NCAA Division I Championships, Final Day Notes
Final Day Notes
DAY FOUR RECORD BREAKDOWN
—Texas A&M captured its third straight NCAA men’s and women’s outdoor team titles and are the first program to do so.
—Sheila Reid of Villanova became the first woman in NCAA outdoor history to win the 1,500 and 5,000 in the same championship meet. Earlier, she won the 2010 NCAA individual cross country title.
WORLD, U.S., COLLEGIATE LEADERS
—The men’s triple jump saw some of the best results regardless of wind conditions as Florida teammates Christian Taylor and Will Claye soared 58-4.75 and 58-9.75, respectively. Both marks were wind aided. Claye won the the 2008 and 2010 NCAA outdoor triple jump title. Taylor’s fourth attempt was not wind aided, therefore setting a Drake Stadium mark of 57-1.
—Texas A&M recorded the fastest men’s outdoor 4×400 relay time in the world of 3:00.62, eclipsing previous mark of 3:00.80 by GW Express from U.S. at Florida Relays.
—Texas A&M recorded the third fastest women’s outdoor 4×400 relay time in the world in 3:26.31.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP MEET RECORDS SET (Saturday)
– Texas A&M senior Jessica Beard, who won the 400, ran the fastest women’s 400 split (49.14) in NCAA championship history in leading the Aggies to victory in the women’s 4×400 relay.
COLLEGIATE RECORDS SET DURING FOUR-DAY MEET
Men’s 100 – 9.89, Ngonidzasha Makusha, Florida State (old mark – 9.90 by Ato Boldon, UCLA, July 27, 1996
Other notes from Saturday:
–Texas A&M won the men’s 4×400 relay in 3:00.62 to secure the Aggies’ third consecutive team title. They entered the final event nine points behind then-leader Florida State (54), which was not in the race. Florida, in second place at the time with 50 points, placed sixth in the 4×400 to gain three points for a team total of 53. LSU was second in the 4×400 in 3:01.07.
—Texas A&M shattered the Drake Stadium record in the women’s 4×400 meter relay to win the race in 3:26.31 and secure the Aggies’ third consecutive national track & field championship. Oregon entered the women’s 4×400 meter relay tied in team points with 39 and was defending champion in the event, but finished third in a time of 3:26.46. The stadium record was held by Penn State, which ran 3:27.69 in the 2008 NCAA Championships. Texas A&M’s time of 3:26.31 is the third-fastest in the world this year.
In another note on Texas A&M’s win in the 4×400 relay, the Aggies’ Jessica Beard anchored the victory in a split of 49.1, the fastest women’s 400-meter split in NCAA Championships history.
–Florida junior Christian Taylor won the men’s triple jump with a best leap of 17.80m (58-04.75), followed by teammate Will Claye (17.62m, 57-09.75). Both marks were wind-aided, but each had allowable marks in the event that topped the previous Drake Stadium record. Taylor’s wind-allowable 17.40m on his fourth attempt eclipses Kenta Bell’s stadium record of 17.02m from 2010, as does Claye’s allowable 17.35m on his third attempt today.
–Liberty senior Sam Chelanga won the men’s 5,000 meters in 13:29.30 after finishing second a year ago. Chelanga was runner-up in last night’s 10,000 meters after finishing first in that event in 2010 and third in ’09.
–In the men’s 110 hurdles, LSU’s Barrett Nugent won in 13.28, followed by Illinois’ Andrew Riley in 13.33. Nugent was second a year ago in 13.49, behind Riley’s 13.45. Riley was third in 2009.
–Arizona sophomore Julie Labonte won the women’s shot put with a toss of 18.31m (60-01), followed by Oklahoma sophomore Tia Brooks (18.0m, 59-00.75). Labonte was fourth last year.
–Southern California senior Nia Ali won the women’s 100-meter hurdles in what would have been a Drake Stadium-record 12.63 (wind +2.1), followed by Ohio State junior Christina Manning in 12.72. Ali’s time would have replaced the previous mark of 12.65 by Damu Cherry at the 2010 Drake Relays, and is the best collegiate mark for 2011 and No. 2 in the world (wind-aided).
–The University of Colorado produced its third winner in the past four years in the women’s 3,000-meter steeplechase, as the Buffaloes’ Emma Coburn won in 9:41.14 after finishing second a year ago. Former Colorado All-American Jenny Barringer won in 2008 and ’09, and also claimed this year’s Drake Relays invitational 1,500 meter title. Stephanie Garcia of Virginia was runner-up in 9:47.29.
–Florida State’s Maurice Mitchell won the 200 meters in a wind-aided (+2.6) 19.99, which would have replaced the previous stadium record of 20.05 (Michael Johnson, 1997). Mitchell was third in last night’s 100 meters (10.00) and earlier today ran the third leg of the Seminoles’ winning 4×100 meter relay that finished in 38.77.
–LSU’s Kimberlyn Duncan won the women’s 200 meters in a Drake Stadium-record 22.24 after finishing second in the 100 meters last night. That mark is best in the world for 2011 and give her an NCAA sweep of the event for 2011 after taking home the Indoor title in March. Runner-up Jeneba Tarmoh of Texas A&M (22.34) also topped the previous stadium record of 22.36 by Ebony Floyd of Houston (2007), and her mark is second-best in the world this year.
—The men’s 1,500 meter run saw Oregon’s Matthew Centrowitz win in a time of 3:44.71, after finishing third a year ago. Runner-up was Dorian Ulrey of Arkansas (3:45.07).
–In the women’s 1,500, Sheila Reid of Villanova claimed her second championship of the meet in a time of 4:14.57, after winning last nights’ 5,000 in 15:37.57. She is the first to ever double in the two events at the NCAA Championships. Lucy Van Dalen of Stony Brook finished behind Reid running 4:15.33.
— In the men’s 4x100m relay Florida State (38.77) edged out Texas A&M (38.91) and Illinois (38.96). The win secured Ngonidzashe Makusha his third title at the 2011 NCAA Championships, as he ran the second leg for the Seminoles, following wins in the long jump and 100 meters. Two time defending champion Florida did not finish.
–LSU upended four-time defending champion Texas A&M in the women’s 4x100m relay. After finishing second a year ago LSU finished in a time of 42.64, the fastest collegiate time this season and second in the world rankings. Texas A&M finished in 42.93.
From the SIDs …
Men’s and Women’s Team Champions: Texas A&M
Women’s 4×400 Relay
Men’s 4×400 Relay
In a dramatic conclusion to the 2011 NCAA Outdoor Championships, the Texas A&M track and field program made history in becoming the only school to win dual national championship titles three consecutive years.
The Aggie men claimed its title by one point and the A&M women captured its championship by four points.
Aggie head coach Pat Henry is the only coach to achieve dual national titles, at LSU in 1989-90 and at A&M in 2009-10. In claiming NCAA titles number 32 and 33, Henry becomes the only coach to accomplish a triple-double of NCAA Championships.
“I’m kind of speechless,” said Henry. “This is an unbelievable victory by both of our groups. Everybody thinks it comes down to Jessica Beard and on that leg it came down to Jessica. But there were a lot of people contributing today with both relays.
“Our men stayed calm and did what they needed to do. They picked up points through out the day and then won the final relay. It’s a team effort, which doesn’t start with just first place points, but includes everybody from each of the four days here.
“It’s a tremendous group of young people who did some things I don’t think they could do at times this weekend. But they are big believers. During our meeting this morning they all looked at each other and left the room knowing what needed to be done. They lined up today and did some things that put us in a position to win.”
Both team battles came down to the final event, the 4 x 400 relay, with CBS showing the final day action live.
In the women’s relay the Aggie women were tied with Oregon with 39 points apiece. Leading the team chase at that point was LSU with 43.5 points with Oklahoma second at 42. However, LSU and OU didn’t have a team in the 4 x 400 final.
So, who ever finished ahead of the other between A&M and the Ducks was going to claim the team championship. Last year, when the Aggies won the team title by 15 points over Oregon, the Ducks claimed the 4 x 400 by a 0.03 margin over A&M.
This time Jessica Beard powered to a collegiate best 49.14 split on the anchor leg as the Aggies set a school record of 3:26.31 over Auburn’s 3:26.46. Meanwhile, Oregon placed third in 3:28.18.
It was the first time an A&M has ever won the women’s NCAA outdoor 4 x 400 title.
The final scoring tally had Texas A&M on top with 49 points with Oregon second at 45, while LSU and Oklahoma finished third and fourth. Arizona placed fifth with 35 points.
“I didn’t know my split until I heard the announcer,” said Beard, who split 49.6 twice at the same meet earlier this season. “I was just thinking do this for the team. Once I passed Oregon I knew we had the team title clinched. But I kept thinking about last year and how badly I wanted to win the 4×4.
“I didn’t have any choice but to go for the relay title. I knew it was going to be very competitive. I loved being tied in the team score with just the relay left, it made everyone step up.”
For the Aggie men, they needed a victory in the 4 x 400 relay as well as have Florida finish below fifth place to have a shot at the team title. Meanwhile, Florida State had 54 points, but they were not in the final race of the meet.
Tabarie Henry anchored in 44.86 to secure a 3:00.62 victory over LSU’s 3:01.07 while Florida placed sixth in 3:05.20. It was A&M’s 19th consecutive victory in the 4 x 400 and completed an indoor/outdoor sweep of the NCAA relay titles for the past two years.
“It means a lot to redeem myself for not making the 400 final,” Henry said. “After Bryan Miller led us off I knew it was over. Demetrius Pinder did his thing to open it up a little more and Michael Preble did what he needed to do. Then they trusted me to secure the win.”
After the race the point totals had Texas A&M on top with 55 points with Florida State still second at 54 and Florida in third with 53. LSU finished fourth at 46 points while Virginia Tech claimed fifth with 36.
“Earlier I was doing all the calculations to see where we were in regards to points,” added Henry. “I was being a team guy, being a cheerleader for the other guys competing today.”
The Aggies won the 2009 title by two points over a three-way tie for second and captured the 2010 title by a single point over the Gators.
For the 4 x 400 finale, Tarmoh ran the led off leg in 53.5 and was followed by Ibukun Mayungbe (51.4) andAndrea Sutherland (52.30). Auburn held an early lead while Oregon and A&M gave chase. The Tigers ran NCAA 400 runner-up Joanna Atkins on the second leg.
Once the baton reached Beard for the anchor leg, the Aggies were sitting third behind Auburn and Oregon. First Beard went by the Duck anchor leg and began her pursuit of Kai Selvon, anchoring for the Tigers.
Beard caught up to Sevlon by the 200m mark, pulled even through the curve and began to pass as they entered the homestretch.
Sevlon, though, challenged Beard for the lead. Beard managed to pull away in the late stages while producing her history-making split of 49.14 while Sevlon finished in 50.67 as Auburn clocked 3:26.46 with Oregon in third at 3:28.18.
Beard bettered the previous best relay split in a NCAA Championship of 49.6 held by two athletes – Alabama’s Lillie Leatherwood (1986) and UCLA’s Monique Henderson (UCLA).
The 3:26.31 for the Aggies lowered the previous school record of 3:27.33 set earlier this season by a full second. It also broke the Drake Stadium record of 3:27.69 established by Penn State in 2008.
With the NCAA title as well, the A&M women swept both 4 x 400 national championships this season, marking the fifth school to accomplish that feat since 2002. The Aggies become the third fastest school ever with the fifth fastest performance.
Men’s 200 Meters
Florida State’s Maurice Mitchell won the men’s 200-meter dash.
Mitchell, who placed third in the men’s 100m dash a day earlier, then ran an incredible wind-aided 19.99 in the men’s 200m dash to win the first individual title of his collegiate career. His mark is the fastest wind-aided time in the entire world this year.
Men’s 1500 Meters
The men’s 1500-meter run was claimed by Oregon’s Matthew Centrowitz.
Centrowitz took charge of the race early, going to the front of the field at the gun and then refused to slow the pace early. He dropped to second the last half of the race before charging to the lead at the bell. The entire field responded and went with the junior from Arnold, Md., who stayed strong down the backstretch and then swung wide off the final curve to thwart a final challenge from Arkansas’ Dorian Ulrey.
Centrowitz crossed the tape alone in 3:42.54 to give Oregon back-to-back NCAA titles in the 1,500 meters. Andrew Wheating won for the Ducks in 2010.
“I didn’t know what to expect, honestly. Going out there, I could see it being fast or being slow. So I said the best thing for me to do was to get up front and up in the front today was being a leader for the first quarter. Any move that was being made, I just wanted to be in the top third of the pack.”
“I didn’t know what to expect, but I figured I would be up in the front this time,” said Centrowitz. “I was kind of weird being in the lead on the first lap, but I was just staying as relaxed as possible.
“I’m really excited to get my first NCAA title,” said Centrowitz, who was third a year ago. “That’s been a goal of mine for a long time.”
Men’s 5000 Meters
Redshirt senior Sam Chelanga closed out his Liberty career in grand fashion, capturing the men’s 5K title, Saturday afternoon on the final day of competition at the 2011 NCAA Division I Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
After opening up a gap between themselves and the rest of the field, Chelanga, in second place, and Arizona freshman Lawi Lalang, the race leader, exchanged the top spot in the race during the race’s third to last lap. Sitting just a stride off the shoulder of the Arizona in the second spot, the Liberty senior burst past Lalang to end the exchange and move in front in the event for good. With possession of the lead, Chelanga took control the race, opening a gap between him and Lalang, which the Arizona runner could not make up, winning his fourth NCAA title and final event of his Liberty career by 2.39 seconds.
Chelanga’s winning time of 13:29.30 was a season-best for the senior. The title is the first at the distance for the Kenyan. He had been the runner-up in the event four times, including last year’s outdoor 5K and this year’s indoor race. Lalang finished second with a 13:31.69 effort and Iona’s Leonard Korir placed third in the race with a time of 13:35.71
With the victory, Chelanga ends his Liberty career as a 14-time All-American. The number matches former Liberty distance standout Josh McDougal, who also collected 14 All-American honors during his career as a Flame from 2004-08.
In the opening laps of his title run, Chelanga settled into the middle of the pack and moved forward with Northern Arizona’s Diego Estrada, taking the fourth spot among the top five runners during in the third lap of the race. After moving behind the leader, Lalang, during the middle part of the race, the two runners moved away from the rest of the 24-man field, opening a 15-20 meter gap with four laps to go.
Chelanga went to the front for the first time during the third to final lap, only to see Lalang close up behind him and take back the lead right before the start of the second to last lap. Chelanga then blew past his fellow Kenyan in the middle of the lap and open up some space between the pair. Lalang never challenged over the final lap, as Chelanga went on to take the title.
Men’s 110 Hurdles
Junior Barrett Nugent then captured his first career NCAA crown in the men’s 110-meter hurdles after his 2010 season in which he finished as the NCAA Outdoor silver medalist in the event.
Nugent certainly led the charge for the Tigers on the meet’s final day while winning his first career crown in the 110-meter hurdles after finishing as the national runner-up in his last two NCAA finals.
In fact, Nugent finished runner-up to Illinois’ Andrew Riley in each of the last two NCAA Championship meets with second-place finishes in the 110 hurdles at the NCAA Outdoor meet in 2010 and 60 hurdles at the NCAA Indoor meet in 2011. And perhaps Nugent was an afterthought to those watching in Saturday’s final after drawing Lane 8 as one of the field’s at-large qualifiers from the semifinal round.
But Nugent saved his best race for his last race of the collegiate season as he crossed the finish line with a wind-aided time of 13.28 (+3.6) to edge Riley (13.33) at the tape for the national title.
He is the first LSU Tiger to be crowned the NCAA champion in the 110-meter hurdles since LSU Hall of Fame inductee Eric Reid in 1987 when the meet was held at LSU’s Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
Nugent’s victory also helped extend an impressive streak for the Tigers as they have won at least one event title at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in 14-straight seasons dating back to the 1998 campaign, and in 23 of the 24 seasons dating back to Reid’s victory in the 110-meter hurdles in 1987.
Nugent also earned All-America honors as a member of LSU’s fourth place 4×100-meter relay team as he teamed with junior Horatio Williams, junior Keyth Talley and senior Gabriel Mvumvure to clock 39.20 in this year’s national final to finish behind Florida State (38.77), Texas A&M (38.91) and Illinois (38.96).
“Andrew and I, we seem to butt heads every time we see each other,” Nugent said. “Sometimes I beat him and sometimes he beats me. We were talking about that earlier. That’s just how we are. We’re good rivals and we’re good friends. Anytime I see any of these hurdlers, we’re always talking. This group always gets to push me to my limit. I’m really looking forward to future competitions with them.
“I knew if I was going to try and race these guys, I was going to lose it. You have to really stay focused in the hurdles and not get out of your rhythm. I just wanted to pick my knees up and clear the hurdles.”
Men’s 4×100 Relay
Florida State won the men’s 4×100-meter relay. In the first exchange, Kemar Hyman passed to Ngoni Makusha, but the baton bounced off Makusha’s hand and Hyman caught from a mid-air flight. Hyman then was still able to pass to Makusha legally inside the zone.
Despite the near-mishap with the exchange on the first handoff, the Seminole men got a huge boost early in the day with a championship performance in the 4x100m relay. Kemar Hyman,Ngoni Makusha, Maurice Mitchell and Brandon Byram generated 10 points with a 38.77 performance.
Men’s Triple Jump
The Gators stole the show in the men’s triple jump on Saturday, as Christian Taylor (Fayetteville, Ga.) andWill Claye (Phoenix, Ariz.) went 1-2 in the event. Taylor won the meet with a jump of 17.80m/58-4.75 (+2.3) and Claye was second with a mark of 17.62m/57-9.75 (+2.9) to put up 18 big points for Florida. Taylor’s slightly wind-aided mark goes down as the collegiate all-time, all-conditions best. Taylor’s mark bettered the 1985 wind-aided leap of 58-1 3/4 (17.72m) set by Arkansas’ Mike Conley.
Claye set Florida’s school record and the Drake Stadium facility record in the process with a wind-legal best jump of 17.35m/56-11.25 (+1.5) on his third attempt.
Women’s 200 Meters
After anchoring the Lady Tigers to a dominating national championship victory in the 4×100-meter relay, sophomore Kimberlyn Duncan completed the 2011 season sweep in the 200-meter dash as she took home the gold medal in record-setting fashion with one of the fastest performances in collegiate history.
Duncan lined up in the final as the favorite after setting a wind-legal personal best of 22.39 in the qualifier on Thursday that earned her the No. 1 seed and preferred Lane 5 on Saturday. She also lined up as winner of six-straight 200-meter finals dating back to the Tyson Invitational indoors on Feb. 12, a streak boasting an NCAA Indoor title and a sweep of SEC Indoor and SEC Outdoor titles this season.
Duncan took control of the race early while running strong on the curve. She finished even stronger to the tune of a 2011 world-leading 22.24 for a new wind-legal lifetime personal best. That performance also set a new Drake Stadium record in the women’s 200-meter dash, breaking the previous record of 22.32 set by Houston’s Ebony Floyd during the 2007 season.
Tarmoh followed Duncan in second place with a time of 22.34, while Baylor’s Tiffany Townsend was the third-place finisher in 22.58 in one of the fastest 200-meter finals in recent memory. Hackett finished with a sixth-place finish after clocking a seasonal-best wind-legal time of 22.87.
While eight different Lady Tigers have won NCAA titles in the 200-meter dash all-time, Duncan joins the great Dawn Sowell (1989) as the only two to complete the NCAA sweep of indoor and outdoor crowns in the same season. She is also the first to win the NCAA Outdoor title since Peta-Gaye Dowdie (2000).
Duncan continues her climb to the top of the all-time collegiate list as her 22.24 is the third-fastest time in NCAA history. It also ranks No. 2 in school history behind Sowell’s collegiate record of 22.04.
Duncan has really taken her performance to another level as a sophomore as she is developing into one of the world’s leading 200-meter specialists. She failed to make it out of the NCAA semifinals as a freshman in 2010 while running 23.58 in her first career appearance at the NCAA Championships.
“My main focus is always just to stay focused, run my race and take each event one by one,” Duncan said following her 200-meter victory. “I knew those girls were going to get out and go. I just wanted to run out with them and close like I know how. It’s just a huge improvement from last year to this year. I’m not just dropping my times, but I’m better and more efficient in how I run the race.”
Women’s 1500 Meters
It was a different race on a different day but the same incredible kick in the last 100 meters which propelled senior Sheila Reid (Newmarket, Ont.) to a national championship in the 1500 meters at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in Drake Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Reid becomes the first women’s athlete to ever win both the 1500 meters and the 5000 meters in the same year, as she adds to the 5000 meters crown she won last night.
“It was not easy to double up in both events but it was a lot of fun and it is a terrific feeling to have won both races. I would not have entered both events if I didn’t think I had a chance to win both but once I got here I just had to take it one day at a time. Having one race each day was actually a welcome distraction in a way because there was something for me to focus on each day.
In the last 400 meters of today’s race Reid was in a battle for the lead with Jordan Hasay of Oregon and Lucy Van Dalen of Stony Brook. As the bell sounded for the final lap Hasay moved just in front of Reid, who at that point was on the verge of sliding back to the middle of the pack. That changed with 250 meters left when Reid found an opening on the rail and put herself back in position to capture the victory.
She took the lead with 200 meters remaining and then in the final straightaway burst away from the rest of the field just as she had at the same point in yesterday’s 5000 meters championship race. Reid has now won four national titles this season, including the individual cross country crown and the indoor distance medley relay title. She is the sixth athlete in program history with four or more national championships.
Reid wound up with a winning time of 4:14.57 in her second-fastest race of the season. Van Dalen was second (4:15.33) and Kate Van Buskirk of Duke (4:15.37) finished third. The rest of the top eight scoring positions included Renee Tomlin of Georgetown (4:16.17), Becca Friday of Oregon (4:16.76), Hannah Brooks of Florida State (4:16.81), Morgane Gay of Virginia (4:17.40) and Hasay (4:17.67).
“It was just phenomenal to watch Sheila the last two days,” Villanova head coach Gina Procaccio said. “I am speechless. I am truly blown away by how much power she has at the end of the race and now there is absolutely no doubt that she can kick past anybody in any race. The 1500 meters is a race that means a lot to me. I have always wanted to coach a 1500 meters champion.”
The race went out comparatively slower than the longer distance 5000 meters race last night, as the leading pack turned in a pace of 1:11 over the first 400 meters. Reid was never far from the lead, standing in third place after 300 meters and in fourth place at the midway point of the race. She stayed on the rail during the first half of the race but was jostling for position in the middle of the pack during the home stretch when the opening appeared back on the inside.
Reid also won the individual titles in both events at the BIG EAST Championships earlier this season. Counting the cross country and indoor and outdoor seasons she is now a four-time national champion, nine-time All-American and 11-time BIG EAST champion.
The only other women in program history with at least four national titles are Vicki Huber (8), Jennifer Rhines (6), Carrie Tollefson (5), Sonia O’Sullivan (5) and Carole Zajac (4). Reid and Tollefson are in particularly special company, as Tollefson previously was the first NCAA women’s athlete to win both the 3000 meters and the 5000 meters at the same championship.
Women’s 100 Hurdles
Southern California’s Nia Ali won the 100-meter hurdles.
The redshirt senior Ali didn’t come this far leading the country in the 100 hurdles to falter now and she took care of business with a wind-aided PR of 12.63 (+2.1w) to edge Christina Manning of Ohio State to win the event. Ali became USC’s only individual champion this season and third ever in the event, joining Patty Van Wolvelaere (1977 and 1978) and Virginia Powell (2005 and 2006). She also earned the Trojans 10 points in the team competition and moved them into sixth place.
“Nia Ali leaves as an All-American, an NCAA champion and second to Virginia Powell in school history in the 100m hurdles,” said Ron Allice, USC Head Coach. “Anytime you run under 12.7 in the hurdles you are elite, not just collegiately, but on the national level. I think she has a chance to do well at the professional level. This was her first year focusing exclusively on the hurdles. It was a major accomplishment and she goes down as one of the top female athletes at USC. She was an All-American in the heptathlon and then focuses on one event and becomes the best in the nation. You hope in the recruiting process you can find an athlete like Ali because that is what it takes to perform at this level.”
The third time is a charm, or at least that is the case for University of Colorado junior Emma Coburn who won her first NCAA 3,000-meter steeplechase title on Saturday afternoon at the NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
Coburn, the 2010 and 2011 Big 12 champion, won the title in 9 minutes, 41.14 seconds. She was the runner-up to Penn State’s Bridget Franek in 2010 and was 11thas a freshman in 2009. The Buffs have won the NCAA steeplechase title four times in the last six years as former Buff Jenny Barringer won it in 2006, 2008 and 2009. Coburn becomes just the second female CU athlete to win the steeplechase at nationals.
The race started out normally for Coburn as she went to the front from the gun, but she did have company for the majority of the race from Virginia’s Stephanie Garcia. With two laps remaining Coburn started to put some distance, about 15 meters, between her and Garcia. Coburn really turned in on heading into the last lap and won easily as Garcia could not match her kick. Garcia ended up finishing second in 9:47.29.
“It was a good experience to have someone pushing me,” Coburn said. “I hadn’t had that really all year in the steeple. That was really great that Stephanie Garcia was on my shoulder and a little ahead of me too. I wouldn’t have ran that fast if she hadn’t been pushing me.”
CU coach Mark Wetmore was also happy with Coburn having some company for the majority of the race.
“We knew that the Virginia woman would go with her,” he said. “She is coached by people that don’t like to get second, so we knew she would be there. She lasted a long time and kept Emma on pace. Emma needed that since she hasn’t had anyone to push her this season, so actually we wanted that.”
This has been quite the season for Coburn who is one of 10 NCAA female athletes on The Bowerman watch list, the top athletic honor in the track and field world. She ran a personal best time of 9:40.51 at the Cardinal Invitational on May 1, which at the time was the fastest in the world. That time is now 13th overall and is the second fastest time by an American. Coburn’s time today was the fastest that she has run since May 1.
“I was really excited,” Coburn said. “I didn’t think I’d be able to run 41 in the heat like this – especially because I’m a wimp when it comes to hot weather. I was really proud of myself that I kept my poise even though I had someone on my shoulder and it was warm.
“I knew that even if I got second, I was still going to run a good time. It was definitely a mental fight with four laps to go, three laps to go, and she was still there. I just had to tell myself, ‘relax, relax.’ If it came down to it, I was getting myself ready for a big last 150 (meters).”
Women’s 4×100 Relay
LSU claimed the women’s 4×100 relay title.
After qualifying for the final with their seasonal-best time of 42.94 in Wednesday’s semifinal round, LSU lined up with the squad of senior Kenyanna Wilson, junior Semoy Hackett, junior Rebecca Alexander and Duncan in search of its first NCAA title in the sprint relay since 2004.
But to do so, the Lady Tigers knew they would have to take down the four-time defending NCAA champs in the event as Texas A&M countered with an order of Gabby Mayo, Jeneba Tarmoh, Dominique Duncan and Ashley Collier in an attempt to defend its 4×100-meter relay national championship.
LSU blew away the competition in Saturday’s final with a seasonal-best time of 42.64 seconds to take the collegiate lead in the event and snap the streak of four-straight NCAA titles by the Aggies in the event dating back to the 2007 season. The Lady Tigers won their lucky 13th national title in the 4×100 relay with their fifth-fastest time in program history and their fastest since running 42.59 in 2008.
Women’s Shot Put
Arizona sophomore Julie Labonte completed her perfect season in the shot put by winning her second national title of the year, breaking her own Canadian record with a throw of 18.31m (60-1). The mark was the eighth-best outdoor throw in NCAA history and currently ranks her 20th in the world.
In winning, Labonte went a perfect 12-0 in shot put competitions against collegiate competitors in 2011 as she won every single competition starting with her first meet of the indoor season. It was the third All-America honor for the native of Sainte-Justine, Quebec, as well. It was Arizona’s first victory in the women’s shot put outdoors since Carla Garrett in 1989.
Final Day Quotes (courtesy of Drake University)
Texas A&M Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Head Coach Pat Henry
The Aggies won both the men’s (55 points) and women’s (49 points) team titles for the third straight year.
On both team races coming down to the 4×4: “You don’t ever want it to come down to the relay, but it has for us for the last three years. It’s a great, great feeling, especially when you know you have a pretty good group when fixing the lineup [for the 4×4 relay]. The emotions are big.”
On Jessica Beard anchoring the women’s winning 4×400 in an all-time NCAA record split: “Oh yeah [it’s great to have her], but a relay is just like the team — it takes three in front of her to put her in position to do what she does. And the team is the same way. You have to have seventh place in the triple jump, that fifth place in the 100 meters. Those things are huge that make a big difference.”
On the tight races and what they mean to track and field: “And I think that’s what we’ve got to focus on more is school against school, team against team. We’ve got to bring that more and more. And this was a heck of an environment here today. We’ve got to do it every weekend. If we do it every weekend, these stands will be full. But you just can’t do it one or two times a year.”
Men’s 4×400-Meter Relay Champions Texas A&M (Bryan Miller, Demitrius Pinder, Michael Preble, Tabarie Henry), 3:00.62.
Time was just off stadium mark of Baylor of 3:00.22 in 2008.
Defending NCAA Champions
Demitrius Pinder: “We just went out there and tried to do our best. There wasn’t really any pressure on us because we knew what we could do. All week we have focused on this relay and we finished it off today.”
Bryan Miller: “I was just focused on getting out fast and staying on the rail. I had the job of putting my team in position and just doing what I could. This is a big deal (winning race and team title). We wanted to try and get the record and we almost accomplished that. The win is tremendous.”
Taberie Henry: “Guys from Texas to Florida, they always want to beat us. But, we know that and we know we are always going to be the team to beat. It is something we accept as a challenge. It is an honor to go out and PR and get a win like this. It really means a lot. It means our program is very successful. Our team is very organized and just focused on winning.”
Pressure in last 100 meters: “I dealt with the same pressure last year. Any time you race this event you feel a lot of pressure but I felt it coming off the turn. I glanced over to see who was there but I knew I had him but I always finished strong. I just stay focused on finishing hard.”
On Texas A&M Tradition: “It is a big. Our whole school is about tradition. Just putting on a uniform you feel it. So it means a lot winning this race and the team title. It seems like we are always trying to prove something, to show people they are wrong when they doubt us. Yes, it really feels good.”
Men’s Triple-Jump Champion Christian Taylor (Jr.), Florida, 58-4 ¾.
Defending Triple Jump Champion, set a new Drake Stadium record, NCAA Meet record, jumped second best distance in the world this year.
On competing with Will Claye: “I knew what I had to do. Will and I really came in with the goal of getting 18 points for our team. Once we go that locked down… We’ve worked together all year to try to push each other, but at the same time we were humble, we were hungry, and we did what we needed to do.
On going to USA’s: “It’s something we keep in mind every day, we try not to talk about it too much we just take it day by day and we’re definitely pushing for that as an athlete and competitor, Worlds are the pinnacle of the sport, so we definitely keep it in mind. We just try to keep healthy, keeping God first, and staying hungry.”
On repeating the NCAA title: “I just want to leave a legacy, continue a legacy, and that’s what I try to do on the track and on the field just to keep my name out there. Will is a great competitor, I compete with him every day, but I can be selfish sometimes and keep that title to myself.”
On the fans: “The crowd…. The crowd was… I mean, I thought Oregon was great, but the crowd here was extremely supportive. We really fed off that energy a lot and to come here with Will and I competing for the national title with the energy of this crowd, something amazing was bound to happen and it did.”
Men’s Triple-Jump Runner-Up Will Claye (Jr.), Florida, 57-9 ¾.
2009 NCAA Triple Jump Champion.
On trading record jumps with his teammate: “This is like practice for us. This is exactly how practice is. We went out there and competed and did our best. If I’m going to lose to anybody, I’d rather lose to Christian Taylor. It was good.”
On the great jumping day for the Florida team: “The whole competition was a blessing for the both of us. We brought the best out of each other and we just came out and competed, tried to score some points for this team title.”
On jumping over a 57′: “I’ve been trying to get a 57 all year so to do it here at nationals it was great, it was a blessing and I think Christian (Taylor) brought the best out of me today.”
On his plans after NCAA’s: “Hopefully we’ll go to the USA’s in two weeks and we can make the team, Christian and I, and keep doing what we’re doing.”
Women’s 4X400-Meter Relay Champion Texas A&M, 3:26.31, setting a new Drake Stadium record.
Anchor Jessica Beard (Sr.) ran a 49.14 anchor split, the fastest 4×400 meter relay split in NCAA history.
On her anchor leg with the team championship on the line: “At first, I just thought that my team had worked so hard and that each leg did what they had to do. Then I saw that Oregon had it in front of us, so all I had in my mind was to beat Oregon. With about 200 meters left, I realized it was just me and Auburn. I just wanted it so bad, and I just wanted to get the win for my teammates.”
On running a 49.14 record split: “I’m just happy that I did it. I’m kind of speechless about it and didn’t really know what my time was. I just was thinking I had to go for the win, run all the way through the line, give it all I had, and leave everything on the track.”
Men’s 5,000-Meter Run Champion Sam Chelanga (Sr.), Liberty, 13:29:30.
Set new stadium record.
On the fast pace versus a slow, tactical pace: “At first, I thought, ‘if it keeps going like this, these guys are fresh…’ but then after a while, I felt good. The time didn’t feel like 64s, so I was really happy with the pace that was set.”
On taking the lead after holding fourth place: “After four laps, it felt really good, so I thought that maybe I should just go to the front. I saw Lawi (Lalang) and thought I was just going to go for it and the rest just played out. The last two laps I was trying to hang on for my dear life.”
On his kick at the end and setting a new stadium record: “I felt ok, then all of a sudden I realized, ‘I can win this!’ so that’s why I had the motivation to push through.”
Men’s 5,000-Meter Runner-Up Lawi Lalang (Fr.) Arizona, 13:31:69.
On how he felt coming into the race: “I was not nervous. I know there are big championships ahead for me.”
On the future: “I think probably it will depend on practicing goes and how I’m feeling. I think this I’d my event, I can stick with this.”
Women’s 100-meter hurdle champion Nia Ali (Sr.), USC, 12.63.
The PAC 10 champion won her first NCAA title with a wind-aided (2.1) time that would have broke the stadium mark (12.65, Damu Cherry, 2010).
On the race and how it went from start to finish: “When I got into the blocks, my legs felt like Jell-o. So I was a little nervous. I felt like I was a little tight but usually that is when I run well. I got into the blocks and just focused on what we have been working on in practice all year and that is executing the lift and the quickness between the hurdles, and staying down. Throughout the race, I kept bringing myself back to that – executing what we do in practice.”
On feeling the pressure on the outside and winning: “By hurdle seven, it was anyone’s race. So I just focused on the last thing my coaches said, ‘lift quick and keep your eyes down.’ When I went to that, I felt relaxed and I was able to pick up the pace. The field moved with me and then I got off the last hurdle and came to the line…I am just overwhelmed and honored to win such a prestigious award (NCAA title) and the accolades that comes along with it. This is a lifetime best. I feel so good.”
Men’s 200-Meter Run Maurice Mitchell (Jr.), Florida State, 19.99.
On the win: “I really give God the glory for this. I got out strong and was able to take the lead.”
On running 30 minutes after the 4 x 100: “I never have had to run that quickly after a race. I think it may have been an advantage for me. I was warmed up after running the 100.”
On his time: “I wanted to run a sub-20. I had wanted to run under 10 in the 100 and ran 10 flat. So this was a good run.”
Men’s 4×100 meter relay champion Florida State, 38.77.
Team members: Kemar Hyman, Jr.; Ngonidzashe Makusha, Jr.; Maurice Mitchell, Jr.; Brandon Byram, Sr.
Hyman on an initial bad exchange: “We had a bit of a fumble on the hand-off, but he took it and got us in position. I don’t really remember what happened. He dropped it and I grabbed it and we were legal.”
On the race: “We were expecting to run well. We expected and predicted to run a 37, but we came out with a win.”
On being in Lane 7: “I really don’t like to run in Lane 7. It is not a good lane for me. I don’t do a lot of running on the corner. But I am happy with it today.”
On the team race: “I think the way we ran, we changed the way Florida ran. We got out front a bit and made them fight for it.”
Makusha on the opening handoff: “Yeah we had a bit of a fumble, but I knew we had to make the best of the situation.”
Mitchell on the bad handoff: “I saw my teammates fumble a bit, but Makusha kept coming and gave me the baton in good shape. I knew I needed to keep my focus.”
Men’s 110-meter hurdle champion Barrett Nugent (Jr.) of LSU, 13.31.
Nugent came in as the top seed after finishing second at the NCAA meet last year.
On the race conditions: “These conditions were the exact same thing we had earlier in the year at the Texas Relays. There was a little wind behind our backs. I knew all I had to do if I didn’t want to lose was pick my knees up and get over the hurdles. I did that and pulled out a win.”
On beating Illinois’ Andrew Riley, who beat him in this event last year and in the 60 meter hurdles at the NCAA Indoor meet: “I race against a lot of these guys almost every weekend during the season. Andrew and I go back and forth a lot with who wins each race. We figured out if he wins the prelims, then I’ll win the final; and if I win the prelims, he’ll beat me in the final. That’s just how we are.”
Women’s 3,000-Meter Champion Emma Coburn (Jr.), Colorado, 9:41.14.
Coburn was second at last year’s NCAA meet.
On being neck and neck with Stephanie Garcia (Virginia) during the race: “It was a good experience to have someone pushing me through 2K [3,000 meters]. I hadn’t had that really all year in the steeple. That was really great that Stephanie Garcia was on my shoulder and a little ahead of me too.
“That was a really, really good experience to have someone pushing me. I wouldn’t have ran that fast if she [Garcia] hadn’t been pushing me.”
On seeing her time: “I was really excited. I didn’t think I’d be able to run 41 in the heat like this – especially because I’m a wimp when it comes to hot weather. I was really proud of myself that I kept my poise even though I had someone on my shoulder and it was warm.
“I knew that even if I got second, I was still going to run a good time. It was definitely a mental fight with four laps to go, three laps to go, and she was still there. I just had to tell myself, ‘Relax, relax.’ If it came down to it, I was getting myself ready for a big last 150 (meters).”
Men’s 1,500-Meter champion Matthew Centrowitz (Jr.) of Oregon, 3:42.54.
Centrowitz was third at last year’s NCAA Championship meet in this event.
On what made the difference between races this year and in the past: “I think I focused on staying healthy this year and did all the proper things — like icing, getting the right sleep, staying on top of things that have hurt me in the past. And that’s a big thing — getting out there, feeling confident, being in shape and feeling healthy.”
On his winning kick in the end: “It takes hard training. I’ve been working really hard and I’ve had consistent training since March. And when you’re training consistently, you’re going to be in good shape, regardless [of conditions or opponents].”
On his strategy throughout the race: “I didn’t know what to expect, honestly. Going out there, I could see it being fast or being slow. So I said the best thing for me to do was to get up front and up in the front today was being a leader for the first quarter. Any move that was being made, I just wanted to be in the top third of the pack.”
Men’s 1,500-Meter runner-up Dorian Ulrey (Sr.) of Arkansas.
Ulrey had the top time in semifinals and transferred to Arkansas from the University of Northern Iowa.
On his disbelief for the second time at NCAA Championships: “I say it’s bittersweet, because as a sophomore at a different school (UNI), I finished in second place and no one would have expected it. I looked up in the stands and it was the same thing, [I said] ‘Oh my God, what did I just do?’
“Today it was second place again. But you know, I did everything I could. I ran in perfect position the whole time, didn’t get myself boxed in, didn’t get tripped up, and put myself in a great position to win it. The finish line was straight ahead and I just couldn’t close out.”
Women’s shot put champion Julie Labonte (So.) of Arizona, 60-1 (18.31m).
Labonte was the top seed and won the NCAA Indoor shot put championship this year.
On her winning throw, her second attempt which came after an opening foul: “On my first throw, I was just a little bit nervous, but then I just decided to give it everything I had – no matter what happened. I don’t know, I was just really focused. I just focused on my technique and that’s why I really think I did well on my second throw.”
In the competition with Tia Brooks of Oklahoma, who also finished second to Labonte at the indoor championships: “Tia and Annie Alexander (Tennessee), everyone did an amazing job because we had two throwers over 18 meters, and that’s a pretty good meet for the NCAAs. So, I’m really glad everyone did really well. And of course I won, so I’m really happy.”
On validating her indoor championship to win outdoors the same year: “It’s pretty funny because of course I won the indoor [title] and in this I was ranked first, but we didn’t know what could happen. So to win again and win the indoor and outdoor title is really fun.”
Women’s 200-Meter Dash Champion Kimberlyn Duncan (So.), LSU, 22.24.
Set a new stadium record and became the new world leader.
Duncan was part of the Women’s 4×100 Championship team earlier today.
On winning two NCAA Championships in less than an hour: “It’s just exciting. I was excited off of the 4×100 win earlier, so I was pumped and ready to go. I’m really excited.”
On keeping her composure after the 4×100: “My main thing is just staying focused, take everything one by one to get ready for the next race.”
On the pace: “I knew that all the girls in the heat today were going to get out and go, so I just stayed with them on my main thing.”
On LSU’s team scoring: “We really don’t talk about that, we just go out and focus on our own events, do the best we can to get point on the board for the team.”
Women’s 1,500-meter champion Sheila Reid (Jr.) of Villanova, 4:14.57.
Reid was also the Women’s 5000 Champion.
On winning the 1,500- and the 5,000-meter races: “I wouldn’t have attempted the double if I didn’t think I could do it.”
“I couldn’t even think straight when I crossed the finish line. I gave probably the most embarrassing celebration ever. I’m so ecstatic right now. It hasn’t totally sunk in yet.”
On her fans: “It’s definitely not a solo effort. It helps the most, in anything you do, if you have fans. My parents are my biggest fans, Coach Gina is my biggest fan and supporter.”
On her strategy: “I did have a bit of luck in the 15 (1500 meters) in that the inside opened up, but I felt like I had enough room to go on the outside if I needed to. As for tactics, it’s all about patience. A lot of people can fly of the handle when there’s a lot of girls packed up, but you just have to stay calm and relaxed.”
“I think that’s what I always try to do is make moves when I want to and make sure that they’re for real and decisive and the final move of the race, because there’s nothing worse than going and then having to go again.”
Lead-off leg Kenyanna Wilson (Sr.) and third leg Rebecca Alexander (Jr.) of LSU women’s 4×100 meter relay championship team, 42.64, the second fastest time in the world this season.
Alexander on running 42.64: “We’ve been having trouble with exchanges this season, so our main focus was to just get the baton around and get good exchanges.
Wilson on the race: “Basically we wanted to make sure that we all ran our legs. We trusted one another to run fast and we just had to make sure we had the right chemistry.
Wilson on beating Texas A&M (the four-time defending 4×100-meter relay champion): “Something like that is always in the back of your mind. I am a senior and I was on that first relay when Texas A&M started that streak here four years ago, so it just feels really good to break that streak on my way out.”
Second leg Semoy Hackett and anchor leg Kimberlyn Duncan were unavailable for quotes because they have races later today.
Daily Quotes–Friday, June 10, 2011
Dorotea Habazin, Sr., Virginia Tech, women’s hammer throw champion, 223-7 (68.15 m)
Finished fourth in 2009 and second in 2010.
On having the lead into the last throw: “Nothing is done until the final throw. The guys proved that yesterday. I was being suspicious about my last throw and after Jeneva (McCall) went in the circle, I was ready to go at it and attack my final throw in case she was to take the lead, but she didn’t and that’s how it turned out.”
On how her throws felt: “I never felt better. After everything that happened in regionals, the qualifying meet, to get here. I was struggling a lot and I didn’t want to let that happen again. We worked so hard that it had to change. At my regionals, my first throw was a cage fault, second was a sector foul, third throw was 59 meters, so I just barely made it to the finals and ending with 67.61 to get here.”
On last year: “It was between me and Nikola (Lomnicka) and I think she was pretty ready in that meet and I wasn’t, unfortunately. This year it turned out that she unfortunately had surgery. I’m done after this meet, she’s not.”
On the win and her next step: “I put a cherry on top of my Virginia Tech cake and nothing else can be done. I will be shooting for London 2012, I’m going home on Monday and will be competing in the European team championships there to wrap up my season.”
On what the championship means to her: “It means that we haven’t worked as hard as we have all year. We put a lot of hours and a lot of effort to change the approach to practice. We did some different stuff, including mental preparation and it’s great the way it turned out.”
Ti’erra Brown, Sr., Miami, women’s 400 meter hurdles champion, 55.65
On starting the race in pouring rain: “It’s not enjoyable, but that’s track and field for you. I was ready to run the first time before the lightning delay so I just had to get myself ready to run again. Going up to first hurdle, I thought I was going to slip, but that’s the reason we have spikes in our shoes.
On her performance in the final race of the season: “It has been a very rough season. I got hurt so I wasn’t able to compete at the indoor championships and that was devastating. It’s been a mind game all season and luckily I’m peaking when I’m supposed to. Hopefully we’ll get good conditions in Eugene in a few weeks for USA’s and I’ll make the world team.”
Candyce McGrone, Jr., Oklahoma, women’s 100 meter dash champion, 11.08
Broke Oklahoma’s record time for the 100, earning Oklahoma’s first 100 meter NCAA champion in school history.
On her surprise win and being the underdog: “Yes, it was a surprise. I wasn’t even in the final last year. I like being the underdog because then I can shock everybody.”
On winning the NCAA title: “I felt like I was going to win this morning when I woke up. It was like any normal day, I just knew I had to execute my race. Getting a good start and finishing strong were the keys to me winning.”
On how she ran the race: “I really just blanked out during the race, honestly. I just knew I had to get out really hard and finish well. That’s exactly what I did.”
On what the title means to her: “I don’t even feel like I won right now, I haven’t really embraced it yet, so…”
Jeshua Anderson, Sr., Washington State, 400 meter hurdles champion, 48.56
Three-time winner in the event, also winning NCAA titles in 2008 and 2009.
On winning the event for a third time: “I give God the glory for this. I just wanted to get a championship. This is where I got my first one (2008). The first one was probably the sweetest. Drake is a great place. This was a good place for me to finish.”
On the start of race: “You always want to get out hard on the start and get to the first hurdle. I ran hard through the first two to three hurdles, then you have to hold back because you have another 200 left. I wanted to run a sub-48, but this was good.”
On the weather: “It really didn’t change my mindset. I still focused on getting out on the first hurdle. Really, you prepare more for the wind on the backstretch than the rain.”
Ngonidzashe Makusha, Jr., Florida State, men’s 100 meter dash champion, 9.89
Tied the current world leading time and set new collegiate, NCAA meet, and Drake Stadium records.
On tying the fastest world time this year: “It’s a blessing. I’m really thankful. I never planned to do this. All I did this season was listen to my coach. He preached to me everyday to run my own race. To run fast it’s truly a blessing from God and I’m really thankful.”
On when he realized what his time was: “When I turned back and looked at the clock, then heard everybody screaming; it’s a good feeling.”
On winning the long jump: “To tell you the truth I didn’t know I was going to win the long jump. I respect every competitor, I respect every athlete.”
On the other competitors: “I put my everything when I’m jumping and running, because I respect everybody who’s out there.”
On his kick at the end: “It’s just the way I run. I’m not a strong starter. Like earlier I was saying, my coach always told me to run my own race. Come from the back, just look down, and drive.”
Anne Kesselring, So., Oregon, women’s 800 meter champion, 2:02.15
Top collegiate time in the nation this year. Finished fourth in the 2011 NCAA indoor mile. Native of Germany.
On the win: “I did not look at the time. The time does not matter. When you get in the race, you get in the race to win. It’s one against the other and you want to be the best.”
On the race: “I wanted to be with the leaders to make a move whenever I felt like it, but that did not happen. Sometimes you just have to adjust and keep your confidence. I stayed composed and it worked out.”
On the fast pace: “I wanted a fast time. I like to take things from the front, but my coach does not want me to do that. I was glad the pace went out fast. It’s more exciting when it’s fast and everyone is getting their best shot.”
Patricia Mamona, Sr., Clemson, women’s triple jump champion, 46-1 ¼
2010 NCAA Champion
On defending her title: “It means a lot because it’s been a rough year. I was doing a lot of events; I did the heptathlon, the hurdles. After conference I finally had time to get focused on my triple jump so I could bring my A-game at nationals.”
On the winning jump: “It always happens. My first three jumps went okay, then when I hit the finals I get my body really loose, it takes a while to warm-up. My fourth jump, I went 14.05. My fifth jump, I thought I fouled on my last phase and I was disappointed. My last jump I just brought too much speed.”
On knowing she won going into her sixth attempt: “Like my coach said, that’s show time. It was my last competition as a collegiate athlete and I just wanted to finish well. I was looking forward to an NCAA meet record, which is 14.07. I was two centimeters off, but I’m still happy with my second NCAA title, so that’s all that matters.”
Jordan Clarke, So., Arizona State, shot put champion, 64-9 ¾
Set PR’s in both the preliminaries (64-1) and finals (64-9 ¾).
On coming up with PR’s in both the prelims and finals: “They were PR’s for me – both the 64-1 (and then the 64-9 ¾. Everything felt good out there. With my coach, I have been getting into a pretty good rhythm in the last couple of weeks. It was just a matter of time before a big throw came out. Fortunately, it did today.”
On winning the NCAA title: “It feels really good. My teammate from last year, Ryan Whiting, had the last two outdoor championship wins; so this feels good that I could keep it in the ASU family. This is by far my biggest career win. I have a couple of years left, so hopefully if everything goes my way, I can get a couple of more championships. I didn’t know how far I would throw and honestly I wasn’t thinking about winning. I was focused on what I have been working on in practice. Then, today, my timing and rhythm was perfect and everything worked out.”
Robby Andrews, So., Virginia, men’s 800 meter run champion, 1:44.71
Set a stadium record, breaking the 1:45.23 mark by Duane Solomon in 2010
On running the race: “I just tried to stay as calm as I could but they went out 49.8 and then we have another lap to go. So I didn’t have a choice I had to go. I honestly felt really good – the turns were going better than ever. All those guys had the mindset that hey, I can do 1:44 and I had to think with the same mindset, if they can do it I can do it better.”
On rallying to win at the end and what the win means: “I am going and going and I don’t have enough time – then in the last couple of steps I look over, I got it. I tried to play up the crowd as much as I could and they pulled me through. Nothing can compare with it. I mean this is probably the biggest win of my career so far. I had the indoor in 2010 but to win two is nice. I didn’t come close a year ago. For me to come back from injury and to win here with such a competitive field, nothing can top it. I am so lucky to come out on top. And, my season is not done yet.”
Jessica Beard, Sr., Texas A&M, women’s 400 meter dash champion, 51.10
On winning: “I’m just really excited. I wanted to get ten points for my team and of course I could have ran faster, but whatever time it takes for me to get first place and give ten points for the team, I’ll take it.
“I’m just really thankful right now. I feel like it’s the calmest I’ve been. I’m just really happy that the race turned out the way it did. Like I said, I can get points for the team, and hopefully we’re still in it for the team championship.”
On seeing the finish line: “It was a great feeling, I just couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t even look at the clock, I was just like, ‘Where’s the line? Where’s the line? Where’s the line?’ So once I hit it, I was elated.”
On her experience: “I think it played a big part, just because I got second my sophomore year, second last year. I just got a feel for my competitors and how they run and how things turn out. Being my senior year I feel like that also contributed. This is my last chance, and what am I going to do with the team title on the line.”
Ryann Krais, Jr., Kansas State, women’s heptathlon champion, 5,961 points
Sixth at the NCAA Indoor meet in the pentathlon.
On her success today, winning the hep and finishing third in the 400 hurdles an hour before: “I feel so good right now, I cannot even tell you…The trainers have been doing everything for me at this meet. I feel bad because I think I’m probably making them do more running than myself. It’s just been awesome – an awesome experience.”
On how difficult the schedule was, having to run the hurdle finals an hour before her final hep event: “Fortunately, I was in the first flight of the javelin, so I was all done. I was actually pretty lucky, it worked out pretty well. I was panicing a little bit, being on the starting line for the hurdles and being sent back inside. But my coach really calmed me down and said, ‘Ryan don’t worry, they’re not going to change the 800.’ I was afraid I was going to have to walk off the track and then run an 8, and that would not have been good.”
On her feeling coming into the 800 with the lead: “Again, my biggest goal here was to come and break 6,000. I didn’t do that and I’m going to say probably because of the javelin, but you’re not going to have seven great events. If you do, you are one lucky kid.”
Matt Hughes, Sr., Louisville, steeplechase champion, 8:24.90
Set new stadium record, previously held by Daniel Huling (8:27.87, USA Nationals 2010). Defending NCAA champion in the steeplechase. New Canadian leader in the event.
On his goals for the race: “In the steeple you have to run your own race. I wanted to come out and set the pace for the B standard or the A standard. I got the B standard, which was good.”
On repeating the championship: “I try not to think about it. You go through the season and you know you are going to have to run against these guys again. The field was a lot deeper than last year.”
On his race strategy: “I wanted to be out and front and work my way around and put some distance between us. I was able to break down Donn Cabral, who is a good runner and competitor. I felt really confident if I made it cleanly over the hurdles, I could win it. I saw the distance on the video board with about 300 to go. I didn’t really know about the stadium record. I heard the guy on the speaker say something, but I really didn’t listen to it. I heard a couple of my coach’s splits, but not much else.”
On his next step: “I am Canadian, so I won’t be going up to Eugene. I set the B standard and will have a chance at the A standard at the Canadian nationals on June 25. I am hoping to do well and be on the team to go to Korea. I have the top time in the Canada right now. I just past a guy named Alex Genest.”
Erik Kynard, So. Kansas State, men’s high jump champion, 7-6 (2.29 m)
Top seed coming in and finished sixth at last year’s NCAA meet, third indoors this winter.
On his motivation for this meet: “I finished sixth last year, so that in itself was a lot of motivation coming into this meet. I worked hard, but I wasn’t very happy with how I jumped today. I’ve been very consistent throughout the season, but it was very slick out there today and that made it a bit more difficult.”
On his performance: “My only miss was once at 7-6, and then I went out at 7-7 1/4. Today it was my goal to not hit the bar at all, and I didn’t up until 7-6.”
Kirani James, So., Alabama, men’s 400 meter dash champion, 45.10
Defending NCAA outdoor champion
On the race: “I was in lane eight, so I was kind of blind. But I went out to run my own race today. It was just a great group of guys and I’m glad it turned out to be a very exciting race.”
On competing at NCAAs after not placing at NCAA Indoor meet in the 400: “That was not weighing on my mind at all. My philosophy is just to go out there and try to do my best. I went out there today and did that and eventually won.”
Melissa Gergel, Sr., Oregon, women’s pole vault champion, 14-7¼ (4.45 m)
Finished fourth at the NCAA Indoor Championships
On prevailing in a three-way battle between Stanford’s Katerina Stefanidi and indoor champ Tina Sutej of Arkansas: “The whole time, I was just thinking this is my last chance, I’m a senior, and those are 10 huge points for our team. We’re in a battle to win the team title and I just kept that in mind – kept my focus. And when I made a bar, I just immediately switched to the next bar.”
On prevailing in the rain, which is similar to weather in the Pacific Northwest: “I think it was definitely an advantage. I was able to totally keep my cool and not get too stressed out about the rain. Everybody had to jump in the same conditions, so I just knew if I stayed focused and didn’t have to worry about it too much, it wouldn’t be a big deal.”
On the winning bar: “Basically, I tied my PR. I just saw Jordan [Hasay] was about to start the 5K and I was like, ‘I’ve got to clear this bar right now – let’s finish it.’”
Sheila Reid, Jr., Villanova, women’s 5,000-meter champion, 15:37.57
On taking off in the final 400: “I was just testing her Jordan (Hasay); she wasn’t quite responding, so I decided that I would just go for it. I was kind of nervous about it, a little apprehensive because I have been caught on the corner before. But it worked out and I just had Emily (Infeld) on my shoulder, but that is a familiar feeling. I have the privilege of racing Emily a lot. Every time I race her I have to bring my A-game. I think it is really positive for both of us. You get national caliber competition on a regular basis and that is a good thing.”
On Villanova running pride: “The Villanova tradition is so tremendous and daunting at times. I am just striving to make Villanova proud and do right by the name. There are so many wonderful women that have gone on before me and have done amazing things. I just try to pace myself, train smartly and get up for big races.”
On winning the race and her rivalry with Hasay and Infeld: “I look forward to tomorrow but this is a huge win. Any NCAA title means a lot to me, especially against girls like Jordan (Hasay) and Emily (Infeld). Jordan got me indoors; so it was good to get a little revenge. I know that she will be coming after me tomorrow – it is like a cat and mouse game. It is exciting. I am happy for tonight but I have to get ready for tomorrow.”
EVENTS RESUMED FROM THURSDAY
Leonard Korir, Sr., Iona, men’s 10,000 meter run champion, 28:07.63
Won the NCAA indoor 5,000 this winter, beating Liberty’s Sa, Chelanga, just like tonight.
On the competition: “I was still prepared for [runner-up and defending champ Sam] Chelanga. I knew he had something left with a kick.”
On his strategy at the end: “With 200 to go, I would just plan to start the kick.”
On his experience: “This is my last outdoor season. I don’t have any more outdoor season’s left, so I wanted to try to incorporate my knowledge of outdoor track.
“Last season I would say I was still new in America. I was still adjusting. This year, I would say I was more adjusted. It’s my last year and I wanted to try to win some titles.”
Sam Chelanga, Sr., Liberty, men’s 10,000 meter runner-up, 28:12.18
Defending 10,000 champion and collegiate record holder. He also was the 2010 NCAA cross country champion.
On ending his career with a second place finish: “It was disappointing losing, but I know I have ability to win the race. Overall, I am not disappointed. I did all I could.”
On sharing the lead for much of the race: “Before the race, we [champion Leonard Korir of Iona] kind of mentioned sharing the lead since it is a long race. Everyone was honest and it was an honest race.”
On the pace: “When everyone is going the same pace, you might as well conserve. I wanted to sit in the back and follow peoples’ moves. You have to be able to adapt to what’s going on and what happens, happens.”
Ngonidzashe Makusha, Jr., Florida State, men’s long jump champion, 27-6¾ (8.40m)
Equaled the second-longest jump in the world with his winning leap – tying his own seed mark – and broke the stadium record. He is now a three-time NCAA champion in the event, winning it in 2008 and 2009
On the winning jump: “Truthfully, it was nothing about the crowd or anything. I just really wanted to win the tournament. I just wanted to win the whole thing. So I just told myself I was supposed to go out there and go the deepest. So that’s what drove me on the jump and I went down the runway and everything worked alright. And I had a good jump.”
On how his confidence as a previous champion allowed him to prevail among great competition: “I knew going in that it was going to be a good day. I was supposed to be on my A-game. And yeah, anytime you’re a national champion, you have a little bit of an advantage over the other guys. I always treat every competition as if it’s new and I handle it with kid gloves. I take an open mind and do what I’m supposed to do.”
On being declared champion while he was resting up for the 100 back at the hotel: “I wasn’t asleep. I was very awake yesterday. And today, I just thought it would be better to fulfill everything by staying back here. But it feels good that I’m a national champion again. I really praise the lord for that and I’m really thankful. It’s truly a blessing for me to be in that position today and become national champion.”
Michael Morrison, Sr., California, decathlon champion, 8,118 points
Finished second at the 2010 NCAA meet and was the top seed coming in.
On winning the championship: “I don’t even know where to start. It’s been a dream five years in the making with all the hard work and sacrifice. And to come in here with such a dec with all these guys and then to come out on top, it’s pretty unbelievable.
On his plan in the final event, the 1,500, to win: “I knew Curtis [Beach, Duke] was going to run and obviously I knew I had to run it and press my pace work. Even with that, I had so many doubts in my mind coming out of that last 400.”
On taking three days to win it: “My coach, Ed Miller [1976 national decathlon champion], he was telling me that back when he won his decathlon national championship how he had to deal with the weather and the rain and all that stuff. And we were joking around last night that I had to one-up him – not only to win the national championship, but that it was going to be a heck of a story to tell down the road.”
Curtis Beach, Fr., Duke, second in the decathlon, 8,084 points
Ran the second fastest decathlon 1,500 in the world with a 3:59.13 to climb all the way from sixth up to second.
On breaking the four-minute mark and nearly the record 1,500 run to close his competition: “I don’t even know how to explain it right now. I just said at the moment that I would do the best I could and whatever happened, happened. And I don’t care if it’s over four or under four, as long as I ran as hard as I could. That’s all I could ask.
On his strategy in the race: “I just wanted to hit even splits. I was going for 64 seconds all the way around and just run as fast as I could the last 200. I went out a little bit faster than I expected, but I’m just happy I ran really well.”
Tavaris Tate, So., Mississippi State, anchor of the fastest qualifier in the men’s 4×400 meter relay, 3:03.39
Ran a 45.58 anchor. Mississippi State was second at last year’s NCAA meet.
On having to expend that much energy to win the rescheduled morning heat to make finals: “I was ready. My team was ready yesterday. So we just got ourselves to prepare for the race that we were going to run yesterday, and that’s what we did.”
On his anchor leg when he pulled away from both Baylor and Florida to win it: “I know Florida has a good team and Baylor has a good team. And I noticed Florida switched Tony McQuay to third leg and I told my teammate Daundre [Barnaby] to just do his best, because I know Tony is a great athlete in the 400. And so I kind of figured Florida would have an advantage, but I just stayed focused, trusted in the lord and he brought us through.”
Tabarie Henry, Sr., Texas A&M, andchor of the second fastest qualifier in the men’s 4×400 meter relay, 3:03.48
Ran a 45.60 anchor. Texas A&M is the defending NCAA outdoor champion and also won the indoor championship.
On how well the race went and how hard he had to go in this rescheduled morning semifinal: “It was a shock last night [to have the meet suspended]. I told my team, ‘We want to be fair to the slower teams to give everybody a chance.’ We already knew we had to run early in the morning so we just had to deal with it like everyone else.”
On preparing himself for the rescheduled morning heat: “It’s just the same thing as you always to. You warm up, you stretch, you stretch and you just go.”
Jessica Beard, Sr., Texas A&M, anchor of the women’s 4×400 meter relay fastest qualifier, 3:29.34
Ran a 50.95 anchor. Texas A&M was the top seed coming in and was second at last year’s NCAA meet.
On how she ran in spite of the morning heat to complete yesterday’s suspended competition: “I think it went really well. We put four people together, woke up at 8:30 and found out we had to be out by 9:15. I think for the short notice and the conditions, we did great.”
On staying focused in spite of the schedule change: “It was just trying to keep your focus and be prepared for whatever.”
On how much energy she had to expend in this early morning semifinal: “A little bit, yeah. I knew it was going to be a real competitive heat and I just wanted to make sure we got a good lane for the final.”
Daily Quotes–Thursday, June 9, 2011
Alexander Ziegler, Jr., Virginia Tech, men’s hammer champion, 238-6 (72.69 m) Won on his final throw and the second-to-last throw of the event to beat teammate and top seed Marcel Lomnicky. Ziegler was second in the hammer at last year’s NCAA Outdoor Championships in and second indoors in the weight throw this winter.
On his day and where that winning throw came from: “I got off to a rough start. My first three throws, I wasn’t really happy with them. But I managed to motivate myself for the last three – I knew I had it in me. And I got it this year.
On beating his teammate to finally come out on top: “I know how Marcel [Lomnicky] feels right now. I’m a little bit sorry. I felt like that last year and it’s tough to lose like that on the last throw. But that’s how it is and I’m glad I did it this year.”
On his winning throw: “He [Lomnicky] was about a foot ahead of me and my fifth throw was a foul, but I put a lot of energy into it. I knew if I technically got it a little bit better, that’s going to be a good one. I guess that’s what I did and I’m really happy.”
Kimberlyn Duncan, So., LSU, fastest qualifier in women’s 200 meter dash semifinals, 22.39 “My main goal was just to hopefully get first place in my heat and do what I have to do to get to the next round. I want to just take everything day by day. What happened yesterday, I just leave it there and focus on today.”
Mookie Salaam, Jr., Oklahoma, top qualifier in the men’s 200 meter dash semifinals, 20.29 2011 NCAA Indoor champion in the 200 meter dash On the race: “I wanted to get out of the blocks. I wanted to win my heat. I wanted to just be comfortable. Winning my heat was a blessing.”
On the weather: “You still have to get heated up for the race, no matter what the weather does.”
On race official Randy Wilson (Knoxville, Iowa, high school athletic director), former Sooner and Olympian: “It was great having a Sooner at the finish line. He is a great Sooner and it was good to see him here.”
Maurice Mitchell, Jr., Florida State, second fastest time in the men’s 200 meter dash semifinals, 20.39 Second in this winter’s NCAA Indoor 200 meter dash. On the race: “I felt really good at the beginning, but got a little tight. I wanted to be in the top two.”
On his finals outlook: “It’s going to take a lot of dedication to win.”
Lucy Van Dalen, Jr., Stony Brook, finished second in heat one of the women’s 1,500 meter run semifinals, 4:18.50 – after recovering from an early fall. On falling during the race: “Someone went down and I thought it was clear, but I just went down straight after. I just got myself together, stayed at pace and prayed, and God’s strength got me through it. I was really stoked to get out there and I just kind of went out slowly and didn’t panic.”
On making it to finals: “I guess I wanted it a bit bad. The 15 [1,500] is what I have passion for, so I’m pleased to be here.”
Ryann Krais, Jr., Kansas State, leader in the women’s heptathlon after the first day, 3,585 points On her success on the Drake Stadium track: “I’ve said this before that I really like this track. There’s something about it, I mean it’s obviously a fast track. There’s something more about it too, just with the history here. So it’s exciting competing here.”
On how her first day met her goals: “The hurdles and the high jump went right where I wanted them to be. And normally, I go on the ambitious side, so it’s nice that they were able to meet my expectations. Shot put was not representative of what it’s been in practice recently, but I finished the day with a pretty good event in the 200.”
On what it will take to win tomorrow: “You know, I can’t tell you. And right now, I’m not even worried about that. A lot of times, I let myself get very anxious and I’ve been working recently to let things be. God has a plan and if I’m meant to win it, it’s meant to happen. And if not, somebody else will [win] and I’ll just continue working hard.”
Brittany Borman, Jr., Oklahoma, women’s javelin champion, 178-2 (54.32 m) On rebounding after yesterday’s performance: “I was a little bit nervous after yesterday, but I just wanted to forget about it, come out today, move on and see what happens. Obviously, it helped win the championship.”
On changes in between prelims and finals: “I just sat on the side and though about it the whole time…about things I need to fix and things I need to do to make a better throw. I talked to coach about it and he helped me out a ton.”
On what she needed to do to get her winning throw: “I just need to relax. I was too tight, trying too hard to throw well, I just needed to relax and kind of let the form go through.”
Dorian Ulrey, Sr., Arkansas, fastest qualifier in the men’s 1,500 meter semifinal, 3:42.44 Transferred from the University of Northern Iowa to Arkansas in 2008. On returning to Iowa: “It’s fun to be here. I know where go to eat, and Jordan Creek [Mall] is a fun place to hang out. It’s been a very easy transition and it’s good to be back in Iowa.”
On the race: “Today, I felt like I was really pressing and my legs were heavy. That is part of going through the rounds. Saturday will be a lot of more relaxed.”
On having the fastest qualifying time: “It does not matter at all. If you read too much into that, you get a little too high of your standard in prelims. I take away that I had a good race today and nothing chaotic happened.”
Matthew Centrowitz, Sr., Oregon, men’s 1,500 meter run semifinal heat 1 winner, 3:48.67
Finished third in the 1,500 at the 2010 NCAA Championships. On winning the heat: “I have not lost a 1,500 all season. Having that thought in my head will give me momentum going into Saturday’s final. Just to have a shot at a title is exciting.
“I wanted to win, but I was not going to fight someone off it they came up on me at the end of the [semifinal] race.”
On his thoughts on the final: “In the past 1,500 finals, I have been really, really slow. With the 1,500 you never know what’s going to happen. There are all different kinds of ways to run it. I will have to get out there and put myself in the mix, no matter what pace it is.”
Omo Osaghae, Sr., Texas Tech, top qualifier in the men’s 110 hurdles, 13.32 On preparing for the race: “I wanted to have a good run. I live in Texas so I am used to heat. Today I just tried to stay more technical. I have had trouble with the first hurdle so I wanted to work on that.”
On finals preparation: “I have a day off before the race. I will have a chance to chill and relax and watch some of my teammates perform. I will get focused on the race. It should be a good one.”
Laura Roesler, Fr. Oregon, anchor of women’s 4×400-meter relay semifinal heat 2 winner, 3:31.04 On the competition in the anchor leg: “I was feeling really good. As an 800-meter runner, I don’t run that race like a sprinter so I got out slow. We were against the wind on the back stretch, so I ran my leg pretty conservatively and stayed calm.”
On trying to maintain the lead: “We had problems doing that at regionals, so this time I knew that I had to match whatever move another team made, but I hate going out of the exchange fast and that’s what I had to do today.”
Brigetta Barrett, So., Arizona, women’s high jump champion, 6-1¼ (1.86 m) 2011 NCAA indoor high jump national champion and the top seed coming in. On clearing the winning height on her first attempt: “I knew the key to winning was making clearances on first attempts throughout all the heights. A lot of the girls, they’re notorious for popping random PRs and really sticking with me, which helps me to PR. And they’re all really supportive, so I knew that first attempt clearances were very key to success.”
On scoring valuable points in the team race: “Yesterday, our team actually got good and unexpected points. We had a PR in the throws and Jen [Bergman] did really well in the 10K and we were all out there yelling and supporting. So hopefully, we can get on the podium as a team this year.”
On winning both the NCAA indoor and outdoor high jump championships this year: “That was huge. All glory be to God because in warm-ups, my butt just had a spasm. It was even hard to walk and I was just like, ‘Dear God, if you can carry me through this meet, I’ll be eternally grateful.’ So the indoor and outdoor [championship] is definitely an honor and it helps me validate the hard work that I’ve been doing and a lot of sacrifices I’ve made. And it feels great.”
Stephanie Garcia, Sr., Virginia, women’s steeplechase semifinal 1 winner, 10:00.27 On taking the lead with three laps to go: “I wanted to pick it up and challenge myself. I did not know if there would be anyone with me. At that time, I wanted pick it up and give myself some work to do. I have not had a ton of competition this year. I wanted to pick up the pace to make myself feel good. ”
Thoughts on final: “I have run my personal best in every race this year, except for today. I had a great week of training and I am excited for Saturday.”
Emma Coburn, So., Colorado, women’s steeplechase semifinal 2 winner, 10:00.43 On going to the finals and racing Garcia: “Stephanie and I have never raced head to head. I know she ran well earlier in the season. She ran a faster time then I did last season. You cannot discredit anyone. The steeple people are still getting big PRs late in the season. There are a lot of girls I think can run low 9:50s. I have to be ready to roll on Saturday and go for the win.”
On the race today: “My coaches in the crowd let me know my splits were too fast. I was still comfortable with the pace. I guess I was testing the waters for Saturday.”
On being the favorite: “There is not a lot of pressure. It’s all how you perceive it. In every event this weekend, there is a front runner. For me to put all the pressure on the world on my shoulders, does not make any sense. I want to win and have put a little pressure on myself to do that. My coaches, family and boyfriend all keep me very grounded.”
On Jenny Barringer (NCAA Steeplechase record holder): “We were teammates for a year and a half. She was a great teammate to me. I was one of her bridesmaids when she got married last summer. Jenny has achieved the ultimate successes that are every girl’s dream. It’s nice to have someone achieving that much who is your friend and right there with you.”
Daily Quotes–Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Tracey Rew, Sr., Northwestern St., champion, Women’s Discus, 192-4 (58.64 m) Rew won it on her final throw and the second-to-last throw in the competition.
On where she came up with the winning throw in the final throw of her collegiate career: “I knew it was the last throw of my collegiate career and I just had to put a finish on it. And it just worked out for me. I just stayed calm and I worked on my technique like I’ve been doing. But I just added a little aggression to it and it paid off.”
On how the good start – coming into the finals second – gave her confidence for the big finish: “That was always the plan to be very technical first and go ahead and secure marks. And I came out and executed exactly how my coach wanted me to in the prelims. And thank goodness something happened for me in the finals because so many of the girls made huge jumps. The atmosphere for competition was really great and I think that’s really what gave me the motivation to keep trying.”
Tim Glover, Javelin Winner, Illinois State, 263-6 (80.33 m) “I figured it was going to be 77 or 78 as the winner. I didn’t really expect 80 meters for the first throw. As soon as I hit that, I was like ‘alright, calm down, hopefully nobody will get me.’ ”
“It is nerve wracking, especially being in the first flight I had to sit out there during the second throw and watch them kind of get hot…just wait and see.”
“I had the best throw in the nation coming into today and they had me seeded as fifth, so I actually put the rankings on the background of my computer and phone so I had to look at it as the motivation to be like ‘I’ll prove them wrong’ and I did.”
Jeneba Tarmoh, Texas A&M 4×100 meter relay, 42.99 “In the semifinals, you want to run fast to get a good lane in the finals, but you also want to make sure, since it’s a relay, that you get the baton around the track. Pretty much we were focused on getting the baton around and staying healthy for the final on Saturday.”
Texas A&M Men’s 4×100 Meter Relay, 38.38, fastest qualifying time in semifinals, new Drake Stadium record
Tran Howell, lead-off leg
On his start: “I just knew I had to get out. That was the main goal. I knew Gerald was going to put us back in the lead if I was behind.”
On the record-setting effort: “Everything went smooth. 38.38. What can you say? That was just a great race.”
On their potential in finals: “Just seeing what we do right now, that’s just a small portion of it.”
Gerald Phiri, second legOn his leg: “I know we can run faster than that. I’m really excited right now, especially for P.J. [Hardy, anchor leg] as a freshman to come out there and anchor a 38.38. That’s big time.”
On the record run: “It’s very exciting, more so that we’re number one in the NCAA.”
On their potential in finals: “We can stretch the zones out a little bit, hopefully we can come as close as possible to TCU’s record [NCAA record and college best, 38.04, 1998].”
Chanelle Price, Jr., Tennessee, Women’s 800 semifinal, heat 2 winner, top time, 2:02.84On leading the whole race:“I just stayed in control the whole race. If someone was going to come up on me, I was going to make them work for it. When Kate Grace [Yale, second in heat] came up on me, I did just what I planned.”
On running the day’s fastest time: “I honestly had no idea I was going that fast and I did not want to push it that fast.”
Thoughts on the finals: “The prelims are what are scary. The finals is where you show off your talent. My goal is win the finals. I have a day of rest before the final.”
On why she has a chance to win this year: “My freshman year, I was a head case, and my sophomore year, I was injured. This should be a breakout year.”
Jessica Beard, Sr., Texas A&M, Women’s 400 Meter Dash, fastest qualifying time in semifinals, 51.24 On plans for the finals: “I’m just going to try to go out there with the field on Friday and stay relaxed the last 50, because I guess that’s where I’ve been struggling with.”
On her experience racing: “The competition, I feel, is still the same. There are still tough competitors. Everybody’s really hungry.
“I feel like I have the experience down, more experience. Now I’ve gotten a couple under my belt.”
On the prospects of winning consecutive team championships: “The more people we get to the final, the higher up we score. We just make our chances for that easier.
“With that in mind – the thought of a three-peat – I also think about what place I can help contribute and help get the most points for my team.”
Charles Jock, Jr., UC Irvine, men’s 800 meter run semifinal, top qualifying time, 1:45.77 On the race: “I went out and ran my race. Coming down to the last 200, I just started kicking and made the pass. Qualifying, really isn’t my focus. I’m looking forward to the finals this weekend.”
On his experience at this distance: “I don’t really have a whole lot of distance under my belt, so I’ve been working alongside the cross country guys to help get prepared for this year.”
Tony McQuay, So., Florida, fastest time in men’s 400 meter dash semifinal, 44.87 On his performance today:“Winning my heat today should mean I get a good lane for finals on Friday. I want to come out and compete hard because I know it’s not going to be easy. I just want to stay humble and focused and hopefully come out victorious.”
On running against some of the best athletes in the nation: “They’re great people to run against. They’re very competitive and every time I go out I know I have to compete hard, and that’s what I love to do.”
Miller Moss, Sr., Clemson, leader men’s decathlon after the first day, 4,271 points 2011 NCAA Indoor champion in the decathlon On leading after the first day: “It feels really good. I’m on a really good pace right now personally, so that’s probably the most satisfying thing is knowing you’re doing your best.”
On finishing strong by posting the second-fastest time in the 400 (47.23) to take the lead: “Most of us wanted to go ahead and run it [they had to wait about two hours following completion of the high jump, rather than the normal 30 minutes]. We wanted to cool down and get some food and get some rest. But it did help to have a little rest in between.”
On the key to win it on Thursday: “It’s just one event at a time, stay consistent and do my best.”
Matt Hughes, Sr., Louisville, 3,000 meter men’s steeplechase top qualifier, 8:40.04 Defending NCAA champion in the event On posting the top time to begin his title defense: “Nothing has changed in training and preparing. I am not focused on defending, just winning another title. I put last year behind me. Just because I won it last year does not mean I am going to win it again.
“My main goal was to stay healthy. If you don’t stay healthy, you are not going to win it.”
On his time: “I was right where I wanted be, in the low to mid 8:40s. The winner will be in the 8:20s on Friday.”
Cassandra Tate, Jr., LSU, women’s 400 meter hurdles qualifier, 55.99 “I was just trying to stay focused on my own race and stay relaxed, get through each hurdle as swift as possible and come home with a strong finish.”
“I was just giving it my all. That’s what it takes toward the end of the race like that. You just have to give it all you have and that’s what I did. I just had a little more than the rest.”
“It was hot out there, but it cooled down for the race. I try not to let it get to me because everyone has to deal with the same conditions. It’ll be cooler for the finals on Friday, so I’m going to go focus on my race.”
Tori Bowie, Jr., Southern Mississippi, women’s long jump champion, 21-9¼ (6.64 m) She actually tied with Ti’Anca Mock of Oklahoma for the top mark, but won it because she had a better second jump (6.63 m). She won the 2011 NCAA indoor championship in the long jump.
On both of her top two jumps coming in the finals after she was eighth in prelims: “I actually had a huge jump in the first round, but I barely scratched. I’ve been struggling all season [outdoors] and I’m thankful for this win. It feels better even to win the second time.”
On winning it because her second jump was longer: “I’ve been working on my consistency for a whole year. Last year, if I didn’t get a good jump, the next time I’m jumping a foot farther. So I had one goal this season and it was that I was going to be consistent. And I came out here and I was consistent. It worked.”
On winning both the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships in the long jump this year: “I mean words can’t even describe how I feel right now. I won two national championships in one year. I’m very, very thankful.”
Scott Roth, Sr., Washington, pole vault champion, 17-8 ½ (5.40 m) “There was defiantly a cross wind that was difficult to deal with but it was a really fun competition. I know a lot of those guys personally. This is basically the only time I get to see all of those guys, so we basically just sit out there and enjoy the completion. It was super fun.
“First attempts are really crucial in a meet like this where you have tons of guys jumping at the same bar. I knew that coming into this and so I just reinforced it to myself, you know, ‘first attempt, first attempt,’ and really just imagined myself clearing that bar on my first attempt and it worked because I did.
“Well, I knew it wasn’t going to be an issue of height because I am on a five meter pole and usually you can go 18 feet on those poles. Basically, I was just trying to stay mentally tough and to be able to deal with the changing conditions and the wind…in the past I’ve had difficulty with that, but I’ve prepared myself for that. I think today showed how much my preparation paid off.”
Julian Wruck, So., Texas Tech, men’s discus champion, 202-9 (61.81 m) Came in as the top seed and was third last year in this event. On the difference this year after finishing third a year ago: “This time, I just didn’t leave it up to chance. I won regionals last year and I was confident, but I knew everyone was still very much capable. There were five guys who were easily capable of beating me. So last year, I left it up to chance. This year, I went in knowing that I was pretty much definitely going to win.”
On his top throw in his preliminary flight holding up for victory: “My first throw was just kind of easy, but it was really fast and nice. I just tried to stay in the ring. Stay and throw, let it go. And yeah, that was the one. So, I’m happy.”
English Gardener, Fr., Oregon, women’s 100 meter dash fastest qualifier, 11.17 On running well, in spite of an injury: “Right now my adrenaline is flowing, but you never know what is going on, so the ice is just in case. I kind of landed on my knee and hip in the 4×100, so I have a little bruising here and there. I don’t even know what happened. I got out and there was a collision. That combination has only worked on once. We haven’t really practiced it that much and as my coach says, ‘Things happen and it’s nobody’s fault.’ We just have to pull our bootstraps up and make it in other events.”
On her run: “It was a little on the weaker side because I was thinking about everything that happened earlier today. It’s a lot to block out, you know, people saying this and people saying that. It probably wasn’t as good as it could have been. But I’m happy with it.”
On focusing after the false starts: “After someone false starts, I’m focused because the next false start, you’re out too. So I definitely sat a little bit and once I got through my acceleration, I knew my turnover and my speed would carry me through the line.”
Jeshua Anderson, Sr., Washington State, top qualifier in the men’s 400 meter hurdle semifinals, 49.18 Had the top seed time coming in and was second in the event last year. On the race: “The race went well today. I’ve just been trying to do what I’ve been doing in practice – working on my right leg a lot more – and I thought it went well. So I hope I can do that in the finals and get out faster.”
On his plans for the finals: “Saturday I’m just going to go all out. It’s my last collegiate season, my last collegiate race, and the last time you’ll see me in this crimson and gray. I’m just praying things will go well. I’m sure they will. I’ve been running faster in practice and so if I can take that into my race, I’m sure I’ll do great.”
Juliet Bottorff, So., Duke, champion, women’s 10,000 meter run, 34:25.86. Bottorff is Duke’s first outdoor NCAA track champion.
On the slow and large pack or runners much of the race: “When it’s a huge pack like it was, you know it’s going to be anyone’s race. When the race is like that, it’s not a matter of who has the best time, it’s about who races smart and comes down to a kick more than anything.
“When everyone is going the same pace, you might as well conserve. I wanted to sit in the back and follow peoples’ moves. You have to be able to adapt to what’s going on and what happens, happens.”
On winning the race on the last lap: “I was feeling great, but I did not know what other people were feeling. I did not look back. I just focused on what was straight ahead.”
On the heat: “I love the heat and it does not bother me at all. I am from North Carolina and it has been in the 90s the last two weeks. If the heat can be my advantage, I will take it.”