March 1, 2012
EAST LANSING - MICH. - MSUSpartans.com spoke with medal winners Ashley Stacey, Zack Hill, Brittany Lewis, Becca Buchholtz, and Tori Franklin after the Big Ten Indoor Championships.
Ashley Stacey - 3rd place in the Long Jump
On her performance:
"I wanted to win - our goal overall is to win Big Ten's and I knew how much we needed those points - but I ended up falling a bit short. It was an indoor season PR - but I know I'm capable of more."
On being a clutch performer:
"It's my teammates that push me. They are my family - I do everything that I can to help my teammates and represent my university. At scored meets like this, it's all about bragging rights and coming out on top. As a program, we practice in separate groups all year long and there is only a couple times per year that we actually complete at the same meets. Looking around and seeing everybody else give 100%, it motivates me to come through when needed."
Zack Hill - 3rd place in the Men's Shot Put
On his performance:
"At the Big Ten's it's about all about scrapping - who wants it more, who's going to throw harder, who's going run faster. You can throw terrible all season but once you get here (the championships) it's about who has the most will to win. I felt like I competed pretty well. I'm happy with third, I'm happy to get points for the team, and I'm happy with a PR. The last few weeks of training have been awesome; I've been throwing out of my mind."
On being a part of one of the most dominant throwing teams in the NCAA:
"No other team in the country has the team chemistry that we have. We go through so much together and we always have each other's backs. Seeing Lonnie (Pugh) go far got everyone going, Aaron (Ide) has been a great role model, and then A.J. (Antonio James) stepping up and throwing big was very exciting - his performance said a lot about the future of our program."
Becca Buchholtz - Big Ten Champion in the Women's High Jump
On her preparations prior to the Indoor Championships:
"I'm always very focused. No matter the circumstances, I always go into competition with the knowledge that I'm capable of winning and that I can compete with anyone. I went in with the mindset of beating people and not worrying about how high the bar was and just staying focused on myself and competing through that. Nebraska has a great facility - it was a good surface to jump on and it was cool to be there a couple days early to get your bearings and figure things out. I thought my warm up went well prior to competition. I let a couple bars come down until the third attempt which is a little scary, but I was confident through all of that and I just knew I what I needed to do to win."
On the pressure of winning another Big Ten title:
I'm a big advocate of the mental game. When I go into the meets, it is always my goal to win and never have any doubt when it comes to my abilities. There wasn't this pressure of "I HAVE to win this meet, I HAVE to win this Big Ten title", it was more that I expect to perform at this level, so if I didn't perform at this level I would have been very disappointed. The competition at the meet was more difficult than I expected, but in the end the result was the same and I was happy that I was able to help the team as much as I could and get another title."
On maintaining momentum for the next several weeks:
"My coach and I have a few goals that we put together at the beginning of the year. Outdoor is more important for track and field. Don't get me wrong - indoor is great - but I can't say "well, my last indoor season was good...". I'm excited for my team as we head to outdoor competition and we have a chance to do some awesome things. As for personal goals, I would like to move up another centimeter to make the "B" Standard for the Olympic Trials."
Tori Franklin - 2nd place in the Women's Triple Jump
On her performance in the Triple Jump
"I'm not sure what went wrong. I wanted to start off with a few good jumps to make sure I would make it to the finals. After that, I really wanted to go after a PR. It wasn't really happening and it was kind of disappointing."
On what it was like to win her very first Big Ten medal as a freshman:
"Before I got the medal I wasn't all that happy with my place, but actually getting the medal was a great experience and exciting. I gave it my best effort."
Brittany Lewis - 2nd place in the women's 600-meter dash.
On her school-record in the 600-meter dash and earning second:
"It was pretty exciting for me and I really didn't think I was going to run that fast. The girl I was racing against (Shaniqua McGinnis of Ohio State) was strong. I was trying to stay right on her and I was waiting for my moment to kick - but we both started kicking at the same time, with her kick being a little stronger. I originally wanted to start kicking at the bell lap with 200 meters to go, but I felt that it was too early to make that move."
On mental toughness and overcoming pressure as a freshman:
"I keep thinking about how I've been racing - I feel like I've had some pretty good races this year - and I try to not let it (pressure) get to me in a negative way. I've been in some big competitions before and I think I know how to handle those types of situations based on experience."