Kansas Relays Quotes

April 17, 2008

Recap | Results

Hammer Throw Champion
Egor Agafonov (Kansas)

On his <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Kansas Relays hammer throw victory two years in a row:
“It’s a great competition – one of the biggest in the U.S. and I’m glad I won this event again.”<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

On winning on his home turf his senior year:
“I love Kansas. Lawrence is a great town and KU is a great school. I’m happy that I’m here. It’s kind of sad. It’s my last Kansas Relays, but I’m glad that I won this event.”

On the fouls early in the prelims:
“Sometimes it’s not easy. It’s stressful in competitions, especially when there are a lot of good guys, like the ones that are here. We fixed the mistakes and hoped that the finals would be all right.”

Women’s 800-Meter Unseeded 4th Heat Winner
Charity Stowers (Kansas)

On the difficult conditions:

“Since we’ve been practicing outside, this has definitely been the worst it has been. It’s just a mental thing. You have to believe that you are in shape, no matter the conditions and go out there and give 100 percent.”

On running at home:

“Anytime you get to compete at home it’s a good feeling because you train so hard. You want to be able to show how well you’ve been representing KU. It is always good to run in front of your students, teammates, friends and family.”

Men’s 800-Meter Unseeded Winner

Michael Saalfeld (Concordia)

On the wet track:

“There actually wasn’t as much wind for our race, so it was only dealing with the wet track. It slowed you down a little bit, but not too bad.”

On his finishing kick to win the race:

“At the 600 mark, I was a little bit more behind him than I wanted to be, so I just had to punch it. I just gave it my all the last 200 meters.”

Women’s 1,500 Meters Unseeded Winner

Casey Kimball (Missouri)

On the weather:

“Lately we have been dealing with the elements in Missouri. Last week we ran in sleet and cold weather, so today was actually pretty good compared to what we have run in. It was just difficult to decide how soon you should begin to warm up, but it turned out pretty good.”

On knowing when to warm-up in cold, wet conditions:

“It is hard. You try your best to do everything perfectly, and so when you get thrown a curveball like weather, it puts a wrench into your plans. It’s always difficult as a runner to deal with.”

Men’s 1,500 Meters Unseeded Winner

Jordan Neal (McNeeseState)

On the wet track:

“I’m from Ireland, so I’m pretty used to it. Back in Ireland, there is usually just one race, but today there were five heats in our event. It was interesting.”

On focusing on the other heats prior to his race:

“You only focus on your race, because you don’t want to overstress before the race. You just see what’s going on around you by doing your strides and focusing on yourself.”

On running at the Kansas Relays:

“I saw some videos earlier of some of the great past Olympians that have run here before like Billy Mills, so it was nice to run here. It’s a strange track to be honest. It is very hard, but it was still enjoyable.”

Women’s Hammer Throw

Zlata Tarasova (Kansas)

On the conditions:

“These were the worst conditions that I have ever competed in. When I first came to America I was more used to these conditions, but to me, after being here for two and a half years, rain is just horrible to me. It’s al right, I still have a few competitions left, including the Big 12 Championship so we will just have to see what happens there. If you are a good thrower, it shouldn’t matter if the conditions are good or not.”

On her third throw:

“I am very upset right now about my third throw. I am not sure what is going on right now. Last year I felt really good and my first year here was awesome. In the past I have improved in every competition and right now that just isn’t the case.”

Women’s 3,000 Meter Champion

Alicia McGregor (Kansas)

On winning the race:

“It feels great. I think this is the first race that I have ever won at home. I really wanted to win because this is my senior year and it is a home meet.”

On the conditions:

“It was great. I was actually hoping that it would rain because it would calm down the wind and that is what happened because it wasn’t windy.”

On her last lap:

“I was just trying to finish strong. Our workouts have really gotten me back feeling strong.I really trust my fitness right now so I decided just to go for it and finish strong.”

Women’s 5K Champion

Senior MicaLand (WichitaState)

On winning at the Kansas Relays:

“The first time I came to run here, my freshman year (of high school), I was new to the sport so it was kind of overwhelming, the stadium at the atmosphere of this meet. It has always been one of my favorites to compete at and to finish off my career winning my race here feels pretty good.”

On the weather conditions:

“The conditions are obviously not ideal. I will definitely say that I prefer this over strong winds, the strong Kansas winds we are so used to. It actually kind of made it a run. The bright stadium lights and the evening felt cool, it wasn’t too bad. I actually kind of enjoyed it.”

Men’s 5K Champion

Jaime Villa Zapatero

On winning at the Kansas Relays:

“This is a great race to win at. It means a lot to win because I have been training hard and I showed that today.”

On the competition:

The competition was excellent. Everybody ran a really good race. I just had a little more energy out there in the end.”

On the weather conditions:

If (the wet track) had any influence at all it was probably for the best.”

Women’s 10K Champion

Sophomore Kimi Shank (Missouri Southern)

On having the fastest NCAA Division II time so far this year:

“It feels really good, this was my first 10K ever so I really didn’t know what to expect. It really wasn’t as bad as people led me to believe.”

On qualifying for the Division II Championship:

“My goal this whole race was just to qualify.”

On participating and winning at the Kansas Relays:

“It is exciting; this is the second time that I have ever won a track meet. I am really excited about it and I look forward to my next race.”

Shuttle Hurdle Relay Winner

LaNeisha Waller (Illinois)

On the win…

“It feels pretty good. Especially shuttle hurdle, we don’t get to do it too often. So if we can win it, we’ll definitely take it.”

On the weather…

“It is a little difficult, but we’re from Illinois so we’re used to it.”

Butler Community College Sophomore Legonn Haskins:

On running the shuttle hurdle…

“You go out there and run every race like you always do, and just go out there and have fun. You don’t get a lot of chances to run the shuttle, but when you do you just go out there and try to have fun.”

On the weather conditions…

“I’m used to the rain and the cold weather. I’m from the East Coast so I’m used to it.”

Women’s 4×200-Meter Relay Winner

Ashley Carpenter (Nicholls State)

on the win…

“We all ran really well, it felt good. It’s really cold; when I was taking off that wind hit me head-on, but I just kept on running and kept the time. We’d come too far to lose.”

Nicholls State Senior Lanation McCray:

On their Kansas Relays experience…

“It’s our first Kansas Relays, but we’ve been to the Texas Relays and FloridaState (Seminole Invitational). I think the Kansas Relays is the friendliest, and the Texas Relays is run more strictly. I really like the KU Relays a lot.”

Men’s 4×200-Meter Relay Winner

Scott Wims (Nebraska)

On winning the event two years in a row…

“It was cold and a little lonely since we were out front. It’s pretty fun that we won last year and we won this year. We might have to win next year.”

Women’s Javelin Throw

Kayla Wilkinson (Nebraska)

On the conditions…

“In the beginning it was a little rocky, just chilly and cold, but at the end I felt really good. I just had to let it all go and relax. I warmed up a lot in the beginning, and then the first flight took so long, so it took me awhile to get back into the groove.”

On the Kansas Relays…

“This is my second Kansas Relays in college, but I also competed in high school. This is my second win here also, so it feels good.”

Men’s Shot Put

Keith Lloyd (Nebraska)

On his performance:

“I can’t complain. I’ve been injured quite a bit the past couple months. It was a crummy day as far weather-wise. We had a dry ring for a couple throws, but it was not ideal conditions.”

On the wet throwing ring:

“This ring is really fast when it gets wet. It’s really polished on the top. The throwers with the flat-bottom soles, once you get a clear coat of water across that, they are done. I have dimples on the soles of my shoes, so I had a bit of advantage with my shoes today.”

On adjusting to the weather:

“When it’s about to rain, you work on getting a good throw-in early. When it does rain, you go back to the grace of the sport, rather than the power. You slow it down and make it look better.”

On throwing at the Kansas Relays:

“It’s been a good experience. I’ve been down here twice now, and I’ve had a great time both times.”

Men’s Pole Vault Champion

Zac Holoch (Nebraska)

On the win:

“Considering the conditions I think that I jumped pretty well. There was a swirling wind that we had to contend with all day, but I got the win so it is all ok.

On his plans for the rest of the year:

“I haven’t been jumping that well so far outdoor this year and I was really hoping that this would be the meet that I got it turned around.”

Women’s High Jump Champion

Kim Shubert (Nebraska)

On the win:

“The conditions were ideal, but that is just what you get with outdoor track. I felt that we had a lot of people that made some good jumps out here despite the wind.”

On her Kansas Relays history:

“This is my third appearance at the Kansas Relays. I won a shuttle relay two years ago, but this is my first real win.”

Elite Athlete Press Conference

Wallace Spearman Jr.

On building up to the 200 meters:

“In years past I have run a lot of 400 meter races, but right now I think I need some more foot speed. So I am going to try to run some more 4X100 meter and 100 meter races.”

On how he feels:

“It is still early in the season, but I feel like I still have some work to do. I think I am where I need to be, but I think I need to get sharper and more race ready. Then I will be ready.”

On why he is not competing in an individual race:

“Not yet. This year everything is about getting ready for the (United States Olympic) tryouts. One more round of relays and then we will open things up.”

On why he is at the Kansas Relays:

“I have been here once or twice, but I have never ran here. I came here and enjoyed the crowd and the atmosphere. I figured I would give it a shot.”

Muna Lee

On the 2004 Olympics…

“I wasn’t really mentally prepared for the trials because I wasn’t planning to qualify. My coach told me to just run it and relax because he didn’t expect me to either. I surprised both of us when I made it.”

On the upcoming Olympic games…

“This time I’m prepared, and it’s a totally different situation. I’m definitely ready this time.”

Bershawn Jackson

On why he chose to compete in the Kansas Relays during an Olympic year:

“It’s always a great meet to come to, always a great atmosphere. It’s always a great place to open up at. For the past three or four years this is the place I’ve come to open up at. It’s been great.”

On the number of years he has competed in the Kansas Relays:

“I wan to say four or five, I am not sure.”

On his first experience at the Kansas Relays:

“I first came here in 2003, I was like 18 or 19 years old, and it was one of my first big meets running against professional competition. Straight out of high school I won the race. It’s been great. I’ve been wanting to come back ever since.”

On his overall performance last year:

“Last year I felt like I performed, from a one to ten, maybe about a four. I had very good performances, but I kept getting injured. My rhythm was off. I was ready at worlds, but I couldn’t get that last hurdle. I think my biggest downfall was rhythm and me being injured and not running enough races. I ran in total five races last year.”

On where he is running next:

“I’ve got Kansas, then I have Home Depot and then I go to Europe, Berlin and Oslo. I’ll be gearing up for the trials and getting ready. Last Olympic trials I took fourth so this is a big year for me.”

Women’s Steeplechase Winner

Lauren Bonds (Kansas)

On her performance and win today:

“To be honest, that’s not a good time at all. I’m just going to try to forget it ever happened, but it’s really good to win. The Kansas Relays is a really good meet, so I am happy with that.”

On how she performed last year in the event:

“I got second last year (in the steeplechase), but it wasn’t a great time either- I just have a hard time at this meet. Hopefully I can do better next week (at Drake Relays).”

On the cold and weather conditions affecting the race:

“The wind and cold might have affected it a little bit, but I really can’t make excuses, it just wasn’t a great performance for me today.”

Men’s Steeplechase Winner

David Adams (Nebraska)

On running in the Kansas Relays:

“It was just nice to be out there running. This is my second event so I am really just getting the hang of it. I am really starting to like it.”

On the competition:

“This is my first time here (at the Kansas Relays). It is really great with a lot of good, solid competitors. There have been a lot of great marks here in the past from what I have seen.”

On the Steeplechase event:

“I really like it. It throws a little variation in there and you are not just running seven laps. It really adds an athletic aspect to the race.”

Men’s Javelin Winner

Scott Russell (Unattached) (Kansas Graduate)

On his victory;

“It always feels great to win at the Kansas Relays. It was a little cold today. I strained my groin — that’s kind of a bummer. It will take me about month to get back.”

On the weather conditions:

“I was hoping for this weather, because whenever we have bad weather, there are great wins. The wind was almost ideals, so that helped out today.”

Women’s 1600-Meter Medley Winner

Shamika Kentish (Seton Hall)

On the race:

“I think it was a good race, but that back stretch wind is crazy. As soon as you get on that second hundred it hits you, but I think we held our own. We came out here and did what we had to do to represent as best we could.”

On the Kansas Relays:

“I like them. The competition is good, and it was fun. Now we just have to hope that the rest of the day goes as well as this race did.”

Men’s Long Jump Winner

Nicholas Gordon (Nebraska)

On the win:

“I felt great out there today. I just tried my best, and it looks like it paid off. It was a little cold yesterday, but today it warmed up and it was more to my liking.”

Men’s High Jump Champion

Jim Dilling (Unattached)

On the win:

“I was feeling pretty good today. When I showed up the weather was a little iffy, but it turned out to be a nice day. Also, it’s a pretty good set-up here for the high jump. Twenty-five, I’m pretty happy with that, but it would have been nice to get the standard (30). Next week I will be at the Drake Relays so we’ll see what happens there.”

Men’s Sprint Medley Relay Winners

Eugene Wallace (Illinois)

On their performance:

“I thought we did well, especially since we just got put together. So as far as running together and creating chemistry for the Sprint Medley, it was pretty good.”

On his team’s anchor leg taking the lead:

“He does it all the time. He’s a big fighter, a warrior. We weren’t scared, we just watched.

Men’s 4×200-Meter Relay

Ato Modibo Stephens

On their performance:

“I felt really good, it felt great. I was a little concerned at first, but we warmed up nicely. It was a good run.”

On running the third leg:

“We were a little bit in front (when receiving the batton). I just held the lead and gave it to my teammate.”

Women’s 4×200-Meter Relay

Sydonie Mothersill (Total Sports Management)

On their win:

“I felt great, it was fun. I’m from a small country (CamenIslands) so I had a blast out here today. I was on the third leg and was against the wind, but it was okay. I was worn at first, but my strength showed itself today. I was quite please with my whole performance and the whole team. Everyone did a great job. This is my first time competing at Kansas and first time ever being in Kansas, so this is awesome.

Women’s Pole Vault

Jennifer Hensel (Minnesota State)

On winning the event:

“I took my first attempt off the bar and it just nailed me bone to bar on my knee. So my knee is really sore after jumping like that. It was a great day, great conditions and awesome tailwind.

On the great competition:

“My freshman year I jumped with the elites, so I’ve jumped with them a few times. We usually go bigger meets and jump against a lot of the (NCAA) Division 1 schools.”

Women’s 4×880-Yard Relay Winners

Chavanne Hubbard (Seton Hall)

On the win:

“It’s mainly just us coming together as a team. When we practice we just stay on each other’s shoulders and that’s what we have to do. We came out with a victory and we look good- I’m happy. I’m ready for Penn Relays.”

Men’s 4×880-Yard Relay Winners

James Gurr and teammates (Seton Hall)

“This is our first time and we are happy to be here. The weather was not too good yesterday, but today it’s really nice.”

“We are a little disappointed with the time. It’s almost 20 seconds slower than what we ran at Penn Relays, so we are obviously looking to improve.”

Women’s 4×100-Meter Relay Winners

Courtney Jones (MidAmerica Nazarene)

On the race:

“It was a good performance. We all had good handoffs. It was nice weather today. We had one bad exchange but we still came out on top. We were going for a PR (personal record), but we were one second off.”

Men’s 4×100-Meter Relay Winners

Hilton Campbell (MidAmerica Nazarene)

On his team’s performance:

“I think we ran well. We didn’t run the time we wanted to, but I think by nationals we should get back to a low 40 to try to win NAIA Nationals. We are qualified, but that time would have given us an `A’ standard.”

Women’s 1500 Winner

Heather Dorniden (Minnesota)

On the win and preparing for her race:

“I think it went really well. The meet has been all over the place as far as timing, so we weren’t really sure how to prepare for this today. We were nervous to get out here, so I was hoping to get out there and pretend I was ready like any other day.”

On the Kansas Relays as a meet:

“This was my first time at Kansas Relays, but I can tell that this is on the right track to being something. I’m not sure if I could compare it to something like Drake Relays, which is the only other large meet I have been to. But it’s a very nice track, nice stadium.”

Men’s Invitational Mile Winner

Julius Bor (CloudCounty)

On his mile race and being at the Kansas Relays:

“I felt really good. This was my first time at Kansas Relays. I enjoyed it- it was a nice race. I wanted to run under four minutes, but it was good.”

Women’s 100 Meter Hurdles Winner

Karyn LaCour (Nebraska)

On her first-place time:

“It was really good. I haven’t been running so fast lately, but my time is getting faster at each meet, which is good, and that’s all I’m really worried about right now.”

On her first Kansas Relays experience:

“This was my first time and I really like it. I love it so far, people are really nice and I’m so glad we came.”

Men’s 110 Meter Hurdles Winner

Tyrell Ross (Nebraska)

On his winning time versus his preliminary time:

“This morning, I went 14.19 and I didn’t really like the race, I think because of the cold, but to come in this afternoon and better my time to 14.02- I was just a great experience to come back and defend my title.”

Women’s 800m Run Winner

Marcia Taddy (Wisconsin-Platteville)

On her performance at this year’s Relays:

“I’m really happy. It’s a personal record. I’ve been here three years before. I run an 800 every single year. I definitely was better. Last year I ran a 2:09.14, so I was really happy.”

On the weather conditions:

It’s been warmer the last two years. It’s perfect- It’s not too hot. When we go back to Wisconsin, we’ll have to go from 80 to 60 degrees.”

Women’s 800m Invitational Run Winner

Leander Ernest (Missouri State)

On her performance at this year’s Relays:

“It was my first 800 meter run outdoor of the season. I just did what my coach told me to do- go out there and don’t worry about the clock, go out there to win, so that’s what I did. My time was pretty good. It was a personal best time.”

On her first time at the Kansas Relays:

Yes, I’ve enjoyed the relays, it’s been a good experience, I’ve enjoyed it.”

Women’s Long Jump Winner

Shantel Thompson (New Mexico JC)

On her performance at this year’s Relays:

“It was ok- I kind of wanted to do a little bit better today. I’m not on the board like I wanted to be. It was an average day for me.”

On her first time at the Kansas Relays:

This was my first time at Kansas Relays, so this is all new to me. We have a stadium, but this is my first time coming here- I was glad to be invited.”

Women’s 400-meter Hurdles College Winner

Briana Cunningham (Illinois)

On her performance at this year’s Relays:

“I think I ran pretty well. I had a plan to execute my race and for the most part I did that. The conditions included a whole lot better weather, compared to the last two days. It was easy to stay relaxed while I was running and not have to worry about the weather or being cold.”

Women’s 400-meter Invitational Hurdles Winner

Yvonne Mensah (Unattached)

On her performance at this year’s Relays:

“I’m happy about this. This is only my first year running this race, so every meet I improve, so I can’t complain.”

On what she likes most about running at Kansas Relays:

“The atmosphere and the track- this is only my second time being here, so hopefully I can come back next year and enjoy the weather and the crowd.”

Men’s 400m Hurdles

Abraham Jones (Unattached)

On his performance:

“I had a strong performance. I had a very good technique. Coming into this meet, my coach, Gary Wrinkler, wanted to focus more on technique for the Kansas Relays to get stronger and faster.

On setting a new Kansas Relays record:

“I really like Kansas. I don’t mind having my name on the charts for Kansas.”

Invitational Men’s 400m Hurdles

Breshawn “Batman” Jackson

On winning:

“It feels great to be back and running fast again. I’m coming off a terrible season.”

On the race:
“It’s been an up and down season. I came out running pretty good indoors and then I hurt my hamstring so I’m a bit out of shape, but I’m still fit and still good. I felt very relaxed coming out of the blocks and I finished strong so I’m very satisfied with my race. I’m interested to see what we do the later on in the season.”

On the field:

“It was a pretty good field. It could have been better, but all those guys are warriors.”

Men’s College 100m Dash

Mike Myer (KansasState)

On winning the race:
“Being 25 minutes away from here and in front of my friends and family, it means the world. This was the only meet I was focused on placing instead of time. I just wanted to come out and run well in front of my family and my friends and give people entertainment.”

Women’s College 400m Dash

Rosemarie Whyte (Stellar Athletic)

On the race and setting a new Relays record:
“I am very happy. It means a lot to me to know that the first time I run the 400 meters I run a 51.71. The weather was fine, it wasn’t bad.”

Women’s 4x400m Relay

Nickesha Anderson (Kansas)

On her win in the 4×400:

“The main reason I did well (on the last leg) is that I trusted my teammates. I know my teammates have got me.”

On her victory in the 400m dash:

“What can I say, this has always been my race.”

Men’s 4×400-Meter Relays Winners

Stellar Athletic

On the win:

“It was great and there was good competition. We did what we were supposed to do and won, so it was all good. “

On running at Kansas Relays:

“It was my first time. It was nice weather- yesterday it was freezing, so we didn’t know what it would be like, but it’s nice, so that was good too.”