2005 Outdoor Championships: Day ThreeJune 11, 2005

Heptathlon Final

Lela Nelson, Sr., Eastern Michigan
Im overwhelmed, grateful, blessed, excited and ecstatic. Im trying to think of all the big words.

Entering the long jump: I knew Im not too good at the javelin or the 800, so I just wanted to get as far ahead as possible. I guess I did that. I wasnt as confident as I should be. I hadnt done the hep since March so I was shaky. I prayed so, so much and that took care of it.

On the 800: I was just trying to stay close to Jessica [Stockard], because I knew she was below me. I knew that Ashley [Selig] was gonna be gone. I just wanted to run my race like my coach said, and stay up there.

Womens Triple Jump Final

Candice Baucham, Sr., UCLA
It was a good competition. I wasnt on the board in the beginning, but I kept moving up and slowly getting better and better. My jumps just connected on my last one it was my best. My second jump was a PR, so I was satisfied with that. But my coaches knew that I had more in me and it just kept coming. I was glad that it came up on the last one.

Getting a PR early: I knew I could just work on things instead of having to search for a mark. I could continue to just get better. Im very excited. I wanted to continue professionally, but there was a mark I wanted to get, which was 46 feet. Im just so thankful that it came at this meet.

On her last collegiate meet: It has been on my mind ever since we got here. I knew I would never get another opportunity like this again. Thats why on every jump, I just gave it everything.

Womens Shot Put Final

Kimberli Barrett, Sr., Miami (Fla.)
On winning:
All I could do was compare this year to last year, which I thought was very dismal. I felt more control than Id ever felt. The technique is simpleyou just have to give it some gas. I wanted to get my big throw out early because waiting til finals is too much of a mind game. I wanted to get myself hyped and get it while I was fresh. It makes the competition more fun.

Womens Pole Vault Final

Kate Soma, Sr., Washington
On winning:
I just wanted to have a good time and stay relaxed and anything after that was icing on the cake. After I broke the pole, I knew I had to focus on what I had to do and just make the bar. That can freak you outIve had enough experience with thatbut I just wanted to focus on what I had to do. I got into pole vaulting because I was decently fast and I had a gymnastics background and it seemed to have worked.

Womens High Jump Final

Sharon Day, So., Cal Poly
On winning:
It feels great. It felt really good in warm-ups. I just wanted to do well on my first attempts. I cant be any happier: a win and a PR. I always go out and try and jump my highest.

Womens Hammer Final

Loree Smith, Sr., Colorado State
On winning: I was so nervous today, but I tried to hide it. When you are the underdog you have someone to shoot for, but when youre the favorite, youre almost competing not to lose.

On her winning throw: It was actually pretty good. It was a little bit further than I thought it was at first. Im pretty excited.

On her mom not being in Sacramento: My mom called me eight times this morning, four times in the hotel room and four times on my cell phone. She actually had the hotel people come get me at breakfast so she could tell me my horoscope, and it was good.

Womens 5000 Meters Final

Megan Metcalfe, Sr. West Virginia
On winning:
It went out slow, so I just had to be patient. I think that helped me because I was one of the stronger milers in the group. This is my first year doing the 5000--Ive always done the 1500 in the past. This is my last year of eligibility so its nice to go out with a bang. I knew I had to stick with her [Sara Bei] and I hoped that I had more left than she did. I just had to be patient. Im surprised. Winning was the goal, but its been the goal in the past and this is my only title.

Womens 1500 Meters Final

Anne Shadle, Sr., Nebraska
On winning:
Anyone in that race couldve won it on any given day. Its great to run with girls who are so genuine and so nice. The girls Im running with now were my idols when I was in high school. [My success this year] is still overwhelming. Indoors, I gained more confidence and outdoors, I felt like I worked my way to this point and just got better through the season.

Womens 800 Meters Final

Aneita Denton, Sr., Arkansas
I really worked to go fast but I got blocked in and that held me back& I felt good on the straightaway. The way I run, Im usually way back but this time I felt upright down the straightaway& This is so good for me. This is my second NCAA title (also won an indoor title) so its good to win in my senior year. For me to win an outdoor title, I couldnt ask for more& The reason it feels so good is Im a senior. Im so happy.

Womens 400 Meters Final
Monique Henderson, Sr., UCLA

I feel good. I really capped off my college career the way I wanted to& On the backstretch, I felt a twinge in my hamstring but I sucked it up and kept going&. I never felt (that I had it won). (Tiandra) Ponteen finishes really strong so I kept on working really hard& It really felt like a race where I put it all together.

Womens 400 Hurdles Final

Shauna Smith, Sr., Wyoming
On the final 150 meters: I saw how far behind I was and I knew I had to make a move and bring it on after that. I did not put myself in a really good position like I wanted to. So I just came on as strong as I could. I wasnt as aggressive as I should have been early in the race. I went into the first hurdle all right, but I should have kept my momentum going. I wasnt going with Melanie [Walker] and Tiffany [Ross-Williams] like I would have liked. This feels really good. Its something that Ive always wanted and this is the icing on the cake for me.

Womens 200 Meters Final

Sheri-Ann Brooks, Sr., Florida International
Once I came off the curve ahead of everybody, I knew I had it. All I had to do was maintain my form and keep on pumping. Thats exactly what I did. Once I clear the curve before everybody, thats it. This was a good win. I messed up really bad in the 100 so I came back to the 200 and put everything I had into it.

Womens 4 X 400 Relay Final

Jerrika Chapple, So., Texas
On winning:
It feels really good. We all just came together and everybodys performances helped us win. We wouldnt have won the whole championship without everyones performances.

Mens Triple Jump Final

Rodrigo Mendes, Sr., Brigham Young
On winning:
Im so happy. Yesterday, I had an awesome day and I jumped so far. I was so confident and I knew that if I did my best and I could get one big jump, I felt like I could win. Ive worked so hard this year to win this event and I did it. Last year, I didnt even make finals, so I worked all year to come back and win this meet. I couldnt have done it on my own and I want to thank all of the coaches, staff, and trainers at BYU for all of their help.

Mens High Jump Final

Jesse Williams, Jr., Southern California:
I had a plan to hit every jump on the first attempt. I executed very well and did just that. Im very pleased with my performance today.

When I see people making bars on the first attempt, it makes me feel the pressure. Thats why I like competing against other people. It makes me feel the pressure that I also need to make a statement, that I can jump that height easily, too.

On the final round: I really like jumping with other people. When everyone else is out of the competition, its harder for me to get up to the level that I need to jump at. Ive got a meet here in two weeks the U.S. Nationals and Im sure there will be a lot of people who step up to the occasion so I can compete with them and get that next bar.

I would say high jump is 80 percent mental. If you can nail that down, which Ive been able to do most of this season, the sky is the limit. If you can get your concentration down, you can do anything.

Mens Discus Final

Michael Robertson, Jr., Stanford:
It was very satisfying, especially the way it happened. It was a battle from the first round. I came out and got a good one, but there was a lot left. I came back out on my second one and felt sort of the same. Then Vikas [Gowda] first throws beat mine by 10 centimeters and then by three. After that, both of us were trying to catch one another. I managed to get one in the fifth round and put the pressure on. I was slicing the baloney thin through the first two rounds.

Vikas had the pole position on me in the finals. I tried to put it out there in the sixth round and I got a good throw, but it wasnt farther. I just got lucky that he didnt put it together in his sixth. Hes had a great season. Hes been around that 60-61 area all year.

On his fifth-round throw: They all felt very similar. The first two throws were a little rough. In the fifth round, I kept my hips down a little better out of the back. It kept myself in contact with the discus in the throw. That was the adjustment the coach told me to make. I just went out there, did what he said, and it worked.

Mens 5000 Meters Final

Ryan Hall, Jr., Stanford:
On the 1-2 finish with teammate Ian Dobson: That was Ian and I working together at the end. We just really respect each other running hard all the time. Weve train really well together. So I dont see it as I won and he got second. That was both of us winning. That was our goal all season. It was amazing to have it end according to plan.

We wanted to make it an honest race and the other competitors made it go. I really appreciate that. We all want to see a good 5K and who can run the fastest. In the middle stages, I was just tucking in and felt really good. Ian and I planned to continue pressing the pace through two miles, and we just going with it. [Robert] Cheseret ran a good 10K. We knew we had to have a gap to beat him because he has some foot speed. I think everyone was thinking on that same race strategy.

On looking back before the final stretch: I was looking to see how much Ian had on [Nick] Willis to see how hard we would have to run that last 100. We were both really tired. It was great to finish together. I couldnt ask for it to be any better.

Mens 1500 Meters Final

Leonel Manzano, Fr., Texas:
I feel awesome. I didnt know what to expect coming into the race. The last 100 meters, I started feeling a little bit fatigued but I thought to myself, I still have enough energy to give it a good kick. I was actually hoping to make a move in the last 200, but I got badly boxed in. The guys were spread out into the third and fourth lanes. It was difficult to do that. So I knew I had to do it in the last 100 meters. I came out of the curve, and was pretty fatigued. But I felt like I had a little bit of kick in me so I said, lets do it right now before its too late.

Mens 800 Meters Final

Dmitrijs Milkevics, So., Nebraska
I dont know if Im more happy for winning or for my result. When I saw the result, I was pleased. Thats a big-time PR and its still early in the season. I just need to execute my form until the World Championships.

Mens 400 Meters Final

Darold Williamson, Sr., Baylor
On winning:
After yesterday, I just wanted to execute, wanted to run a smart race. I knew that If I was with the rest of the guys at the last turn, I would win. I just wanted to hang on and run strong.
Thats why I came back to Baylor-to prove my worth before I come out on the scene.
On his kick at the end: When most people get started, thats when I start my horse.
On former teammate Jeremy Wariner:
Jeremy is in France right now. I called him after my race yesterday and it was 5:30 in the morning there. He was up and already knew what I had run in the semifinals. He and I are good friends and were always happy for each other when we run well.

Mens 400 Hurdles Final

Kerron Clement, So., Florida
Its amazing. It feels good to win a national title again. I was focused today. My goal was to win and beat my PR and I accomplished that.

On trailing Bennie Brazell after 10th hurdle
I wasnt really worried when he was in the lead after the 10th hurdle because I knew my speed would kick in after that.

Mens 200 Meters Final

Wallace Spearmon, So., Arkansas
On winning:
I knew I had to get out, so once I came around that turn, I knew I had it. You have to step it up for your team. I knew that whomever won was going to have run fast because we had the top three times in the world in that race.
On clinching the team title
Our coach didnt say too much about it, but Tyson [Gay], Omar [Brown] and I knew beforehand that if we were going to get it done, we had a good chance to do it in that race. They said Arkansas wasnt a spring school, but we had to prove them wrong.

Mens 4 X 400 Relay Final

Xavier Carter, Fr., LSU (anchor)
We knew that all four runners would have to run hard to win. We established it in our heads that we would take this to the limit. Even if we didnt win, we knew that we ran as hard as we could. My team blessed me with a lead, so I felt I had to hold onto it. I had a lot of good runners behind me, like Kerron Clements and a few others.

On taking the lead at the first turn: Because I had such good 400 runners behind me, I felt like I had to get out in the first 200, as if they were going to come get me anyway. So I was going to break them down in the first 200. They seemed like they wanted to whip me, so I had to just had to hold on.