Wallace Spearmon and Tyson Gay Press Conferenc
BY ANDRES FOCIL
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The following is a partial transcript of Wallace Spearmon Jr., and Tyson Gay’s press conference previewing the 2005 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Carson, Calif., on June 23-26.
What do you think your first time to compete as a professional will be like?
Wallace – I think it will be about the same as last year, because towards this time the elite stepped up and got to go to USA’s last year. It’s the same group from the roster that traveled last year, so it will be the same atmosphere. You have to treat it like a normal track meet. Being my first pro meet I don’t know what to expect. It’s a new experience. I’m having fun and I’m doing what I love, but now I get paid, but I don’t see that until I come back home.
Tyson – I feel slightly different about the situation of being a professional, because I kind of like having a roommate where you have a friend to wake you up and go joke and play around, but now it’s more of a business. I’ll be by myself a lot and sometimes I may warm up by myself. Wallace and I may run different events at times, so I have to be more focused, be on time and be pumped and ready to be mentally prepared to take it to the next level.
What would it mean to you to make the World Championship team?
Tyson – It would be huge. There will be a lot of young guys make it. It would be real huge for me because I feel like last year I missed out on a special opportunity to make the Olympic team. This year I feel I will be able to step up to the plate. As long as I stay hydrated and mentally prepared I’ll be able to make the team.
Wallace – I was disappointed I didn’t make the Olympic team last year, but it was my first year out so I couldn’t expect too much after I won nationals.
Do you feel like you two could go 1-2 in the 200?
Wallace – We can, anything is possible. Speaking for myself I would like to go first and second. I don’t see why I couldn’t. If I had to speak for Tyson I’d say he would go first instead of me.
How do you feel about running the 100 meters?
Tyson – I’m not as sharp as I could be, but I’ve been working very hard last week on some technical aspects and I’ve been watching film. I’ll be prepared, because we have three rounds, so when I run the first round that should get all the kinks out and after that I should be fine.
Do you feel the pressure to carry the torch for the Arkansas sprints program?
Tyson – I feel that way, especially because I’m a senior. It’s time to pass the torch and keep the tradition going. I think our times have people more interested in watching us run, because we’ve some run some of the fastest times in collegiate history and also in the world. I believe when people really understand how fast you are running that’s when they become interested in the sprints.
Wallace – I also agree. A lot of people don’t know that much about track, but when they finally get to see you in action they start asking you questions like ‘Can you beat Michael Johnson? Can you beat this person?’ When you say yes they start to realize this kid really is fast, maybe I should go watch him. I say we do carry the torch and you have to be a good role model around the city. It’s good that track is getting this much attention.
What times are you looking to run?
Tyson – I’m actually looking to prepare myself for the finals. I’m not really focused on time, but I want to run the first two rounds as easy as possible and prepare for the finals and then let my time speak for itself.
What do you think is your best event? The 100 or 200-meter dash?
Tyson – I want to stay versatile. I don’t want to say one event is better than the other. I want to run both and be consistent in the 100 and 200. (At the USA Championships) I want to focus on the 200. I feel that’s my best shot, because we have a lot of great 100-meter runners in the field. I want to focus on the 200, but I’m also going to run the 100, because I think I’m going to run a few 100’s in Europe this summer.
How does your knee feel now and what did you learn about running through pain?
Wallace – I’ve been all out a few times and it feels like it’s getting better. Probably at regionals was the first time I’ve ever had to run through pain and I couldn’t do it. Whenever you think your body is going to work and you’re not going to have any pain and then something does flare up you’ve got to be mentally tough. For nationals I had to get myself mentally ready. Coach Brauman would let me know before the race that if I felt it hurt I had to keep running, so that was the mindset I had to go through. The pain was going to come, but I had to deal with it.
Talk about staying in Fayetteville to train under Coach Brauman.
Wallace – I get to stay with Tyson, Omar (Brown) and Coach Brauman. That’s what I came into, so that’s all I know. That’s family. I also get to stay at home with my real family, my mother and little brother. I really didn’t want to leave and nothing would have changed my mind. It’s home to me. I know everyone, why leave?
Tyson – I feel the same. I’ve been around Coach Brauman for four years now. I understand his system and my body is used to it. I wanted to stay here to train. I like all the people in Fayetteville. I like the attention, I love the media and I love the indoor facility. I just enjoy being a Razorback.
What did you learn from last year’s experience at the Olympic Trials?
Wallace – I learned that you have to spread your energy out. Last year we had four rounds and this year we’ll have three. We always say ‘Spread your cheese wisely.’ I had to learn last year that in the first round some of pros are stronger, because they’re used to this and they’ll go out there and show off. Shawn Crawford dropped 19 (seconds) in the first round, so I thought I might as well try to do something too. That’s not for everybody. This year I’ll try to run every round as easy as possible to get to the finals.
Is there anyone you’re looking forward to running against?
Wallace – Justin Gatlin, Shawn Crawford and Xavier Carter.
Tyson – I just want to beat them all.
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