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Quotes from Thursday's USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships
Release: 06/24/2005
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June 24, 2005

Open Men's Pole Vault

Brad Walker, Nike, 5.75m/18-10.25, winner.
On injuries he's dealt with:
"I kind of had a little bit of an injury plague the last few years. This the first year that I've put a full season together out of college (I graduated last year). My training has changed quite a bit and I feel that I'm a lot stronger and in better shape right now. I feel like I'm a little more resilient to injuries and really stronger to avoid the injuries."

On the wind today: "It was pretty bad early on. It calmed down quite a bit once we got to some of the bigger heights. But early on if you caught it at the right time, you made the cross bar, if you didn't, you didn't, it was pretty on and off."

Toby Stevenson, Nike, 5.65m/18-06.50, third place.
On how this year is different than last year:
"This year's been different because I've had the pressure of being a silver medallist. They expect you to win or get second at every meet. I wanted to come back and legitimize my medal. Today was tough. I kind of got in my own head a little bit. I fully take the blame for a pathetic showing of vaulting that I did. I'm just disappointed in myself, since I got third. I'm an athlete, and I love competing. To be able to represent the U.S. this summer, like I did last year, it's incredible and that makes up for it."

On the quality of American men's vaulting: "Nick pulled me along with him when I was coming up, and hopefully I'm pulling Brad, since he's pushing the hell out of me. Brad was incredible today. Not only is it a thrill to make the team, but to make the team with these two guys. We're going to go over there and take one-two-three."

Nick Hysong, Nike, 5.65m/18-06.50, second place.
On the differences between this year and last year:
"I don't think I need to make amends for last year. Last year, we sent an unbelievable team to the Olympics, and I was actually proud of the team we sent to the Olympics. I'd love myself to be on that team but circumstances and it wasn't in God's plan. This year I've very lucky to have friends like Brad and Toby push me along, get me fired up, because I had a little bit of shake in my confidence, had to bring that around. I think that showed tonight in the tough conditions that I managed to jump decently well. I didn't jump necessarily high but I jumped on good size poles and I have a decent chance to jump 5.80s and 5.90s. I'd really like to thank Toby for his support in the last few weeks, he's been very generous and supportive."

Open Women's Discus Throw, final

Aretha (Hill) Thurmond, Nike, third place, 61.77m/202-08.
On her performance:
"Hey, I made the team. It was an interesting competition. There were several lead changes."

On the competition: "It was nighttime, colder than normal, so competing was a little different. I wish I would have thrown a lot farther. I know I should have won the competition, but the goal was at least to make the team."

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