Tennessee Lady Vols Head Coach J.J. Clark Quotes

March 12, 2009

Opening Statement:

"We came here a few weeks ago for a dual meet. Pat (Henry, Texas A&M Head Coach) put on a great event that was just a few hours long, and then we were back at the hotel. It was a great meet. We're happy to be back in this great facility and looking forward to a good, competitive meet.

"We do have eight scoring opportunities, and the competition here will be very good. It would be arrogant of me to come in here and make bold predictions with such great company on the women's side. We're looking forward to coming out here this weekend, performing to our abilities and seeing what happens after that."

What Coach Clark Thinks About The Facility And Whether Texas A&M Is Ready To Host the NCAA Meet:

"When we came here a few weeks ago, it was a very, very dry run, as far as how they wanted to operate at the NCAA meet, and I thought it was very well done. They were very particular, from the spike sizes to the timing of everything to the officials and officiating. It was very well run. I know Pat, and I knew that he wouldn't have any less than that. It was very exciting to see that.

"When I came back in yesterday, and they were checking the spikes at the door, I wasn't alarmed. We had already gone through this and we knew that this would happen - that's not a bad thing - it was just how the meet was going to be run.

"The track - I'm not going to say it's a fast track, because you need fast people, too - but it's a good track, and we got some fast times. It was definitely a good experience, and hopefully we can have a good experience here this time."

On Sarah Bowman And What She's Going To Do At The NCAA Meet And In The Near Future:

"The future part, we'll deal with that when it comes, I guess (chuckles), but I'll address it. Right now, we want her to run as best as she can. She's not, in most of her races except one, been really challenged.



"She's in the mile and DMR and is scheduled to run the 3000m. She's in all three, and we've planned and discussed that she will be a part of it. In trying to win championships, sometimes you have to do things extraordinary. When you have someone like Sarah, who's willing to do whatever you ask her to do, then you go to the well. We'll see how it all works out. I've never done it before and had an athlete in this many events, but if it can be done and done adequately, I believe she is the one to get it done.

"In the future - I hope she's on schedule to graduate; she's the indoor scholar-athlete of the year last year - she'll graduate and embark on a professional career, as they call it now. Before, we used to say `continue to run,' but now they go pro. She'll go pro.

On Who Coach Clark Thinks The Favorites Are To Win The NCAA Meet:

"Well, favorites, and I'm not putting any pressure...I was told by my sports information director, because I don't really read things and have very little interest in the overall yearly projections, but I'm forced to give quotes periodically; therefore I'm told where we are in the polls...throughout the year, Texas A&M has been ranked first, so I guess that means they're pretty good. We've been somewhere around there, so I guess we're O.K. And there have been some other teams - LSU, Florida State, Oregon and Michigan - that have been flirting around there in that top group. Just as was stated earlier, it can go either way.

"It's about coming here and getting the job done. I just believe that, throughout the whole process, that the cream will rise to the top. That's why we come to a meet like this, so that we can get a score and say `I'm the best, she's the best, he's the best' based on a score. We have to wait until that happens. It's going to be a great meet, and I think you have several teams that can do well. We like to make predictions and analyze prior to the meet, and then see how it comes out. It's going to be a close meet, I believe, and several teams can win."

On All That Goes Into Getting An Athlete Ready For A Meet Like This:

"It would probably take me a month to tell you. It's coaching. You have to coach. It takes a lot of time. At our school, we're privileged to have a sports psychologist that our athletes have the ability to see. You have to get to know your student-athletes, because everyone is different. They respond to different stimuli, and you have to figure out what it is to get them there (ready for the NCAA meet).

"I've had athletes that you just tell them what to do, and that is it. `Just tell me who you want me to beat.' `I want you to beat all of them.' `Well, OK.' `What are my splits?' There are different ways of getting it across. You have to get to know your athletes, and it's a lot more complex. Even after you do all that, you can still come out unsuccessful. It's a matter of a lot of different things mixed together."



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