot there, but not this humid.”

 

Karynn Dunn, Junior Women’s Long Jump winner

 

On her first jumps: “My first jump, I actually ended up with
a new personal record for the season, with 6 meters even. That wasn’t
that great, but it kept me in second until the finals. I consitantly
jumped around 6 meters.”

 

On the finals: “People started moving up and started hitting
the 6 meter mark, which I knew wasn’t going to get me to the team. I
just listened to my coach and did everything I was supposed to do, which
was a new personal record for the season.”

 

On making the junior team: “I’ve been trying to make it to
the team for a while. I was so ecstatic when I made that 6.21 meter
jump. Anything can happen and I knew it was my last year to make the
team, I am just so excited that the 6.21 jump held.”

 

Takeia Pinckney – Junior Women’s 100m winner

 

On her fast start:

 

“In the prelims, I really didn’t get out as much. And when I
got to the finals, I focused more on getting out, because I knew I was
going to have it at the end. So I just had to get out and drive.”

 

On what it means to win a USA Junior championship:

 

“It feels good. I didn’t have the opportunity to do it when I
was in high school, so it feels real good.”

 

On what this does for her future career at LSU and running
in the SEC:

 

“To be honest, it doesn’t do much. It’s no comparison at
all. But it helps me – and I need help – with my mechanics and stuff.”

 

Donique’ Flemings – Junior Women’s 100m hurdles
winner

 

“I’ve been practicing hard for this and to win the Junior
title is great,” noted Flemings, who is from Ft. Worth, Texas (Saginaw
HS). “What’s even better is matching my PR, which means I ran my best.
Now I have to keep working to get better.”

 

“It was a little different with two races in the 100 hurdles
today. I knew I had to run my race in the prelims and not worry about
qualifying for the final. I knew running a clean race would get me to
the final.”

 

“After winning the NCAA team title as a freshman, now I
qualify for the World Juniors with a first-place finish at Juniors.
There’s no better feeling than winning, especially in the 100 hurdles.

 

“Making the World Junior team means I have to keep working
hard and keep practicing so I can get better and compete well in
Canada.”

 

Nicholas Vena – Junior Men’s Shot Put winner

 

On the experience of winning two high school indoor national
championships

 

“It’s great. Winning any national championship is great and
gets you prepared. This is similar, but I feel like it’s a little bit
bigger. It’s a great feeling winning these and going to the bigger
meets, a little bit better prepared with what I’m going to be facing in
these meets.”

 

On his performance today:

 

“Today was really good. I was very consistent with the 65
and 66-feet throws. But you know, it was the first time I ever competed
with the 13-pound shot, so I’m real pleased with the series. I’ve been
working the last two weeks with a 13 and it paid off.”

On making that adjustment to the bigger shot:

 

“It wasn’t that much. I’m a big guy and the 12-pound is a
little smaller in your hand. The 13’s a little bigger, so it holds me
back and I hit my positions a little better. So, it’s not a bad change.
It helps me if anything.”

 

Alex Gochenour, Junior women’s Heptathlon winner

 

On taking the lead:

 

“I knew I had to beat her by 14 seconds. We had all been
talking and she said her best was a 2:35, so I knew I had to get at
least a 2:20 to get a definite win. I just went out and run as hard as I
could and see what happens.”

 

“To be able to win an event in nationals over all these
older girls is an awesome feeling.”

 

On closing the distance to win the race:

 

“It makes the win even better because I had to beat her by
that fourteen seconds, which is huge. That’s a huge amount of time. To
go out there and be able to do it was tough. I’ve closed a nine second
gap to win before, but fourteen is a lot more than nine. It was an
awesome feeling to be able to go out there and do that.”

 

On running with Fountain:

 

“It’s hard to just go out and lead that race by yourself, so
it’s nice to have someone with me to push me. At about 1:25 left, she
started to kick and I just went with her.”

 

Bridget Franek, Women 3000 Meter Steeplechase Heat 1
Winner

 

On the race: “I guess I would say my thought process was
very similar going into the preliminaries at the NCCA meet. It is a lot
different because of the weather, but basically I wanted to get through
without any slip-ups or mishaps and exerting as little effort as
possible.”

 

On her race strategy: “My strategy was to just sit in the
middle and then take it when I felt that I could without spending too
much energy.”

 

On preparation: “It’s definitely a tribute to my coach and
time at Penn State. They prepared me very well for this meet and this
championship season in my season year. For that, I am really thankful
and just glad to be feeling so good right now.”

 

Lisa Aguilera, Women’s 3000 Meter Steeplechase Heat 2
Winner

 

On the weather: “It was very hot and humid out there, but it
felt good.”

 

On leading the race: “I hadn’t planned on leading, however, I
felt comfortable and it was good to stay out of the way of any falls,
so I just stayed there.”

 

On the race: “It was a good tune-up. This year, we have two
days of rest between prelims and the finals. It’s okay if we run a bit
harder.”

 

Brittany Smith – Junior Women’s Shot Put winner

 

On having back to back events (shot put to hammer throw):

 

“I’m tired. I think in shot I’m more consistent. I think
with the hammer, I’m not as consistent. Shot was my best chance of
getting in so now I’m just more relaxed. I think if I didn’t do shot
then I’d be more nervous. But I think now I’m more relaxed. I am tired
though. It’s hot out there!”

 

On qualifying for the IAAF World Junior Championships July
19-25 in Moncton, Canada:

 

“I haven’t even thought about it yet. I’ve barely been able
to go home. I actually just got here from being home. I got a couple of
days off and I just went home and relaxed. I’ll train some, but I think
he’ll give me a week off, and then I’ll just come back and go to school .
I think I’ll just go home and go to school.

 

On having the longest season of her career:

 

“It’s been so long, a lot longer than expected. It’s okay
though, you know? I think… My biggest thing is just going back to
school and just throwing and, getting more reps in and working on the
little stuff.”

 

Phoebe Wright – Women’s 800 Meter Run Heat 1 winner

 

On accomplishing her goal of the race:”I wanted to get out
in the front and stay out of trouble – just kind of make it a smooth
effort.”

 

On continuing her roll off the NCAA Division I championship
in the 800:

 

“Yeah, I haven’t lost one yet. Hopefully it won’t start this
week. The confidence helps, but now I get to tangle with the big dogs.”

 

On how she likes the track:

 

“I’ve always liked this track. I like that it’s a
non-biased, good location with pretty good weather. I think it’s one of
the best tracks to host a big event like this.”

 

Alysia Johnson — Women’s 800 Meter Run heat 2
winner

 

On how she feels after her first outdoor competition of the
year:

 

“I feel good actually. I’m excited to get the round done
because this is my first race outdoors. So it just kind of feels like
today was my first race and I needed to get the cobwebs out.”

 

On how the race followed her strategy for it:

 

“Perfectly. Yeah, I just wanted to qualify easily and not go
for PR now. I’m in shape to PR, but I was just excited to get the round
done.”

 

On how she runs similar to Phoebe Wright in that both run
out front and push the pace:

 

“You know what, I’m not really thinking about anybody else
but myself. It doesn’t really matter whether someone’s way out in front
or behind me just as long as I execute my race plan.”

 

Geena Gall — Women’s 800 Meter Run heat 3 winner

 

On how she felt about the race and the effort:

 

“It was pretty much how I felt I’d go out. I just stuck
behind Nikeya [Green] for the whole race and I felt comfortable – I felt
really good. I’ve been having some good training since New York a
couple of weeks ago and I’m definitely ready for this week. And yeah, to
qualify top 3, definitely means a lot and is good for my confidence
coming in. This is my third 800 of the year, so it’s definitely an
adjustment getting back to running these 8’s.”

 

On her strategy to hug the inside for most of the race:

 

“How they put us on the line with that waterfall start, I
had to get out quick so I wouldn’t get boxed in. I didn’t want to get
cutoff or trip and get into any of that mess. So I played it smart. I
could have stayed right up there with her [Green], but I let her take
most of the wind and take the lead. I don’t want to lead until I have
to. I started kicking with 150 meters to go and closed well. It felt
good.”

 

Tyler Mulder,men’s 800m heat 1 winner

 

The coach told me to sit and settle in the first 400 and let
all the other guys beat each other up. A lot of guys have the same
tactic. Everyone wants to get out in the 51 range. It’s like a faster
pace. I just tended back, let everyone jostle and try to build into it. I
wanted to put myself into position for the last 200 to 150 to get the
automatic bid without having to sit here and watch the other heats and
be nervous and worry. I did a lot of weaving and everything. I really
don’t run that tactically. But it was good.

 

Karjuan Williams, men’s 800m heat 2 winner

 

As you know, it was a tactical race. You can’t go to sleep
at any time. You have to make sure you are awake, active and ready to
push. You have to work, weather you are in the back or the front. You
have to be constant to keep going.

 

Nick Symmonds, men’s 800m heat 3 winner

 

Usually, they put us (Oregon Track Club Elite member) all in
the same heat and we have to kill each other to get through. I was
really happy with the draw. I’m happy all of us made it through. We can
take care of it in the semis. It felt good out there. I was really
nervous about the heat and the humidity. But it felt so good, with
perfect temperature/conditions to run fast.

 

I’m excited for finals. I tried to move up on the inside in
the backstretch, because everyone was running on the outside of lane 1. I
thought I might be able to ride this all the way to the front. I made
up a few spots up, but then I kind of ran out of space. I thought I
better wait and move to the outside. Fortunately, I only had to let a
couple of guys pass before I could move out. But, I don’t think I am
going to make that mistake in the finals. I was kind of playing around
with tactics a bit. That my tactically soundest race. But I was kind of
able to switch through the gears and see what I had in my legs.

 

Neamen Wise – Junior Mens Decathalon winner

 

On maintaining the lead after the 100m:

 

“I know my second day isn’t as good as my first day so I
knew I might have to notch it up a bit. But I had a little confidence. I
knew he had to beat me [to win] so all I had to do was stay on him.”

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