USA Multi-Event Championships Media Lunch Quotes
June 12, 2002
BERKELEY - Decathletes Bevan Hart and Phil McMullen were among those in attendance at the USA Multi-Event Championships media preview lunch at Blakes in Berkeley Wednesday. Cal will host the multi-event national championships June 18-20 at Edwards Stadium.
Here are some comments from Hart and McMullen, along with Cal multis coach Ed Miller.
Coming tomorrow...comments from decathletes Dan O'Brien and Tom Pappas.
Bevan Hart, Cal alum and 2000 NCAA Decathlon Champion (currently a member of the Army's World Class Athlete Program)
On how he feels he can score
'I got a late start this year. About the last month, my fitness has been coming on. My speed has started to resurface. If I compete well, I think I'll be competitive to make the U.S. vs. Germany team (top seven qualify). I think I can put up a decent score.'
On point-total goal for next week
'I'm not going to say right now because I've only had about four months of training. I'm not expecting a PR, but I wouldn't rule it out.'
On whether there's a home field advantage in the decathlon
'I think it will be. I'm used to the way the winds are and how the track is. We'll see.'
On who's the favorite
'I would say Tom (Pappas) has established himself as the best USA decathlete in the past couple of years. He placed fifth at the Olympic Games. He was world ranked again last year. But, I would never bet against Dan O'Brien. He has experience and a lot of talent on his side. I don't think there's a decathlete active today that's ever beat him in the world. He hasn't lost since the Olympic Trials in 1992, and that was with a no height. I have a lot of respect for him. I'm excited to be able to compete against him in a decathlon.'
Phil McMullen, 2001 U.S. decathlon runner-up, 1997 NCAA runner-up
On his expectations for next week
'My expectations are to be competitive with Tom (Pappas) and Dan (O'Brien). There's a lot of big question marks you probably have in your minds as to where Dan O'Brien is. The other athletes which are competing against him have the same thoughts in mind. He's a person, who demands a lot of respect on the track from where he's been and what he's accomplished in his career so far. He says that he's never retired and that he's just had a couple of injuries here and there. When he was here earlier and we competed against him, he looked like he still had the ballistics of the old Dan O'Brien. I hope to be competitive with those two and with Kip (Janvirin). Kip and I had a big battle last year, and I ended up 20 points shy.'
On who's the Favorite
'Based on experience, O'Brien has the upper hand. Based on every day competition and being sharp on every single event, I would say Tom Pappas has the advantage.'
Cal Multis Coach Ed Miller (coaches Bevan Hart and Phil McMullen)
On Cal's involvement with the championships
'We would really love to see Cal back on the map in terms of promoting track and field. Our competitors down on the Peninsula have done a good job. We'd like to compete for a spot someday for the larger portion of the meet. This is kind of a tryout for us as far as I'm concerned. There's a little more to this than meets the eye. We didn't do this because we like putting on meets. We did this because we have a lot of tradition here. If you go back to Brutus Hamilton and Bob Clark and Dave Steen and Ed Miller and Chris Huffins and Bevan Hart, there's been some outstanding decathletes. Missy Vanek was our heptathlete. Ifeoma Ozoeze. Kathy Raugust. We have some wonderful history of multi-events here. This is a continuation of that tradition. We love the event. We want to promote the event. Our anticipation is that we will do an excellent job because we know what's needed to put on an event like this.'