April 5, 2012
EAST LANSING, MICH. - MSUSpartans.com spoke with Jaelynn Pryor and Amanda Impellizzeri after their first-place finishes at the Raleigh Relays.
Jaelynn Pryor– (First place in the 400 meter hurdles at the Raleigh Relays).
On her victory in the 400 meter hurdles at the Raleigh Relays:
“It was a fun experience at the Raleigh meet and it took a lot of hard work to get up to that point. Starting off this season, I had a new season-opener PR of under a minute, and last season I think I started off with a 1:02. I expected a lot from myself this year and from our 4x400 relay team. We came off a great indoor season in which we set a new record and we are looking at doing bigger and better things with the outdoor 4x400.”
On having success in 4x400 meter relay and the 400 meter hurdles and differences between the two events:
“Coach (Randy Gillon) thinks I have a slight advantage because I am able to use both of my legs when I compete in the hurdles – I can use either my left or right leg as a lead leg. It really helps me in executing the race because I can go out and run the 400 meter hurdles like it’s a 400 meter sprint. In terms of endurance, you definitely need more of that for the 400 meter hurdles. In general, I sort of see them as the same race and I have the same mindset for both.”
On getting down to 57 or 58 seconds in the 400 meter hurdles:
On her race tactics:
“I have really push myself practice and when it comes to race time I can’t be timid or worry about who is in heat or what the weather is like. If I get out there and run like I run the 400 meters and not back off at all and push from the very start…I think it would be possible.”
“I definitely get out fast in the very beginning – if you don’t get out quick enough you have already put yourself out for a loss. You never want to start off going easy in the beginning. This race is an all-out sprint. Our coach has us practice our finishes all the time and he states that the 400 meter hurdles really starts at about the 200 meter mark. Most can handle the 200 meter hurdles, but it takes guts to run the 400 hurdles. The finish is definitely the most important part of the race for me. If I have a bad start, I’ll definitely try to make up for it in the end with good push and drive.”
Amanda Impellizzeri – (First place in the Pole Vault at the Raleigh Relays).
On her victory at the Raleigh Relays:
“I felt good up until the time we got there and up until the time we competed. It was raining that morning (of the pole vault competition) and I just had to put on a game face –as you are never guaranteed good weather. I kept my head on straight and I just took it one jump at a time. The goal is to always get out there (and compete) and get high marks for your team and to get over the bar clean.”
On 2012 being her breakout year and what has lead to her recent string of good performances:
“Late last summer I found out that I had to get surgery to remove a bone spur in my ankle so I was about a month behind my teammates in terms of training. Coach Chris Bostwick and I sat down before I had the surgery and we determined how long it would be before I could run. We worked out a plan and I worked with our (athletic) trainers to develop a good rehab program. After this, I took training to the next level. I started with the basics again. I think that’s what helped me, instead of getting caught up and thinking to myself “I have to jump this height or this height.” I didn’t really anticipate traveling or competing right away, so I could take things slower and was able to really work on the fundamentals that I was missing for the first year and a half.”
On her leadership role:
“It’s definitely something that I enjoy. I was always a leader throughout high school, whether I meant to be or not. I’ve always tried to lead through example because I know what coaches look for in athletes. I know other people’s attitudes and performances reflect on certain coaches. In the weight room, we have “Iron Sharpens Iron, Just As One Man Must Sharpen Another” on the wall. The better we can get as a group (with Sarah Birkmeier and Kassie Powell) the more likely we’ll be able to score at Big Ten’s. The more that I try to help them be as good as they possibly can be, the more likely they are to help me.”
Do you have questions for a particular member of the Michigan State Track & Field team? Email it to Rosendahl@ath.msu.edu.