PRE: Athlete Quotes

Nike Prefontaine Classic athlete quotes from the USATF website

Jill Geer
Director of Communications
USA Track & Field
317-261-0478 x360

Bershawn Jackson, Men’s 400m hurdles: I didn’t get a good start. I had to make up a lot of ground. Right now, I’ve had so much fire and burn in me from last year, I’m going to run every race like it’s a championship. I had a bad start and hit hurdle #2. At, 7, 8, and 9, I really got going. James (Carter) and I were neck and neck, but I just wanted it more today.

Maria Mutola, Women’s 800m: It was a lot of pressure today. I’m just happy to win. We ran an OK race. The most important thing for me was to come and run and win. So, I did that and I’m happy. This is my first race; to run under 2 minutes is good. … There was a lot of bumping on the first and second laps.

:slight_smile: Lauryn Williams, Women’s 100 m: I was nervous today. There are some great athletes, it was a great field. As a competitor, you’re always looking to have an extra little kick. My main goal today wasn’t to get revenge, it was to run a good race and win. I did that and I’m happy. This was my first Pre and my first win at Pre. It’s really nice here, and it’s nice to have all these track fans.

Perdita Felician, Women’s 100m Hurdles: It feels good to win. I’m not trying to put this as me against her (Joanna Hayes). To me, Pre marks the official start of the season. For me to come in and run a time like this, I know it is a great indicator of things to come. I knew if I came here and had a great time, it’d be a great starting point for the season.

Liu Xiang, Men’s 110 Hurdles: I was disappointed that Allen Johnson wasn’t in this today. I didn’t run well the first three hurdles, but I came on strong in the end.

Gary Reed, Men’s 800m: This was a good field to beat. My coach just said to be patient, be patient. I waited until the last minute and I’m happy with the win. I’m pretty happy with the Canadian Record. For me, it’s sweet.

Christin Wurth, Women’s 1500m: It’s pretty exciting, I can’t believe that I won. I was boxed in, once I got passed it (the fall), I relaxed and knew that I was okay. I was just trying to stay close and stay competitive. In a race, things like that happen, that’s just part of it. … This puts me in a pretty good position going into nationals. I’ll go home and train some more and then go to nationals.

:slight_smile: Justin Gatlin, Men’s 100m: We were going neck and neck and I just pushed it in the end. The crowd is always exciting here. I came and won and put on a great show. … My last two races have been 10.15, so went back and became a student of the sport. I studied, I watched a lot of tapes and I trained real hard. I went out there and did what I had to do and everyone recognizes my accomplishments. I’m going out there and trying to do the best I can.

Erin Aldrich, Women’s high jump: It feels so good to be back. I needed that 1.95, it’s the World (Championships) standard. I’m excited to be back. I was burnt out and fortunately, I had another sport to go to. I got a renewed ambition and got back to track. When I left in 2001, I knew I’d be back. I have such a passion for the sport… This is by far one of my favorite meets. If I can jump 1.95 with only two months back in training, the sky’s the limit.

Alex Kipchirchir, Men’s 1 mile: I was surprised the mark was there. My first lap, I was very tired. The last 100 meters I couldn’t believe I had anything left. This was my biggest win.

Alan Webb, third place, Men’s 2 mile: I was trying my best to keep up with Kipchoge and the front pack. We went out so fast. I started to hurt in the end. With a lap to go, all I had to do was run a 60 flat and that’s what I did. I knew if I beat Boaz (Cheboiywo) I’d get it. Anytime I run here at Hayward Field, I manage to do something special. It’s always special here in Eugene.

Brad Walker, Men’s pole vault: I felt like this year I’ve been doing a lot better with keeping a level head. In my eyes, this is the biggest meet in the U.S. This is a great crowd.