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July 23 Evening Session Quotes - Pan American Games

Kendall Baisden
I can’t believe it. My first senior international meet, I was able to make gold in my individual event. I’m just really happy right now.
I’ve learned that I’m a chaser. I run my best races when I’m up against people who can run an all-out 400 at a top speed. I feel more comfortable in that situation, so I wasn’t scared. I knew it was just going to bring the best out of me.
It’s a great feeling being able to represent my country, especially doing something I love.
That’s the best part, being able to go up there with both the runners we brought for this event. It just shows how much depth and strength we have as a country.
Shakima Wimbley
The last 50 meters I saw that I was in position to get a medal, so I was like: ‘Why not go for it?’ So I pushed even though I saw I was a little bit behind the girl from the Virgin Islands. I just had to dig deep and go for it.
It feels great. I had a long season so for me to be able to come with my teammate and represent our country so well, it felt so great. It’s a dream come true. It’s just something you dream of. It’s something that you strive for from the day you start this sport. You watch your idols on TV and you just go I want that to be me one day. Next is I’m trying out for the Olympics so that’s my next goal.
This is probably one of my biggest ones yet. I didn’t do so well at the national championships, so I wanted to come here and get a medal and run as hard as I can.
It’s an awesome feeling. I’m so happy and I’m satisfied with what place I got. I’m happy that I was able to finish I look forward to having a strong year next season.
Desiree Linden, 10,000m silver medalist
“I come from a marathon background, so it’s like being in the red line the whole time for me with just the speed stuff. Tough day, but great competitors keep it going throughout the race and a great finish for Mexico, who pulled off the win.”
“It’s great putting on the Team USA uniform, being out here representing your country. The Pan Am Games I believe are great and part of the big three: World Championships, Olympics and then Pan Ams. Getting a medal and representing my (country) is amazing.”
Clayton Murphy, 800m gold medalist
“It was good. I tried to make a move on 50 and expected his counter and just kind of tried to go with him and tried to make sure that I had something left for the last 20 meters. I tried to accelerate and get the good lean at the end and through the line.”
On how important it was for him to remain in second throughout most of the race
“I’ve really been working on this season just staying in better position from 400 to 600, and I got kind of boxed in for the first 200 and kind of moved outside when I had a little gap there. I just said, ‘I’m going to stick with him, stick with him, stick with him, and with 250, I’m going to move on his shoulder.’ He felt me there, and he kept looking back so I just kept countering everything he did for the last 20.”
Ryan Martin, 800m bronze medalist
“It feels pretty awesome. Clayton is such a young stud. I think he’s only a sophomore in college, so it was awesome to go 1-3. I wish it was 1-2, but you know you can’t complain because a medal is a medal.”
“We kind of cruised for a lot of the race, and I knew it was going to get going that last 200, and I just put in a good effort to try to catch them. They are just a little bit faster than me today.”
“It’s awesome. I could have chosen to go to Europe and race overseas or something, and I wanted to come here because winning a medal here is awesome. I get to represent my country, put on the USA uniform, and it doesn’t get any better than that.”
“I personally thought with 120 to go that I could catch them, and I think I kind of matched them. And then the last 40, I couldn’t claw enough up on them. And then I saw them kind of climbing up and then I thought it was going to be kind of close. I actually couldn’t tell until after they had finished and I saw them start to celebrate.”
Jenn Suhr, pole vault bronze medalist
“I’m using this as a tune-up meet leading up to the next couple meets and really Worlds. I think I know where I’m at and what I need to work on. Coming off of Nationals, it’s about rebuilding and getting ready for World Championships.”
“I’m finally healthy, so I’ve got a lot more speed on the runway that I’m not used to, so it’s really kind of harnessing that and using it to my advantage.”
“I’m purely thinking Worlds right now. You really peak for U.S Nationals to make the team and then you have to continue training and really peak again for Worlds, so that’s what I’m doing.”
I like Canada and I like competing. I’ve competed at this college even before this (stadium) was built. It’s kind of fun to come back and see the thing, the progress and what they’ve done with the place.”
“It’s fun to be on a team. When you wear the USA, all of a sudden it’s no longer just yourself out there competing. You have friends cheering for you and teammates and other sports, and it is similar to the Olympics in that fashion. You just see USA and you cheer for them. I think this is a good memory, and it’s good to have this right before the Olympics next year. It makes you really want to make that team to experience it again.”
Demi Payne, pole vault, fourth place
On her performance today
I’m not very happy with it. I always want a higher height, but I did feel really good, and I think my only issue is that I needed some more pull under me, so Im just going to keep going after it and see what happens next time.”
On preparations for Worlds and what’s next
“I think just to keep the ball rolling. I felt really good today, so I think just to keep doing what I’m doing and maybe hit up a few small meets before Worlds. Other than that, I’m just working towards Worlds.”
On her making her first international team
“It’s my first time, so it was a crazy experience and I loved every second of it.”
Russ Winger, Javelin bronze medalist
“It’s definitely a challenge. Coming to a meet like this is completely different call-room procedure. I definitely have to plan out a little bit like how the day is going to go. I had a blast today. I loved competing in Canada. I’m really pleased to be medalling. I definitely have a lot of work to do as far as the season goes. Technically, it was very close today. I just couldn’t quite line one up. It was great to see those other guys throw well and have a great competition.”
Wallace Spearman, qualified for final
On the race overall
“My shoe almost came off. I had a better start in the first round, and I didn’t expect to run that fast but I’ll take it. My shoe came untied, and my heel kept coming up on the back, so I was a little nervous. Hopefully, I can go back to kindergarten and learn how to tie my shoes again and be ready for the final.”
On running in a heat where a record was set
“It’s doesn’t matter what you do to get there. It matters what you do in the finals.”
BeeJay Lee, 200m (fifth in semifinal heat, qualified on time)
“Right now I’m just taking it all in. Two finals on my first senior team. The first one didn’t go exactly how I wanted it to, but I have a second chance and God blessed me. I’m going to rest up tonight, come out and hopefully put on for my nation tomorrow.”
“I felt like I got out well and came off. I didn’t see anybody. My body got a little tight, but I had to hold on because I know that these medals count in the finals. I’m just learning and getting used to being on these big stages along with representing my country, so I’m just going to take it in stride and make the best of it tomorrow.”
Kyle Clemons, 400m bronze medalist
On carrying the flag
That’s like the best thing ever. Carrying this flag around, in another country, mean a lot especially; I don’t get to hear the national anthem for my race, but hearing it when I was walking around with the flag it’s just amazing. Means a lot to be able to represent this country.”
On winning bronze
“It feels great, all I kept thinking is my coach is going to kick my ass if I don’t bring home the 100 – just keep my shoulders in front of my hips, and not get back and stay forward, move and keep pumping. That’s exactly what I tried to do and [personal record] for me, so it’s amazing.”
Overall Pan American Games experience been like?
“To be honest with you, whenever you PR its’ always your favorite race. Nice track, great fans, stiff competition, can’t ask for a better race.”
“Just amazing to be in the presence of winners and people who want to win and people who have won. Definitely a great experience for me. Not quite the finish I wanted to make, finish I wanted to have, but hey PR can’t be mad with that.”
Kaylin Whitney, 200m (first in semifinal 1)
On having company into the finish line
“I was coming off the turn and she was still in front, so I just relaxed and kept it through the line. Once I knew I had the race, I just kind of shut it down.”
On competing at Pan Ams and making it to the final
“I’m really relying on my training and listening to what my coach has to say. My goal was to come out here and work the curve and just relax into the finish. And that’s what I did, so it’s on to the finals now.”
On being a professional athlete at such a young age
“I’m just so blessed with what God has given me - just the talent I have and giving me the opportunities to be able to travel the world and represent your country is amazing.”
On whether or not she will compete at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
“Rio is definitely in my plans as well as any other athlete in this sport, so I just take things day by day. If I stick to the plan, hopefully, I’ll make it there.”
Kyra Jefferson, 200m (third in semifinal 2)
On the race overall
“My start was a little better than it was in prelims, but I didn’t run the whole curve. I ran the first 50 and then cruised, then tried to hit another gear. I can’t really explain my finish. I got a little tired. Im not going to lie. Like I said earlier, I’m running myself into shape. I’ll be fine for the finals.”

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