February 5, 2005 at 5:09 pm #2227
Bernard Lagat, winner, Wanamaker Mile – It was a great atmosphere today. The race was well-assembled. We had Laban Rotich and my great friend and competitor, Alan Webb. It was one of the greatest miles I’ve been in. We have people who are great, ready to run, and we showed that today. It was a great challenge. I wanted to have my own race plan. It’s a good thing, knowing I’m going into my next race in a week. It’s a confidence boost. [On the fast pace]: I felt strong. I told the guy, keep on pushing, keep on moving. That was good. I wanted to run [the record] because 3:52 is not easy. Breaking the record feels good and tells me that my training is good.
Alan Webb, 3rd, Wanamaker Mile – I had a lot of fun. It was a really different experience. The crowd was so into it. It’s a very unique setting. I’ve been wanting to come here since my junior year in high school. I tried to go as long as I could – I didn’t last long at that pace and I paid for it a little bit at the end. It turned out to be a great event. For me, it’s really nice to be competing again after a somewhat unsuccessful Olympics. I had a great year last year but it ended on a sour note. But it’s good to put the past behind you. I wasn’t surprised at the pace, but I was surprised at how I felt. It stung me more than I anticipated. It did a little more damage than I originally anticipated. I would like to have made a late charge, but the damage was already done.
Reese Hoffa, men’s shot put winner – Needless to say, the atmosphere out that was electric. They did a great job. From the moment I stepped out there on the track. I knew I had the possibility of going over 70, but I kept going too far too the left. It’s one of my problems. So I thought, make an adjustment and do everything as my last throw. I put it together – I was amazed. I’ve had some troubles putting it together. Plus, it’s my PR, so that was great.
John Godina, men’s shot put 2nd place – I don’t know if we made the atmosphere, the crowd made the atmosphere, or the announcer made the atmosphere, but it was great. It was a party for four throws. I’m beat. I’m way more tired now than after the usual 6-throw meet. I thought. I was pretty good, technically, considering my week of training. I can feel it coming.
Adam Nelson, 3rd, men’s shot put – I had a tough week of training. I did my taxes this week. I hate that time of year, but I had to take care of it. I also took the GMATs yesterday. My emphasis wasn’t necessarily on my training this week, but I felt good out there today. It shows you that when you’ve got the four best guys in the world out there, people can really appreciate the event.
Christian Cantwell, 4th, men’s shot put – To tell you the truth, I’m getting tired of these guys laying whippings on me. But I guess it’s good for the sport to have different guys winning.
DeeDee Trotter, women’s 400m winner – It was very exciting. A lot of fun. The track is definitely something to get used to. I would kind of like to do it again because there were some surprises I wasn’t ready for. A couple of turns I kind of flew out of. It’s hard to judge (her fitness) based on times today. I feel I’m in pretty good condition. I feel like it was a pretty good race for my opener.
David Krummenacker, men’s 800m 2nd place – It was kind of a funny race. Coming into the last lap I was feeling really good, but Khadevis and Berhanu started to swing ride. Somehow Khadevis went down. I had to jump over him and Berhanu beat me on the inside. He’s a tough guy. I’m in a base phase with training, I haven’t cut back at all for indoors. I feel really good. I feel really, really strong in the races. I know I’ll have some speed work to do, but it’s encouraging to know I’m running this well.
Bershawn Jackson, men’s 600 yard winner: I’m not a big fan of indoor running. I jus wanted to come out and have a good race. I’m just working on my strength and stamina for the last 100 of the hurdles outdoors.
Carmen Douma-Hussar, women’s mile winner – It’s always a fun race. You never know at Madison Square Garden what you’re going to get. I think my experience here the last two years has helped with the dips and short length. It went out quickly, I wasn’t expecting that. I love indoors. My coach, Marcus O’Sullivan, is the king of the indoor mile, so maybe I’m learning from the master.
Hazel Clark, women’s 800m run winner – I like to go wire to wire here. It went out faster than I wanted to, so I shut it down in the middle. I’ve been training like a miler this year, so I feel very strong. I think it will pay off in the end, even though I don’t like the workouts right now. I used to be a big-time cross country runner in college. I’ve lost that, so we’ve simulated it in training this year.
Stacy Dragila, women’s pole vault winner – I won. I’m pleased with that. I wanted to get on a longer pole tonight and I did. I think the pole was actually a little too small. I think it was a step in the right direction. Obviously the big heights weren’t there, but the potential is there, and that’s what the indoor season is about for me. [On Mary Saxer]: I thought she was very composed out there. She has a very bright future to be out there amongst us was huge for her. She’s the next generation. I wish I was her age when I started pole vaulting. She’s got a great set-up – a great coach, great training partners and a great set-up.
Mary Saxer, women’s pole vault competitor – I cleared 13-6 starting off in practice the other day, so I wasn’t shaken by it (the starting height). There’s so much energy here. Vaulting against athletes like Stacy Dragila, it was so exciting. At high school meets, I know I’ll be 1 or 2, but here it’s a different story. All the girls came up and introduced themselves. They were all really nice. A meet like this is a great experience for me. I can only improve from here. I had nothing to lose. My goal was to break my own national record again, even if I only went a half-inch over. I didn’t have the best warm-up, so it’s not unexpected that I didn’t do well in the meet. I was a little bit nervous, but not too bad. Stacy seems like she has a great attitude, no matter what she does in competition. I look up to her in many ways, and meeting her was so great. She was really nice and supportive.
Aislinn Ryan, girls’ high school mile winner – The race started out fast and pretty much kept the same pace. This track is a little different than most tracks. I thought the turns were going to be (steeper). When I got here I was happy. I’m good at staying at a pace. Usually I don’t go out and fall off in a mile. My goals are to go as hard as I can and work as hard as I can to keep on making bigger goals.
Jamie Nieto, men’s high jump winner – It was a really good competition. The crowd was awesome – they gave me a lot of love and a lot of support. It’s always good to come back to New York City. I took it a jump at a time. Overall for the performance, I think it was great. I wanted to make it first clearance if I could, and for the most part I did it. On my 2.27 (meter) jump, I kind of gritted it out.
Linda Ferga-Khodadin, women’s 60-meter hurdles winner – I had a bad start. The first three hurdles, I couldn’t find my rhythm, but on the fourth hurdle, I had and excellent hurdle and the rest was good. When I compete I always would like to win. The field was very, very good. It’s my first time competing at the Millrose Games, so it’s a very big success for me. Especially with the other girls in the race. The focus on the indoor season is the 60-meter sprint because I would like to progress in sprinting.
Angela Daigle, winner, women’s 60 meters – It’s so amazing. It was absolutely amazing. This was huge for me – I’ve never won anything in my elite career yet. I almost won last year, I got snipped at the line. So I wanted to come back this year and do well. Outdoors in the 100, I’m pretty much leading for the first 60 meters. That’s a good opening time for me. Last year I opened with 7.24, so improvement is good.
Allen Johnson, winner men’s 60m hurdles – My hurdles race was good. I was really nervous in the beginning. The first big race of the year I’m always nervous. I had a couple of bobbles in the first few hurdles, but I smoothed everything out. I’m actually surprised how fast I ran considering how I felt when I was running. That’s a good sign. A lane came open here, so I took a chance to see what I could do against this guys. It wasn’t that fast, but it’s a big accomplishment. 6.69 for me is fast.
Derek Miles, winner men’s pole vault – It was fun. Millrose is such an intimate because everybody is so close. This year, there seemed like there was quite a bit more excitement. It was perfect for getting on bigger sticks. That was the biggest pole I had been on since the Olympics. That means I’m running better than I was at the Olympics. I feel stronger and it’s still fairly early in the season. I wanted to take shots at something higher than 19 feet. There was a couple of close attempts, but there were some things wrong with my takeoff.
Leonard Scott, winner, men’s 60 meters – It was great. We’re piecing things together. We’re finally back sprinting again and getting the off-season training off your back. It’s coming. It’s the first win of my professional career. It was great. I was out there and I was thinking about my dad, because my dad bet me that whenever I win my first race, he was going to quit smoking. So hopefully I elongated my parents’ lives, because second-hand smoke is just as bad as smoking. I think tonight I was more relaxed. I got the first race of the ear out of the way last week in Boston. I think I was more aware of what was to come this time. The first race is always the toughest. You can’t set any limits. You’ve got to strive for the best.
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