2012 Big Ten Outdoor Championships
May 11-13, 2012
Dan McClimon Memorial Track/Soccer Complex
Men's 110-Meter Hurdles - Andrew Riley, Sr., Illinois
On winning the race: "At the start of the race, I felt some tightest in my hamstring. I was pretty nervous. I didn't want to risk it that much. After the third hurdle, that's where I started to keep my composure and finished to get 10 points, not two."
On momentum for the NCAA championships: "Just staying healthy is the main thing right now, so I can maximize everything that I value in training."
Men's 1500 Meters - Andrew Bayer, Jr., Indiana
On the start of the race having to restart and collecting himself: "It actually made me more relaxed. The first start, you have butterflies. After the restart, I came back to the line more relaxed. I just followed the whole time until the last 100 meters."
On his strategy with one lap to go: "My coach always says that the last one to make a move usually wins. I was just responding with as much relaxation as possible. When I got to where I knew I could take it, I went for it and never looked back."
Men's 3000-Meter Steeplechase - Craig Forys, Sr., Michigan
On the race's fast early pace: "I was expecting the pace. I wasn't expecting it to feel so comfortable though. The training and preparation was spot on and I was lucky enough to be in position where I could sit and relax and follow the guys. "
When to make his move: "I was trying to be real patient, and the hurdles on the last lap take a lot out of you. You don't really anticipate it the first couple times you run the race. Now that I am used to it, I had to wait a little longer and be real conservative, until I knew that I could extend the lead and keep it."
High Jump - Derek Drouin, Jr., Indiana
On his goal for the meet: "The major goal actually was the Olympic standard. I wasn't too worried about the other records, but they came with it."
On his preparation for the meet: "I've been struggling a lot actually and then, just in the past week, I've noticed and my teammates have noticed and my coaches have noticed in practice that everything kind of was starting to come together again - just in time, and I'm happy, ecstatic really."
Discus - Danny Block, So., Wisconsin
On winning the title as a sophomore: "It still hasn't sunk in. I still get goosebumps when I throw. It's just amazing."
On winning in an upset: Going in (ranked) fifth, I felt like I had no pressure on me, because last year, I was the heavy favorite which kind of got to me as a freshman. This year I just went into it with no pressure -- just whatever happens, happens."
On if he saw the breakthrough coming: "I hoped and prayed it was coming. But I, (Nebraska's) Chad Wright, (Nebraska's) Tyler Hitchler, they're amazing athletes. Like I said, it hasn't sunk in. I didn't see it coming, that's why it's extra nice. The whole family's here to watch."
Long Jump - Mike Hartfield, Jr., Ohio State
On the series and how it progressed: "The first jump, it was a big foul. This was my first meet jumping off my left leg the entire season so I wasn't sure how it would go. So my first jump I got so much height I didn't know what to do with it. So I kind of just landed all kind of crazy but ended up faulting anyways. But then the next one I got in control a little bit and that was the winning jump with 7.96, which is actually a PR by .01. So to come out with a PR after a season of jumping off the opposite leg ... I mean this is really a blessing."
Did you win last year? Is that what I heard?: "Yeah I won last year too."
On how it feels to defend the title: "It feels good especially after getting your behind kicked all year, you know. To come back at Big Tens and really make a statement, you know it feels good."
Decathlon - Bjorn Barrefors, Jr, Nebraska
On feeling of winning first Big Ten title: "It feels pretty good. It's like two less than winner of Big 12 ... I'm just kidding, it felt great [laughing]."
On which events were key to winning: "The long jump yesterday and discus today. Huge PRs definitely set the pace for this decathlon."
On the decathlon competition: "It's the meet with everything, I mean the weather, the winds, the competition, nice guys, we were all pushing. I think the top three broke the earlier Big Ten meet record.
My own teammate, Teran Walford, just pushed me all the way. He had a great meet, too, so there were a lot of factors that went into today."
10,000 meters - Zachary Mayhew, Jr., Indiana
On Wisconsin runners pushing the pace early: "My coach and I kind of talked about that a little bit. We knew that coming to Wisconsin they were going to have some tactic. I suspected with three strong guys in the race, they might try to take it out and see if they could drop everybody. My race plan was just to kind of stick around, stick around, stick around. I knew that if I could stay with them until a lap or two to go, I had a shot at winning."
On kicking with 300 meters to go: "All year, I've been doing the same thing - get to that last lap and give it everything I got. I just went around with 300 to go, try to not look back and put everything I had into it."
Hammer Throw - Quentin Mege, Jr., Minnesota
"I was feeling really good today. (I had) a really great warmup so I quit after only two warmups because I didn't want to get a big one out there during warmup. First throw of the competition was a little tight. My second throw was getting pretty good and the third throw was a big mark. That was feeling really good."
On defending his title: "I think that's why I was a little tense on the first throw because I knew I was coming with the first mark and I was last year's Big Ten champion. It's even better to win it twice."
Women's 400 Meters - Ashley Spencer, Fr., Illinois
On winning as a freshman: "It has been such a blessing. I have worked very hard and it has been a big, huge blessing. It was unexpected, but it was very exciting."
Women's 100-Meter Hurdles - Christina Manning, Sr., Ohio State
On winning the race: "It was really good. It's my senior year. I wish I could have run a faster time, but it's okay."
On the momentum it gives her going into nationals: "It's great because I am trying to win there, too, at nationals. Everything feels really good, I am running consistently."
Women's Triple Jump- Anna Weigandt, So., Nebraska
On her preparation coming into the meet: "I did feel really nice and loose. The weather was perfect, no cold or rain. I have been preparing all season and have been peaking pretty well the last few meets. It came together at the right time."
On her series and her winning jump: "My first three jumps weren't bad, but they weren't good for me. It put me in fourth going into finals. I had coaches, family and teammates telling me to get it together. I knew I had to. I told myself to forget about prelims and pretend that it was a whole new meet. My first jump in finals was the winning jump. "
On having a competitive teammate in Mara Griva: "It is awesome. We are always pushing each other because we are always back and forth. It was great to see us go 1-2 because our team needed those points so badly."
Women's Discus- Erin Pendleton, Jr., Michigan
On her performance and how it developed: "I started off with my farthest throw. I get a little nervous and the nerves help me with (starting fast), but I also have been working on my finish. I am very excited."
On beating her older sister and teammate, Emily Pendleton: "I was a little nervous because Emily always makes me nervous. I am very happy with how she did. She got second place, sisters going 1-2. You couldn't ask for anything else."
Women's Long Jump- Leah Eber, Sr., Purdue
On some struggles with injury: "I have been dealing with some slight injury in my ankles. What really helps me overcome that is knowing that this is my last time, my last chance ever to do this. I always had that in the back of my mind this whole competition, and I told myself that I was going to win. That's what got me through it."
On her jumps: "It didn't start out as well as I wanted to. I was able to pick it up in the finals, and my last jump of the prelims as well, and get better."
Women's 3000-Meter Steeplechase- Leah O'Connor, Fr., Michigan State
On if her title came as a surprise:"This is my fourth time ever racing steeple. I wanted to stay connected to the top pack and see what I could do at the end. It was an awesome surprise and an amazing feeling. I am looking forward to the meets to come."
On moving up from third place with 200 meters to go: "I love to compete and I love that last lap and that last 200 meters. Just seeing that I could go for it, I couldn't hold back. I just wanted to see if I could do it, and it turned out really well."
Women's Javelin - Laura Loht, So., Penn State
On her performance: "My prelims were a little rocky, technical stuff. Finals came along and I was going in No. 1 and my teammate was No. 2. We started putting on a show and, on my last throw, I got one just a little bit better. "
On having a competitive teammate in Lauren Kenney: "It is awesome. I couldn't ask for a better training partner. She knows how to throw. She's throwing a bigger number, so I feel that I have to come out and throw a bigger number. It is awesome going 1-2. It is a little bit surreal."
Shot Put - Dani Bunch, So., Purdue
On setting an outdoor personal best: "It was awesome. It was a great competition today. A lot better than last season and the rain in Iowa."
On her winning throw: "It was actually like everything was really connected. I had a little bit of a lag in my arm, I guess, but it was still a great series for me. It was awesome."
On how she was feeling: "I think this was the first meet I've ever had no doubt in my mind that I was ready to go. My body felt right, it kind of felt numb, and it's kind of weird to explain it, but it never has felt like that before. I felt really athletic and ready to go."
On the competition: "It was great. Tina [DeLakis] from Minnesota had her lifetime PR. Having three people over 16 is something you hardly see during a conference meet. That's something you see closer to a regionals or NCAA meet. NCAA's are a little bit farther than that, but that's something you hardly ever see in a conference meet, so it was awesome. Tina [DeLakis] and Mo [Monique Riddick] did great, too."
Heptathlon - Jessica Flax, Sr., Wisconsin
On Wisconsin's 1-2-3 sweep: "It feels really good. It's an honor for us all three to go 1-2-3 and all of us to get on the podium. Last year was kind of an upset but this year we pulled through with the 1-2-3, so I'm very happy about that.
On her key events: "It stinks that a lot of them were wind-aided, but the hurdles were good. The 200 was good. Today the javelin went well. I'm glad I had a mark in the long jump and not a scratch and,
then, the 800 I PR'd at 2:15 so that was really exciting that I could do that."
10,000 meters - Kara Millhouse, Sr., Penn State
On making a move to pick up the pace: "My coach and I talked about getting one quick lap in there to break away from the pack. Sure a couple of runners might come along, but get it a smaller pack. That's why I did that."
"I knew Mackenzie (Melander) was coming. I heard my coaches yelling and all of the Iowa people cheering. I wasn't really surprised. It's hard to be surprised by anything that happens out there. It's a long race you have to be ready for anything."
On her kick: "It's always been something I could always rely on. I guess I'm just lucky."