2009 SEC Track & Field Indoor Championships - Quotes

March 2, 2009

Recap | Results

Championship Head Coaches

Tennessee Women's Head Coach J.J. Clark

Opening comments on winning the SEC Championship …

“Unbelievable effort, I've never had this many SEC Champions. People really pulled out great performances, it was a team effort. We expected (Sarah Bowman) to do that, but you still have to do it, and she did. Phoebe Wright, Celriece Law, Lynne Layne had a great meet. The DMR, Annie (Alexander) had one great throw, she came through for us. It was a very good meet for us; we dug in and got it done. LSU didn't die or fold; they came out and did some great things. We've battled them before, last year, maybe even before, I can't remember. We're just happy to come out on top, especially in such a great conference.”

How much does the high level of competition in the SEC prepare you for the NCAA Championship meet?

“This is real right here. You're ready for the NCAA-type meet, there's a lot of intense pressure. Sometimes, in some ways the SEC meets are a little better because of the tripling, we don't do that as much all the time. So it's good. We see a lot of SEC teams ranked at the meet, we'll see SEC teams we've battled all year; it prepares us well. We've peaked very nicely, now we just have to hold it another couple weeks and we'll be on our way.”

Arkansas Men's Head Coach Chris Bucknam

Opening comments …

“I've been an observer for a lot years watching the SEC meet and I'd marvel on Sunday nights looking at the results. Never did I think a year ago that I'd be a part of this. It's certainly an unbelievable league. It's another national meet - it's the national meet before the national meet in so many ways as you saw today. It's got great coaches in it. It was everything I thought it was and even more.”

How much does the high level of competition in the SEC prepare you for the NCAA Championship meet?

“It's a little bit of justification on how good this team is, but you have to go out and prove it and I think we did that today in an unbelievable league, with great competition on a really fast track. We answered that call, so now we'll carry that to the national championship. It goes to show that we have a good team and the polls weren't wrong. We know we have another big battle ahead in two weeks, but we'll get our kids prepared for that. We know we're going to represent Arkansas well at the national championships.”

Top Individual Scorers

Sarah Bowman, Tennessee

Opening comments …

“I was thinking, ‘Maybe I can get that trophy, maybe I can get it.' and finally the third time was a charm and I got it this year, it's really exciting. And our team, the effort we put out, we had people in all areas and a real diverse team, so it was great to see everybody come together and everybody bring in those points.”

Was it shocking? You mentioned that you've come up short a couple times before …

“It's not something you come out here and think ‘I'm going for the commissioner's trophy.' It's all about the team and doing the best you can and scoring as many points as you can. I knew it was a possibility, it always goes to a jumper or thrower, or the multi-sprint jumper, but I guess this year was my year.”

Christian Taylor, Florida

Opening comments …

“It means a lot. There were some struggles at the beginning with the coaching change, but we worked hard, God has blessed me with good health, great facilities and great coaches. This means a lot, especially as a freshman. I have high expectations for myself. I try to do as much as I can for the team, like coming here and trying to get an SEC Championship as a team. I'm going to carry this, but now I feel like I'll have a target on my back, but I like people to look at me and think ‘I'm going to try and go for second.' I think I made a name for myself now.”

Do you set out to win the commissioner's trophy or is it just by product of your success in each event?

“Honestly, I take it event, by event. My coaches tell me ‘There's a chance of you winning this,' but I feel like that stresses me out. When I'm at the long jump, I think about the long jump, when I'm at the triple (jump) I think about that. I think about each event one at a time, it keeps me not as stressed. But when everything comes together, it makes it worth it.”

Individual Athletes

Walter Henning, LSU – Men's Weight Throw

“I just won the SEC and now I am heading to the NCAAs and I am really excited about that. I threw a 73 back in January and I have been throwing in the 70s pretty consistently all year. I was able to beat my personal record by a foot and an inch - I think that says something. I am really excited about what Nationals is going to bring. Coach gave us a little bit of a pep talk this morning because there are so many good teams in the SEC and we wanted to win. The 19 points will certainly help us even though we were hoping to score.”

Raevan Harris, Auburn – Women's High Jump

“It (The win) feels good and it feels even better because it is my birthday, and I gave myself a little birthday gift. I didn't feel any extra pressure coming into the event because I always go out and try to do my best. I don't really get very nervous. The most pressure I felt today was when I got that time infraction.”

Christian Taylor, Florida – Men's Triple Jump

"I'm just really trying to do my part and get as many points as I can to help out the team. I just took it one event at a time all weekend. I was able to open up with 10 points in the triple jump and I just got it going from there."

Joe Berry, Tennessee – Men's Pole Vault

“I'm happy I was able to get the win and help the team. I wanted to clear one more bar to make nationals, but I feel like I'm making progress. I also wanted to make sure that Coach (Russ) Johnson continued his streak of having never lost an SEC pole vault competition as a coach at Tennessee, and I was able to get that done.”

Jason Richardson, South Carolina – Men's 60 Meter Hurdles

“This was my second race of the entire season. I just wanted to stay confident after my injury.

It feels great. Some things are elusive in a person's career and an indoor title has been elusive. To come out here and have success just lets me know that I have a big outdoor season ahead of me.”

Celriece Law, Tennessee – Women's 60 Meter Hurdles

“I was happy to make it to the final, but the ultimate goal when you do that is to run your very best race in the final. I knew if I did that, I would be in contention for the championship. It was definitely one of my goals, and I am glad I accomplished it. You never know until the end (whether she knew at some point she had control), when the race is in your hands. There were people up and down the line who could have won that race, but I was just focused on myself and what I had to do.”

Samantha Henry, LSU – Women's 60 Meter Dash

“I knew from the heats that this would be a really close race because all of the times were pretty close. I was just thinking the entire race was to run straight to the line and never ease up. I knew it would be very close.”

Trindon Holliday, LSU – Men's 60 Meter Dash

“I feel pretty good right now. I didn't have the race I wanted to have but I am really happy with the win.”

Sarah Bowman, Tennessee – Women's 1 Mile Run

“You never know what's going to happen and you just have to keep going. I was just looking ahead and focusing on what was in front of me. That was my plan. It's great to be in the record books. It means a lot. It's going to be around for awhile. It's nice to have that recognition.”

Robert Simmons, LSU – Men's 400 Meter Dash

“I'm very proud of what I accomplished today. I was so close to him (coming around the last lap), and I knew he was going to kick because he is a competitor. I just didn't want to lose.”

Joanna Atkins, Auburn – Women's 400 Meter Dash

“I'm very excited and grateful for another race, injury free, and the strength to win the SEC too.”

David Tyson, Alabama – Men's 5000 Meter Run

“I'm feeling good. I'm happy I brought back my title. That was the main thing when I ran this race.”

Alex McClary, Arkansas – Men's 800 Meter Run

“It was a little bit nerve-wracking going into the race, but I knew I needed to step up for the team because not everything always goes perfectly. I don't know if I was supposed to win but I knew I needed to do the best for my team. I stayed at the front and brought it home in the end.”

Phoebe Wright, Tennessee – Women's 800 Meter Run

“I woke up this morning and I knew that I wanted it, but I also knew there was a lot of competition out there. I have put in three years of hard work and it paid off today.”

Torrin Lawrence, Georgia – Men's 200 Meter Dash

“I am really proud of myself and proud of all the guys in the race. They did a great job. All of them ran well. I'm just happy I won.”

Samantha Henry, LSU – Women's 200 Meter Dash

“I was thinking that our women's team and men's team were in the run for the championship and I just wanted to go out there and give it my all.”

Christine Kalmer, Arkansas – Women's 5000 Meter Run

“This is the first time in four years that I have won. Every time I would come so close, but this time, when I least expected it, it happened.”

Michael Chinchar, Jake Stephens, Alex McClary, Duncan Phillips, Arkansas – Men's Distance Medley Relay

“We cut the mold to come and do this, and that was to win the SEC's. We're number one for a reason.”

Rolanda Bell, Ellen Wortham, Ramzee Fondren, Sarah Bowman, Tennessee – Women's Distance Medley Relay

“I feel great. The team did awesome. It took everyone. We all worked together and stayed up there.” – Sarah Bowman, SR

Mariam Kevkhishvili, Florida – Women's Shot Put

“I feel good about the win because it's my personal best.”

Peter-Gaye Beckford, Arkansas – Women's Long Jump

“I trained hard. I had some ups and downs but I am a very determined person. I worked very hard and I was successful. This was my last SEC Indoor Meet, so I knew I had to put it all out there.”