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June 14, 2003

Otis Harris sat down with for a Q&A session from the NCAA Championships in Sacramento, Calif.

Do you feel that there is any added pressure to carry the SEC Champion and NCAA East Regional Champion titles into competition at the NCAA Championships?

I do not feel like I have any added pressure after winning at the SEC and Regional meets. In fact, I think they have been a benefit to me. They have helped me out because when I think about winning those races it is something that gives me more confidence.

What has been the key to your recent success in the SEC and Regional meets and how have you tried to continue that at the NCAA Championships?

Hard work is the key to my success. I consider myself the “blue collar worker” of track and field. All of my success has come from hard work and trying to do things the right way. I feel that I am blessed with as much talent as anyone else here at the NCAA’s and just need to go out and prove myself.

How have you dealt with the climate of Sacramento with warm days and cool nights and has that affected how you race?

The climate here is a little different. Some people have been having problems breathing because the heat is so dry. It is not something that has affected me a lot. I have made sure that when I run in the evening I wrap up in lots of clothes so I do not cold before or after a race.

How do you see yourself when you run against the best athletes in the nation at this meet?

When you race against the best at this meet, you know that you have to run some of the best times of your life. You are running against the best and the fastest athletes in the country. It makes you think about how fast you run, but in a good way. It gives you confidence in yourself knowing that you among the best of the best. To go out and prove that you are the best of this group is up to you.

What does the near future hold for Otis Harris?

I want to do everything I can to win a national championship in 400m dash. We want to defend our 4×400 title and I want to do my best on the anchor leg to make that happen. My focus is on the NCAA’s. Next weekend I will run in the USATF Championships but it will be a meet without pressure for me. I know I will be back next year and am running for the experience. After that I head back to Columbia to continue with summer school.