Elite Athletes Press Conference Quotes

April 17, 2009

Kansas Relays Quotes

Elite Athletes Press Conference

Friday, April 17, 2009

Alan Webb – Men’s Invitational Mile

On competing in the Kansas Relays:

“This is my first outdoor race of the season and I am excited. It has been six years since I have been in Kansas and it is good to be back. It is nice to be in Jim Ryun territory.”

On his training regimen this offseason:

“This year has been about getting back to the basics and not doing anything special. I have been doing good, solid training. I have tried to stay away from the extremes and just do things that I know have worked in the past. The whole year I have been slowly building up and there were no new special things.”

His thoughts on his 2008 season:

“I felt like I put a lot of pressure on myself last year. After I set the American record in 2007 I got so excited about the possibility of doing special things that I got a little too aggressive with my approach to 2008. I went a little overboard and made changes that ended up not being good. I ended up on the losing end and was watching at home from the sidelines.”

On his training for the season:

“This year has been about getting back to the basics, not doing anything special. Just good, solid training. Obviously we’ve been doing a lot, but I’ve tried to stay away from the extremes, things that I have done in the past that haven’t worked. I’ll build from there, once I’ve gotten to a point where I feel I can push beyond what I’ve done. For now I’ve been slowly building up.”

GiGi Johnson – Women’s Invitational 100-Meter Hurdles

On her expectations for this weekend:

“I hope to get a good time and start my season off well. This is my first meet so I am hoping to get a good time. My coach and I have been working on some things, and hopefully we will get it done.”

On competing in the Kansas Relays:
“I came to the Kansas Relays last year when I was a collegian and it was great. The fans here are really good. The weather was great last year and it was a great competition. I always like meets where there is high school competition as well as collegiate and professional athletes. It gives the high school and college people something to look forward to. We are a reflection of what you can do if you work hard after college.”

On competing in her first outdoor event of the season:

“I started in November and did two events. I did the USA indoor meet and got fourth in the hurdles and I also went over to England and did a three-event challenge over there. This will be my first outdoor event and hopefully I will get some good things started this weekend.”

Muna Lee – Women’s Invitational 200 Meters

On what she likes about the Kansas Relays:

“It is just a fun meet to start up the season. I usually just do relays but they weren’t running that this year. I have to open up in the 200 meters, which is the race that I hate the most. But I am just going to go have fun. Even if it rains I will still have fun.”

On preparation for this season:

“I’m pretty much doing the same things that I did last year because I didn’t have a full season with my coach. I just came in in January and started sprinting. In training, I started off where I left off. I’m excited about this season.”

On her expectations for this season:

“I told my coach, I’m never cocky or anything, but I was messing around and I told him and my friends when I was joking that somebody’s going to be mad. I don’t know if it’s going to be me or if it’s going to be everybody else, but it’s going to be a tough 100 meters to win.”

On the Kansas Relays:

“It’s a lot of fun for me to always come back and see all my friends and family. I have a blast out there.”

Christian Smith – Men’s Invitational Mile

On rivals while running at Kansas State:

“Jeremy Mims, who was an 800 meters runner here (at Kansas), he’s one of my good friends. We’re competitive against each other. Going into the Big 12s he was one of my better friends from any other school. He was the main guy who was successful at KU in my event. I wanted to beat him like anyone else.”

On meeting Jim Ryun:

“I’ve been in the same area as him at the same time, but I don’t think I’ve talked to him. I’ve talked to his son once or twice. Actually (Jim Ryun) talked to the Kansas State cross (country) team while I was there and I talked to him there.”

Nickesha Anderson – Women’s Invitational 200 Meters

On the 4×100 race she ran in earlier in the day:

“It went well. I had confidence in my team. I knew we were going to make it into the finals because this is home and this is where we get more support. It’s a great opportunity for us to compete in front of our families who hardly get to see us. It’s going to be good tomorrow. We are prepared for it.”

On the expected crowd for Saturday:

“It’s going to be a good crowd tomorrow. The weather is awesome compared to last year. I’m definitely looking forward to a big crowd tomorrow.”

On the weather this season:

“It gets hotter than it does in Jamaica because you don’t have the cool sea breeze, but this is definitely Jamaican weather when it gets cooler in the afternoon. That’s what I like about it. This is my type of environment. I know how I perform in this type of weather.”

Bershawn “Batman” Jackson – Men’s Invitational 400-Meter Hurdles

On his expectations for this year’s meet:

“I’m under a new coach and we have a lot of great things that we’ve been practicing on. It would be good to come out and get a good race in early.”

“You’re going to see the cape. It’s a whole new Batman. It’s been a whole new change. I’m excited to see how the season is going to turn out.”

On the Kansas Relays:

“It’s a great meet. It’s a great tradition that they’ve had for many years. It’s going to be a good meet for years to come. I just think of it as a meet where legends are born. You have high school, college and professionals, and it’s just a great meet to come to. It has a great atmosphere and great competition.”

On getting his confidence back:

“I had a really bad 2007 season. I didn’t make the finals or the championships in Osaka. So last year was a big confidence booster to get me to the winter Olympic trials.”

On the challenges of being 5-foot-7:

“It’s really challenging. The most challenging part is coming down the last home stretch and those last few hurdles and you race against Curan who’s 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-6 and Angelo Teller who’s 6-foot-5 or 6-foot-4. I have to actually hurdle and those guys can just step over the hurdles. It gets a bit difficult and I have to work extra hard.”

April Steiner-Bennett – Women’s Invitational Pole Vault

On her expectations for the season:

“I expect the World Team.”

On coming back from the 2008 Olympics:

“It’s been awesome. It’s been a whirlwind, that’s for sure. I’ve done a lot of speaking in schools. I’m trying to keep training and life balanced again with all that’s going on. It was the dream. Meeting that goal is what it’s all about. I’ve had that goal since I was 12 years old. That dream has been in my head for a long time. Now it’s just about going back and seeing if we can get on the medal stand and what we need to do in the next three and a half years to get to that spot.”

On the Kansas Relays:

“The Kansas Relays is always fun to jump in. They really do the pole vault really well, with the runway down the middle of the field. The crowd is pretty involved and it’s good energy.”