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Saturday quotes from Drake Relays

Alisa Harvey, 800m women’s Masters Invitational
Note; Harvey won same race back in 2013 with record time  of 2;17.78 which still stands.
‘’The weather was the biggest factor. I ran smart and kind of being safe. I had some challenges on the back stretch. I said, ‘just go and try to win and run smart.’
‘I’m coming back next year. My daughter Virginia Hill runs on the Drake track team.’’
Leo Manzano, men’s mile
“Every race is it’s own little world. You never know exactly what’s going to happen, especially on days like today, when it’s windy and rainy. It seemed like it was going to be a really fast race with the rabbits, which they did an incredible job. There are some guys to beat out there, so I was keying a little bit off of Matt [Centrowitz], but that wasn’t really my goal. My goal was to just have a good race and come out with the win. One I saw that (Centrowitz) wasn’t going anywhere, I didn’t want the field to get too far away from me. That’s when I decided to get back on track and catch the rest of the field and just bring it home from there.
On a healthy rivalry with Centrowitz early in this outdoor season
“Absolutely. My hat’s off to him and every competitor because I know what it’s like waking up in the morning every day. We train anywhere from three-five hours a day, anywhere from 70-80 miles a week, and it’s a long season so I respect those guys so much because I know exactly what it’s like.
On fond memories at the track
One of my other favorite memories besides the silver medal race is actually my 2008 race here at the NCAA’s 2008 National [Championships]. That’s when I won nationals at 1500 meters and one my all-time favorites because I led from start to finish and won that race and was really able to show my kick in that race.”
Matthew Centrowitz, second in men's invitational mile (4:00.54)
"I definitely didn't feel great going into the race. Midway through I realized I couldn't keep the pace that the rabbits were pushing. So at that point I was just worried about competing and not the time. I felt back a little bit but I was happy how I fought that last lap."
Cassandra Tate, 400mH
“I really didn’t want to focus on the weather. I just wanted to make sure I executed my race to the best of my ability, considering the conditions, and I did.
On how the weather affected her
Not much at all. My coach always tells me not to really worry about anything you don’t have control over, and I can’t control the weather. I can only control my performance. I tried not to focus on the weather at all.
On the progression of the race
I got out really well. I wanted to stay relaxed and be as calm as possible, and just see what I could do coming home.
On the atmosphere at Drake Relays
“I love it here. It’s a great meet. The fans are amazing. The hospitality has been great.”
Stowers, 100mH
“I was definitely nervous. You’ve got the top hurdlers in the whole world. I knew I had to remain focused and hit the start. If I hit the start, I knew I would have a good chance of winning. Once I crossed the finish line, I couldn’t believe I won. And then the time that I ran was crazy to me because my PR before was 12.71.To run a 12.4 is an honor.”
Chaunte Lowe, high jump
“It was a lot of fun. There were people literally from almost every continent out there, so I think we had a pretty good competition. Even though though we were cold, I think it was really good competition for the beginning of the year.
“I think it’s preparing me really well for the outdoor world championships. To jump 87, obviously that’s not the best height, but to do it in the cold weather, I’m actually happy when I get some good weather under my belt, I think it will be a really good competition.”
Jason Richardson, shuttle hurdle relay (second leg)
“I ran first leg, so it was an easier leg in regards to the chaos of the shuttle hurdles.
 It is a little difficult to navigate the event, but I couldn’t imagine being on a better team, and I’m happy to come out with a win.
“It’s definitely another chance to get the competitive energy and let you know what
 the competition outlook is for the remainder of the season. I was able to stay competitive in the race even though I made mistakes, and it helps me get back into my old form. Im excited to get back into the outdoor season, and Drake Relays has played a part
 in that.”
Aleec Harris, shuttle hurdle relay (first leg)
“It was actually a horrible leg. Thank God for Aries (Merritt) and these guys because
 I went from a crouch position. I forgot to come up with a set, so my team carried it through and we got the W.
Aries Merritt, shuttle hurdle relay (third leg)
It was fun race. We came out with the win and a World Record, so it was really fun and
 I enjoyed it. I had a really good time.
“I think it’s really very fun. It’s definitely unique to be able to put all this depth on the same team. We have Olympic champions and World champions. We have Olympic medalists and up-and-coming stars on the same team, so it’s a sight to see.”
David Oliver, shuttle hurdle relay (anchor)
“It was a good run. It’s just fun. The real season doesn’t really start until around the championships, so you just want to get a good rhythm, stay healthy and just compete and
work on things. We’ve only got about two months until it really, really matters. As long as I stay healthy, I’ll be straight.”
Francena McCorory, 400m
“It means a lot. I have been really training for this particular meet, and it’s kind of a big confidence booster. There are still a few little things to work on, but it means a lot and I am very happy with my race today.
“I was a little nervous because usually I will open up and do a 400 before a big race, but I didn’t do that this year. I’m happy. I just executed the race the way my coach told me to, and it worked.
“I live in Virginia, so we have this kind of weather a lot. One day it’s hot; one day it’s cold. It didn’t really bother me much.”
Will Claye, triple jump
“It was good. I had fun with it. I’ve never gotten to open up my season with the best jumpers in the world, so it was heated competition. I just had to prepare for it. The weather really wasn’t even on my mind. I just had to go out there and do what I had to do. Everyone else is in the weather too, so you just have to go out there and compete.
“I start the Diamond League series soon, so I’m just trying to figure out what meets I’m going to. Nothing is set in stone yet. Just gettin ready for that. First USA’s, gotta make the team and then get ready for World Championships.”
Sam Kendricks, pole vault
“They moved it inside because when you have the French National Champion, the British National Champion, and the American record holder, and all the best pole vaulters in the world, you want to give them the best shot. So they moved it inside so that everybody could do their best, and they did.
“As the competition progressed, everybody was doing great until we got to the 18-foot bar, and then everybody started to peel off because the runway wasn’t as far as it needed to be for some guys. But in vaulting whether it’s outdoors or indoors, it’s all about adapting to the conditions, so when Shawn (Barber) and I are able to jump against each other, we always jump against each other.
“It came down to the 5.87/19-2 bar, and he passed the final two bars and I two passed until a bar that was his PR. We were tied on misses at 19. But neither of us wanted to jump-off because we were both at the end of our games anyway. We’ve been jumping together so long that we were able to become co-champions.”
Shawn Barber, pole vault
“It was a good day of jumping. It was kind of strange jumping indoors. As we got pushed back, we had to jump in a strange indoor facility, but you just kind of have to do what you have to do to make some bars and come out and jump well.
“This ranks really, really high up there for me. It’s just a good test for the middle of the outdoor season. This is pretty much the middle of my outdoor season, so it’s a good test for that and it just give me an idea for where I am compared to a lot of world-class athletes. For that, I am very grateful.”

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