This is the latest in our 2011 series of Track Chat Interviews with the nation's top track & field athletes.
MileSplit.us: Your team ran a blistering 3:10.69 to set the state record for the 4x400. What were the team's emotions like leading up to the race and then after the race? What is it like to finally hit it after getting close all year?
Hugh Graham, Jr.: Leading up to the race we all had our minds set on running 3:09. We were happy with 3:10 though, just not satisfied. It's a great feeling to brake such an old record, but we still plan on improving our time.
MileSplit.us: Talk a bit about that 44.8 lead-off leg, incredible?
Hugh Graham, Jr.: I was REALLY impressed with spliting 44.8... I felt great while I was running and I was sure I ran a fast split, but I had NO idea it was that fast!
MileSplit.us: You've run some great 400 times already, now state record in the 4x400. What do you feel is left for you to accomplish this season both as a team and individually?
Hugh Graham, Jr.: So far this season I feel as if our team has done a pretty good job. Young guys like Artie Burns and Jeff Greene have stepped up and done an amazing job. We have our minds set on winning state as a team. We plan on going under 3:10 on the 4x4. As far as myself, I plan on improving more and my ultimate goal is to run 45 seconds in the open 400. It's in me, I just have to put the perfect race together
MileSplit.us: Do you have a favorite workout that stands out from the rest? What is the best you have done at this workout?
Hugh Graham, Jr.: My favorite workout would have to be 4 150's with 4 minute rest in between at a fast pace. The best that I've done this work out was making all 4 in 15 seconds.
MileSplit.us: You come from a program with such a rich tradition. Is that a lot of pressure to succeed? And how much time do you spend working on hand-offs and focusing on the relay each week?
Hugh Graham, Jr.: Coming from a rich traditioned program motivates me to keep it going. I dont feel as if it's any pressure, it's just the matter of working hard everyday. The success will come. Honestly, we never work on relay hand-offs or really focus on it in practice. We just come to the meets and run.
MileSplit.us: What has been your most memorable race to date in your high school career? Why does this one stand out?
Hugh Graham, Jr.: My most memorable high school race would have to be this year Florida Relays 4x4 against St. Thomas. That was an amazing race, it brought the crowd to their feets. Nothings better than a photo finished race.
MileSplit.us: What do you like to do with your time when you aren't competing or practicing? Hobbies? Activities with friends?
Hugh Graham, Jr.: Outside of track I just enjoy relaxing. I love to be on the computer, and play Madden. I may go out with friends from time to time, but most of the time I'm home with my family.
MileSplit.us: What role models do you have in T&F? Why?
Hugh Graham, Jr.: My role model in track and field would have to be Bershawn Jackson. He's from Miami just like me and I admire how far he's gotten in track. He's got 'HEART" and that's something I have. I plan on being where he is one day.
MileSplit.us: Who do you look up to outside of T&F? Why?
Hugh Graham, Jr.: Outside of track and field I would have to say I look up to my father. He's always been there since day one and I can proudly say he's a MAJOR part of the success that I have. He's always on top of me on doing the right things. Him and my mom motivates me.
MileSplit.us: What do you see yourself accomplishing by the end of your high school career?
Hugh Graham, Jr.: By the end of my high school career I want to go down as one the best quarter milers in state history.
More with Hugh (Athlete Profile...)
Video Interview at Florida Relays
Video Interview at Bob Hayes Classic
Spotlight Video: Louie Bing Classic MVP
Hugh Graham, Jr. of Miami Northwestern returns for 2011 as the nation's top 400 meter runner and this past week proved he is picking up where he left off with a 46.97 400m and a 10.60 in his first 100m race in four years. Brittany Wagoner of Key West has bounced back from shoulder surgery to return to her dominant form in the pole vault, long jump, and high jump with performances this week of 10-6, 18-0, and 5-4, respectively.