2012 KU Relays Day 3 Quotes

April 20, 2012

85th Kansas Relays
Champion Quotes
Lawrence, Kan.
April 20, 2012

Men’s Javelin Champion Scott Russell (Unattached)
On his first throw being the winning throw:
“Yeah, that’s unfortunate because you don’t want a competition to end in the first round. You want to be able to build through it. I wanted to be able to get our (Canada) Olympic A-standard today, so it’s a bit difficult to end your meet on the first throw.”

On how he is able to balance competing while also being a school teacher:
“It’s an imbalance. Teaching is a huge priority for me in terms of working with the kids I work with at Basehor-Linwood Middle School and then the other imbalance is having a five-month old, so there’s a complete imbalance in life. I have a great wife who allows me to do this silly sport still, but this will be the last season I will compete and this will probably be the last time I compete here.”

On if he is famous in Canada after competing in the Olympics:
“I don’t know if I’m famous. I think I have a little more notoriety here in Lawrence than I do in my own home country. Lawrence is home now, so I embrace Lawrence more than I do my hometown at times. I still have all my family there, so I have two hometowns now.”

On if he feels more pressure with this being his last go-round:
“No, there’s absolutely none. At this point I’ve made an Olympic team. The reality is, if I throw my personal best at the (2012) Olympics, chances are I could medal. My personal best would have been good for second at the World Championships last year. With me being 33, this year is about staying healthy and being ready come August. If I’m in one piece there, I actually have a chance.”

Men’s 3000 Meter Steeplechase Champion Sam Dickerson (Unattached)
On winning against a talented field:
“It’s a good feeling. I ran here two or three times in high school, but never won in high school, so to come here and finally win a Kansas Relays title is a pretty big deal to me. It feels pretty good right now.”

On how much confidence this gives him, especially when he’s redshirting this season:“I would have liked to run faster, quite a bit faster actually. I didn’t really feel like I worked hard in the race to win it, but I’ll take it. It was a good win, but I probably won’t race that much since I’m redshirting. It’s a good confidence-booster going into next year mostly.”

On competing in the Kansas Relays compared to other meets:
“The atmosphere is way more fun. The fans actually seem to care about what’s going on, on the track. A lot of other meets aren’t like that, so that makes it (Kansas Relays) a lot more fun.”

Women’s 3000 Meter Steeplechase Champion Meagan Hudson (Unattached)
On what it means to win the steeplechase for the third-straight year at the Kansas Relays:
“It’s pretty huge for me. Every time I come here I want to try and win. The goal has always been to get that record and I kind of fell off the pace and now I’m really angry because I was that close.”

On what makes the Kansas Relays different than other meets:
“All through college this was always the biggest meet, aside from Nationals, that we came to. Every time I come here I want to try to win and it’s a fun atmosphere here. I really love running here.”

On what she can improve on before her next competition:
“I think next week will be a lot better because there will be people all around me. I’m not expecting to win at all when I go there (Penn Relays), so I’m hoping all that competition will pull me through with a quicker time.”

Women’s shot put champion Kearsten Peoples (Missouri)
On how she feels after winning the shot put and setting a Relays record:
“I’m so excited, not just because I won but because I PR’ed also. I’m just really happy.”

On if she was expecting this kind of performance:
“I didn’t necessarily expect this, but I expected to do good because I felt it today. Also, I have a lot of family and friends here and that got me excited to perform for them. I just want to do better.

On how this performance will help her the rest of this season:
“I just feel happy. Since I’m younger, I don’t know what’s going to happen this season or the rest of my college career. I’m not really expecting anything at this point. I’m just going out and having fun.”

Women’s triple jump champion Mara Griva (Nebraska)
On how she felt about her performance:
“I came in a little concerned because two weeks ago I was injured. I was not really sure what to expect. Coming in it was really cold but I won so I am really happy. This is a really big meet.”

On how the cold weather affected her:
“I came (to Memorial Stadium) around 10 o’clock so it was really cold then, but now it’s ok. As my leg gets tighter, cold weather really is not good for it, but it turned out okay in the end.”

Women’s High Jump Champion Allison Mayfield (Kansas)
On preparing for the high jump today:“It took a lot of practice. Coach (Tom Hays) has been working with me on little things that fine-tune my approach and I think it really helped and paid off today. Each practice we try to work on the little things.”

On what it’s like to win this event among such strong competitors:
“It’s awesome; not that I thought I couldn’t do it, I just didn’t think I’d be here at the end of the day. It was great being able to go up against some great competition.”

On whether or not the momentum from the victory will help her in the future:
“I think so, at least mentally. It lets me know I can jump this high and compete with these girls. If anything, I think it’s a good mental builder.”

Men’s Pole Vault Co-Champion Alex Bishop (Kansas)
On his preparations for today’s events:
“Just the normal routine: woke up, ate an awesome breakfast, I guess just being here with this excitement and just being here at the Kansas Relays got me really pumped up.”

On the wind being a factor:
“At some times it was, but for the most part we had awesome wind all day long. It was just solid, consistent, 10-mile-per hour wind, which was pretty good.”

On how the victory will motivate him for future outdoor events:
“Absolutely. Even though I didn’t PR, and ultimately didn’t make what I wanted to today, I still had some pretty positive things happen. Consistency was a huge factor in the vault. I just did the little things right (which) can make all the difference.”

Women’s Distance Medley Relay Champion Team (Kansas)
Rebecca Stowe
On how today’s victory boosts their confidence:
“It’s exciting; this is the third year in a row that we’ve won this and that was really our goal. We wanted to get that record but this is still way better than we ran last year and it gave us a lot of momentum to start the relays.”

Cori Christensen
On the kind of momentum today’s victory gives for the rest of the season:
“A win is always a confidence booster; you learn a lot in every race and learning to win at a collegiate level is a whole different level.”

Shayla Wilson
On what the race plan was coming into today’s event:
“We wanted to beat the Relay’s record and we wanted to come out and win. We didn’t get the record but we did win so that’s really important to us.”

Rebecca Stowe
“We just wanted to run fast, have some fun and definitely show up on our home track.”

Cori Christensen
On if the crowd was a factor:
“I personally could hear someone yelling my name on each lap so it’s super encouraging.”

Distance Medley Relay Champion Don Wasinger (Kansas)
On carrying the momentum of this win to other events:
“We have a few big meets coming up so we just need to improve our times and we definitely did that today. We’ll have more confidence going into these next few meets to get those times up.”

On how he felt he ran today:
“Pretty good; I started out a little slow in the first leg because I got boxed in but once I got on the outside it sped up. We won and that was the main goal.”

Javelin Champion Heather Bergmann (Kansas)
On how today’s victory gives her confidence for the rest of the season:
“It’s always really nice to win an event even though I didn’t throw my best today. It’s still good for the team. It just gives you confidence going into the other meets that you can throw well and you can win meets. It’s nice to have a win under your belt going into the rest of the season. This is my first win at the Kansas Relays so it’s nice to have that, too.”

On what her goals are for the rest of the season:
“I just want to stay really consistent at throwing in the 160s, 170s; that’s really my goal. That way, I’m just peaking at Nationals and make it to trials so I just want to go up from here.”

On how it felt to win with such fierce competition:
“It was really good; Kayla Wilkinson is always a good competitor so it’s nice. I competed against a lot of girls that I went to high school with so I have that friendly competition with them. It has just been a big confidence boost for me to know that I can throw well and win this event.”

Shot Put Champion Mason Findley (Kansas)
On his injury:
“I had a herniated disc on L5 and sciatic nerve damage which goes to my left ankle so pushing off so my timing is all messed up but I’m getting used to it. Obviously I had some good throws today so it’s coming along.”

On how it feels to have a big crowd out to watch:
“It’s the best when everyone starts clapping and cheering you on. A lot of the times, you’re throwing when it’s dead quiet so these guys were awesome today and gave me a lot of energy.”

On how he felt he threw today:
“Really good for me; obviously there’s always going to be things I can improve on but it’s good for now.”

Women’s 4 Mile Relay Champion Casey Epps (PittsburgState)
On winning at the Kansas Relays:
“It is a lot of competition, so to come up and do well means that we are making out school proud. That is really what we come to do.”

On their overall time:
“We are pretty happy about it. We wanted to break our school record – we’re not quite sure what that is yet – but hopefully we got it.”

Katelyn Henderson
On the other teams in the field:
“I think it is pretty awesome that we get to compete against some Division I schools and show our stuff. It is nice to beat them every once in a while, too.”

Men’s 4 Mile Relay Champion Austin Bussing (Kansas)
On what it means to win at the Kansas Relays:
“It means a lot. It means a lot to be running around the track and here people yelling at you and yelling your name. It is an awesome crowd.”

On the competition:
“South Dakota was kind of scaring us at the end, but I think we took care of business. Sometimes you don’t know what to expect when you’re coming in, and we have the targets on our backs, so we are going to have at least one school coming after us every time.”

On their gameplan coming into the race:
“Coach told me specifically that regardless of where I was when I got the baton, to try and run a fast mile. I needed to go out and about 61 in the first lap, which I don’t think I quite did. The idea was to get in a quick workout.”