Selected searches:Rankings Football Basketball Track Autzen Hayward Blogs Forum
Published: July 17, 2008
Ducks Attack sat down with Oregon Track star Andrew Wheating.
Ducks Attack:What was your overall impression of how the trials were handled, how were you treated what could have been changed if anything?
Andrew Wheating: Just like any big meet, the first day is always the shakiest because everyone is worried about any little thing that pops up but as the hours role by a rough start quickly changed to a smooth ride. As for athlete hospitality, at first I was a little overwhelmed with how well the athletes were taken care of. Everyone who was working behind the scene for the athletes offered us anything we needed. I almost felt obligated to take what I didn’t need just because it was available, it was pretty sweet.
DA:How was running in front of the home crowd in that Oregon jersey?
AW: There were NO other two colors in the world that I would have wanted to run in then green and yellow. I could feel the support every time I walked onto Hayward. People were shouting words of encouragement each time I strode out along the home stretch. If I had 21,000 hands I would’ve high-fived everyone in the stadium.
DA:Coming down that final turn, takes us through that final 100 meters
AW: With 200m left I was getting a little worried but I refused to panic. I knew I had more left in me and I chose to wait until the final hundred to let it loose. When Nick popped out it was a good indication that maybe I should start going too, so I picked it up a little. I could hear the crowd getting excited and I knew Nick was giving them the show they all paid for. But when I started to reel in the rest of the field the stadium was deafening. When the field fell out of my peripheral vision my eye’s widened and the crowed exploded. I had a smile frozen to my face for the next couple of days and will by imprinted in my mind for the rest of my life.
DA:Two years ago did you even think of heading to Beijing?
AW:Not even a little bit. I had aspirations of making it to London in 2012. My goal this season was to make it to the NCAA National meet in De Moines, talk about icing on the cake huh?
DA uring your press conference after the final, going to China had not really set in, when did that finally set in for you?
AW:Really, I don’t think it has, maybe when I’m old and decrepit I’ll look back on it and final soak in the fact that I made an Olympic team but for now I’m just living in the moment. When I qualified for both the NCAA’s and the Olympic Trials I thought “Ok, same race, different track. Lets do it!” And nothing’s changed.
DA:What are you doing now to prepare for the trip to China?
AW:Breathing in all the fresh air I can muster.
DA:What can you say about the success of the Oregon Athletes and knowing them not only as teammates but on a personal level as well?
AW:I honestly believe that the closer you are as a team the stronger an individual will perform. This team is more like a family to me, I see brothers and sisters not just teammates. But as for the future I think this sport better watch out cause Oregon is definitely going to start making waves.
DA:What are the chances of seeing you here again in 2012?
AW:Arnold said it best “I’ll be back!”
DA:What about Eugene makes it Track Town USA in your mind?
AW:The support! This town loves it’s Oregon athletes no matter what sport it is. But you’ll find that a lot of places around the country won’t have the kind of track support that Eugene does. I haven’t been to a race outside of Track Town yet where the crowd gets louder then right here. If I could I’d pack the stadium from the trials in my suitcase and bring them to China with me.
DA id the second jumbo screen affect you? Good or Bad?
AW:Not at all. When I race I’m able to block out everything, usually. The trials is the only race where my focus was actually cracked. I couldn’t help but smile when everyone applauded my introduction, I couldn’t help but wave and soak in all the support, and on that final 100 meters of that 800 my concentration was shattered with a tidal wave of noise from a stadium full of track fans. It was freakin’ awesome!
I’d like to thank Andrew for his time, and I’d like to remind you guys to check back often for more Oregon athlete’s interviews.