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Friday night quotes from Drake Relays

Dawn Harper-Nelson, women’s shuttle relay (second leg)
“It was a great finish. Kristi did a great job bringing it home for us. I’m still trying to comprehend what just happened, but I truly enjoyed myself. It was first time ever doing this. Walking over, the girls had to tell me, ‘Okay, when I cross this line, you have to go,’ so it was just fun to race with other amazing hurdlers.”

On this being her first shuttle experience
“No, I have not done a shuttle hurdle. It really was brand new for me. To be at this point in my career, to do something I have never done before is just unique, and I really enjoyed that Brian put this together.”
Queen Harrison, women’s shuttle relay (third leg)
"Brianna (Rollins) and I were on the winning team last year so this was fun. The biggest thing was letting them (teammates) know when to go because you have to eye them to know when to get them to set. It was Dawn's (Harper-Nelson) first time so it was kind of cool. Even though she is the veteran of the group we still had to school her. This was my first race of outdoor season and it was good.
"I would like to see the shuttle hurdle relay added to the World Relays in the Bahamas. America has the strongest hurdlers. I know no other country wants to go against us but we still need to add it to World Relay.

Kristi Castlin, women’s shuttle hurdle relay (anchor)
“My blocks kind of slipped, so I was a little nervous, but my last part of my race is always so good, so I really stayed focused and ran off the last hurdle. I was happy that the ladies did such a great job in the beginning, and I did not want to let them down.
Leaning across the finish
“I knew it was very close, and like I said after hurdle five, I knew I really had to dig deep and really get my feet down. I was just so excited. I really know how to execute the last two or three hurdles of the race very well, so I just relied on that.”
On competing in a unique event
“It’s so fun. It takes the pressure off. It’s good to be able to compete with some of the ladies you always compete against. We set a world record today, a world best, so it was was a great event.”
Demi Payne
On her performance and the weather
“Actually I was just happy that it wasn’t raining. I had a good tail wind, and I tried to take advantage of it, and use it as an outdoor PR, so I’m not too upset. I just wanted to get above 15 again because that’s been my barrier bar this whole outdoor season because we really haven’t been able to get any good weather. After clearing 15-1, the bar went to 15-3. Actually, it didn’t count for a record because there wasn’t a box collar.
I feel like I’m on the rise finally because was going down, and now I’m going back up, so it feels great. I’m pumped. I think I’m going to Texas next week, and I’m hoping for some good weather.”
Sandi Morris
"It was a bit chilly out there, but we had a pretty good tailwind though, so it wasn’t too bad. Pole vault-wise, just kind of dealing with the cold was a little bit different, but I just felt like I was in a little bit of a funk, starting from warm-ups and was just kind of all over the place today. It was just one of those days where I just went out there, and I didn’t have my best day but I didn’t have my absolute worst day. It’s just one of those days in between, so hopefully the next one will be a little bit better. I’ll just keep going to practice and fighting hard.”
Ajee Wilson
On competing in less than ideal conditions
“I train in Philly. We are outdoors all year around, so I wasn’t really concerned about the weather. I practice in it all the time, so that was one less thing I had to worry about going out there. Coming out of the start, I just wanted to get out. Once I found myself in the lead, I just remembered what my coach told me about being comfortable. i just tried to control the race.”
“It’s my second race of the season, so I’m really happy with that. I’m way ahead of where I was last year, so I’m excited.”
Bershawn Jackson
“This year, my training has been going great. From my fall, I haven’t had any setbacks. Even 2013 was rough with injuries, and I think it was all mentally tough. 2012, my eighth hurdles crash at Olympic Trials, and I crashed in behind my opponent and hit my hurdle, and I ended up taking fourth. They denied my appeals, and mentally I just never recovered. I think that was one of the most disappointing times in my life. Before Olympic Trials, I had one of the fastest times in the world. I was really consistent; I was ready. The time I ran in the semis in 2012, I would have easily made the team. I think I have been fighting that adversity ever since.”
“Going into the race, I was very confident, had a really good season opener last week at the Michael Johnson Invitational, and I feel like the old Batman is back. I got out like I normally do, executed a great back stretch. It was really windy, but I was keeping the focus on staying relevant. I wanted to prove that Batman is still here. The last two years I have been written off. I come to this meet, which is such a great meet and I love it, but I was pretty shocked I had lane 2. But overall I feel great.”
“It’s emotional for me because last year I thought it was the end of Batman. I thought I was going to retire. For me to come out here and make that transition and be back on top, for me to make that transition and overcome that adversity feels great. It’s such a great feeling to be back running in good form and to actually be relevant. I’m 30 years old, and a lot of people and critics say I’m washed up; my time is gone. I turned pro at 19, so I don’t have anymore in my legs. It was a great race for me overall.”

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