Jill Geer, USATF Chief Public Affairs Officer – On behalf of USA Track & Field, it’s great to be back here in Boston. It’s our first time back for the USATF Indoor Championships since 2009. We certainly have a rich history here. As we get ready to invite our athletes to speak about the competition, we wanted to take this opportunity to announce a new partner of USATF.
Today, we announced that UCS has joined us as our official equipment supplier for USA Track & Field. It’s something we’re really excited about. You’ll see enhanced branding on crash pads for the pole vault and high jump, as well as cross promotion between brands. Perhaps most importantly, we’ll have free equipment for the USATF Indoor and Outdoor Championships, our Youth Outdoor Championships, our Masters Outdoor Championships and Junior Olympic Outdoor Championships. We are thrilled that UCS is our 10th partner announcement in the last 12 months, but even more so because this partnership benefits all of our constituencies from top to bottom in a really positive way.
Jason Schwartz, UCS Marketing & Sales Director – We’re a third-generation family business. We’re really excited to restart our partnership.
We had a great experience working with USATF in the past and we’re looking forward to bringing championship experiences to new levels across the country.
Athlete Press Conference
Sharon Day-Monroe – I’m really excited to be back in Boston. Haven’t been here since 2009 when USAs was here. Really excite dot be back at Reggie and new track. Looking forward to a great competition tomorrow. Hoping I can defend my title.
Natasha Hastings – I’m excited to be here. I was just here for the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix and had an opportunity to test out the new track. I’m ready to go out and have a good time and continue working for 2015.
Matt Centrowitz – I’m very excited to come back, I was also here for the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix and it was one of my best races of the season. The men’s mile [at indoors] is pretty deep this year. We have some of the top guys that will see each other in the outdoor season as well.
Mary Saxer – I’m really excited that nationals are here in Boston. I live a mile away and I train down the street, so it’s kind of like I’m on home turf. I competed at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix and was fortunate to win there. I hope it’s a good little warm-up and hope to defend my title from last year. We have a great lineup of vaulters and I hope it’s a great competition for everyone.
Treniere Moser – I was here a few weeks ago at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix and I’m super excited to be back and be competing in the 1,000 again. That was a great race for me and I’m looking forward to a great race on a fast track.
On his races post-Millrose Games
Matt Centrowitz – Before the season, we actually didn’t plan on going to Birmingham. After Millrose, when we didn’t run as fast I’d like, we thought it would be a good opportunity to go for an American record in the 1500. I adjust poorly going to Europe, so all week, I was only getting 4-5 hours of consistent sleep. By Saturday, I was absolutely tired. I felt like I was going to fall asleep on my shakeout. The takeaway is that I always need to give myself time to adjust regardless of how good of shape I’m in. It was a good field and I just couldn’t take advantage of it.
Matt Centrowitz – Treniere and I have been talking about how excited we are to take a break after indoor season. Indoors is so short that we’ve been able to travel around and take advantage of the good shape our team is in. We do two peaks a year, indoors and outdoors, and we’ll take 4-6 weeks off of racing after this.
On why she chose the 1,000m
Treniere Moser – For me, this indoor season we decided to work on my speed. So the 1,000 meters is a perfect distance. I ran a really great 800m at the armory invite. My speed is coming along really, really well. To end the season with the 1,000m, I’m looking forward to the spring and summer. I did a lot of longer high mileage in the fall, and then switched gears and did all speed indoors. I’m not sure when I’m opening up yet [outdoors], so we wanted to get through indoors and go weekend to weekend and focus on the indoor season. We’ll talk about the outdoor season in the coming weeks. I’m looking forward to the outdoor season after this weekend.
On if she thought about entering more than just the women’s 1,000m
Treniere Moser – Yes, I did [think about entering 2 races]. We talked about it on the phone with Alberto and just felt there was no reason for it. Maybe if there was a World Indoors to train for, but a lot of it is being safer than sorry. Staying healthy is the biggest battle right now. We just decided to focus on the 1 race because I end up being able to run rounds that will help me as well. I’m super excited. I’ve only run the 1,000 a handful of times. It’s just fun to break up the year.
On goals for the USATF Indoor Championships
Sharon Day-Monroe – One of my goals this weekend is to long jump well. I’ve had a couple breakthroughs in practice. Long jump is not one of my stronger events, so jumping well here is a goal, as well as breaking my American record.
Natasha Hastings – I ran the 300 here for the first time in 7 years a few weeks ago. So I’d like to lower my PR. The lower distance helps me work on my speed and prepare for the outdoor season to see what we need to adjust.
Matt Centrowitz – For me, the mile, I want to work on some tactics. With indoors, the middle distance is harder than outdoor track because it’s so tight and you have 12 guys on a tight track. It makes outdoor racing a lot easier when you can manage through. Getting in there and continue working on different types of ways to win races.
Mary Saxer – My coach and I entered indoor season with the goal of…I have a few new technical cues I’ve really been working on in practice and seeing how they transfer to competition setting. So just focusing on those and seeing what heights I can clear and up my season best.
Treniere Moser – I’m focusing on executing a great race and having that finishing speed. Just finishing fast.
On peaking indoors vs. outdoors
Matt Centrowitz – Outdoor peaking doesn’t affect you, because it’s a 2-peak system. Honestly, I think I’ve missed one indoor season due to illness and I noticed a difference. Coming from the collegiate system, we raced tough indoors and we would always be doubling up on races. We’d be racing 2s and 4s and I’ve been brought up that way and responding to that. As you race through, you get to race yourself into better shape. Sanya Richards-Ross mentioned a couple weeks ago, after your training you get to a new level of fitness. Indoor season helps reevaluate, is it working or not, and adjust to outdoor season.
On the importance of training both indoors and outdoors
Matt Centrowitz – When I was sick last year, I couldn’t race for six weeks and it’s just something you have to deal with. I didn’t know what to expect heading into the outdoor season. This indoor season, we’re planning to get 7 races in. You’re kind of playing catch-up a bit. I like to race and we respond really well off of it. We always compete well at world championships because of that.
On competing in the 1,000m without her Oregon Project teammates
Treniere Moser – We’re given race plans and they’re very individual. So we don’t depend on each other in the race. There is a comfort level when you’re racing with your teammates, though. I’ve raced with Mary a lot this indoor season. It is nice to have a teammate out there. There’s a comfort level and a good vibe when they’re out there. A lot of is based on the race plan, though, and that doesn’t change. Every time I get out there, I’d like to run faster than I did the last time. I’d like to come away with a PR but especially come away with a national title.
On running the 300m at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix
Natasha Hastings – Running indoors as a sprinter it’s a little tricky especially with the banks. My only race for the indoor season was here, so I feel more comfortable this time around. I got the cobwebs out. Got some good training after competing. I feel a bit more comfortable. I’ve run indoors all my life, growing up in NYC and going off to college. I’m pretty comfortable with running indoors. Sometimes you just have to shift things indoors.
On social media
Sharon Day-Monroe – I do have a twitter account. I’m not very active on twitter. I tweet when there are major events happening, with Asics or with USATF, or things like the Super Bowl. I would say I have a small following because I’m not as active as I could be. I don’t see it as a distraction, it’s just another additional thing to do.
Natasha Hastings – I have every social media account there is. When I post things, I link them all to each other so people see it on all of them. I have fun with it. I use it as a way for people to know what I’m doing. Let them know where I am and where I will be competing. It can be a distraction if you allow it to be. You have to find what works best for you. For me, I don’t like to do it on the day of a race or a few hours before I go to the track. It’s about creating and setting boundaries for yourself. Social media is a great way to connect to the fans. In the states, we want fans to be more engaged in the sport.
Matt Centrowitz – I have almost every social media outlet. Twitter is the best for me to interact with the fans and I do that. Sometimes I’m kind of streaky and respond to everyone or go MIA for a few days. I’m a social person and like to respond to everyone and everything. Whenever people accuse me or my team of doing drugs, I always respond with some kind of smart-ass comment, which my agent doesn’t like. I think it’s a great way to interact and engage and it’s the only way some of our fans can engage if they can’t go to a meet.
Mary Saxer – I have pretty much every form of social media. It started off as a way to keep my family and friends informed of what I’m doing. Now I kind of use it as a promotion for pole vault and track and field as a whole. I think it’s fun to keep people updated as to where I’m at and what I’m doing.
Treniere Moser – I have every social media. I think it’s a lot of fun. My fan base is a lot of high school runners. They’ll ask about training and I can use it as a way to connect. I love posting that I love collecting sneakers or behind the scenes stuff with practice. It’s a great way to connect with our fans.
On the difference between last year and this year
Sharon Day-Monroe – There is less pressure this year. Last year, it was a world indoor year and I focused on doing well and breaking the American record, which I did. This year, it’s kind of more like a gear-up, make sure everything is kind of working and make sure things are going well for outdoor. I’m in great shape and it’s my only pentathlon of the year. There’s less pressure and I want to have a lot of fun tomorrow. I’m excited to compete. There’s a small group of us, so it’ll be a quick day of competition. I just want to go out and have fun tomorrow.
On the Year of the Vault
Mary Saxer – There have been 2 collegiate women who have been jumping out of their minds. Sometimes pole vault isn’t the most recognized. I’ve never jumped against Demi before, so I’m actually really excited about that. There’s a lot of anticipation going into it. It’s always exciting to compete against Jenn (Suhr) and I’m looking forward to defending my title. There are only 10 of us, so similar to what Sharon said, it’ll be a quick competition but it should be great.
On the use of technology and data in training
Treniere Moser – You can let the data overwhelm you. Those things aren’t in my control so I try not to think about them so much. The biggest change I’ve seen, we’re a lot more accessible and it’s a positive for track and field. It’s a good way to promote the sport and our sponsors.
Mary Saxer – The data is good for the future of our sport and our event. My coach always says, let me deal with the data and you go out and have fun.
Matt Centrowitz – With field events, the data that is measured is more important. For us distance runners, we kind of go out and run. It’s come a long way in the last 5 years. There are a lot of ways you can convert things. It’s amazing how they’re so close.
Natasha Hastings – As long as you don’t let [the data] get to you, you can make sure it doesn’t get too overwhelming. Most of that stuff, we leave up to coach. He breaks it down and work with us on it. I don’t think I’m particularly overwhelmed but some of my training partners get really in depth with stuff like that, but it’s a personal thing. I like my coach to break it down.
Sharon Day-Monroe – It’s really personal for every person. Some people can be really overwhelmed with too much data or info and some people really absorb it. With USATF’s help, we have biomechanical analysis and training camps/summits where we have bio-mechanists come in and measure us. As a multi, looking at and breaking down different events and little ways to improve half a percentage point here and there. Looking at it from a bio-mechanist point of view, all of the improvements have been really helpful.