2003 SEC Track & Field Championships

May 17, 2003

Recap?|? Photo Gallery

Panagiotis Mavraganis - Georgia - Men's Hammer Throw Champion
(UGA's Ninth SEC Hammer Winner in the Last 12 Years)
"I'm really excited to win my first outdoor title. I threw a seasonal-best and national leading mark, so everything's fine. I want to give big thanks to (UGA throws) Coach (Don) Babbitt. Now I'll go back to Athens and stay focused for the regional and NCAA Championships meets. I'm sure we all have more inside us and we're going to do even better in the meets coming up."

Candice Scott - Florida - Women's Hammer Throw Champion
(SEC Women's Heptathlon Hammer Throw Meet Record of 217-10)
"That type of stuff (breaking SEC record) always feels good. Today wasn't a spectacular day for me, but I'll take it anyway. Hopefully, the hammer group starting out the day with 33 points for us will motivate the rest of the team to put their best foot forward today, and for the rest of the meet."

Hyleas Fountain - Georgia - Women's Heptathlon Champion
"I feel good. I felt like I did the best that I could, with the weather (delays) and everything. We had a ton of delays but it's all right. I just wanted to retain my title from indoors."

(On This Weekend's Remaining Events)
"I know I'm going to do the 4x100m and the high jump. I haven't figured out if I'm going to do long jump or triple jump yet."

(On Junior College Transfer Students Competing in the SEC)
"A lot of people think that just because people come from junior college they can't compete at the top level, but it's not that way. It's a proven fact that we (junior college transfer athletes) have the capabilities of doing what they can do at the Division I level."

Alistair Cragg - Arkansas - Men's 10,000m Champion
(SEC Men's 10,000m Meet Record of 28:42.73)
"I had no idea what the record was. I didn't even know what I was gunning for or anything, but then I got out there and got a good pace going and was really relaxed. I qualified for nationals just to leave the options open later in the season, just in case we need it for team points."



(On Arkansas' One-Two-Three Finish)
"It's great for the team. We know the 10k is important for us. There is a lot of pressure on us to go out there and maximize our points. I think everyone scored that hoped to. We just tried to get as many points as possible for us--it is big for us."

Fred Townsend - South Carolina - Men's Decathlon 110m High Hurdles Winner
(SEC Men's Decathlon 110m High Hurdles Meet Record of 14.23)
"I had high expectations for the race. I did not do what I had done in the Florida Relays, when I ran a 14.01. It is a record, but is something that did not meet my own expectations."

Penny Splichal - Arkansas - Women's 10,000m Champion
"First of all I give all glory to God. I got second last year so I just focused going in. I kind of reversed it this year. I just wanted to go and keep a steady tempo and not try to open it up. I got a year of experience. Last year, I just went out hard from the gun and made some honest little experience mistakes. I knew what the whole thing was like (this year) and I was able to keep my head on straight and deal with every element."

(On Arkansas' Strength in Distance Events)
"It's no secret... Arkansas depends on distance. We scored a few more points than expected, so we are definitely right on schedule."

Stephen Harris - Tennessee - Men's Decathlon Champion
"It's a milestone for me to win this championship. In the overall look of everything, it sets things up nicely. It makes me really appreciate all my teammates. It makes me appreciate this university and my family, especially my friends who came here and supported me. It makes me appreciate life. It's one of those eye-opening things that opens the big picture up for you.

(On His Second-Day Performance)
"I didn't look tired, but I was. In the pole vault, I took my last jump and I took a huge breath (of relief). I was so tired. And in the javelin, my javelin was a little bit lower than it was supposed to be. I was tired, but you learn to keep your composure and keep your focus. You tell yourself you're the strongest you've ever been, you're the fastest you've ever been, you're the most enduring you've ever been--you get out there and do it."

(On The Pole Vault Competition Being Moved Indoors to Stokely Athletics Center)
"Actually, it helped us out a lot. We had our fans in there; people were in the rafters. All our family was up there sitting around. It's not Neyland Stadium, but it sure felt like it. Clapping was going on. That's a Tennessee thing, and it took everybody to the next level. We all took it to the next level and I think it really helped us out, going inside."

(On Tennessee Being Tied for First Place After Two Days)
"It's huge. That's what we came out here to do. I'm not sure how many points we scored, but we came out here to make a dent in things, and to let people know we're here. That's what we did. We did our job.

(On Advantages of Competing on His Home Track)
"Yes it did. Yes it did. The turf, the terrain, going inside, the weather--we've dealt with this weather for two weeks now. So we've been on top of it."

John McDonnell - Arkansas Men's Head Coach
(On His Team Being Tied for First Place With Tennessee After Two Days)

"I'm glad. We couldn't have scored any more points than we did in the 10,000m, except for in the decathlon, but those things happen. I'm happy where we are, to be tied with Tennessee."

Bill Webb - Tennessee Men's Head Coach
(On His Team Being Tied For First Place With Arkansas After Two Days)

"Today the Vols continued to compete tough. I was pleased. I didn't see all the events because of the decathlon (pole) vaults being moved inside. We got four places in the decathlon, scored 20 points and that jump-starts the meet for us. On the other qualifying, I'm happy to hear that (Marc) Sylvester, Jonathan Wade and Karl Jennings qualified. I did see the 10,000m and it was a really nice job by Patrick Gildea and Scott DeFilippis. They did a real nice job on getting a fourth and fifth for us. All and all, the Vols are off to a good start in the meet. I'm pretty pleased. I'd have to quote (Tennessee head football coach) Phil Fulmer and say that `I've got to go home and look at the tape' to get a full analysis, because I didn't see all those other events."



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