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Q&A with high jumper and first-team All-American Nicole Greene

Nicole Greene, a sophomore and two-time NCAA championship-qualifier, practices for the high jump. She has made the Dean’s List each of her three semesters at UNC.

Nicole Greene, a sophomore and two-time NCAA championship-qualifier, practices for the high jump. She has made the Dean’s List each of her three semesters at UNC.

Nicole Greene is a sophomore high jumper for the North Carolina track and field team. Greene was UNC’s sole competitor at this weekend’s NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships in College Station, Texas. In her second consecutive appearance at the national championship, Greene jumped 6’0.5”, placing fifth and earning first-team All-America honors.

Greene spoke with staff writer James Tatter about her improvement over last year, getting revenge and her ambitions for the coming outdoor season.

The Daily Tar Heel: This year over last year, you moved from 12th place to fifth place at nationals. What led you to make this big jump?

Nicole Greene: The thing that led me to it was probably how I did last year, to be honest. The height was the same last year and I only made opening height. So I knew that this year I had to change something or just do better. Just to place better, get at least top-8.

DTH: You placed second at ACCs this year, but you got revenge this weekend on the Florida State girl who beat you there. Was that a little bit more satisfying?

NG: Yeah, I did get revenge. I think she did exactly what I did last year. I did get revenge, so I was happy. She still had a really good season, but I was happy that I was able to beat her.

DTH: Overall, how did you feel about your jumps on Friday?

NG: I felt pretty good. My warm-ups were kind of restricted. I kept on my joggers and I felt like it was restricting my jumping so I was missing the opening height when I was warming up. That was kind of making me nervous. But once I took them off and put on my regular spandex everything was fine. The only thing that really made me nervous was my 5'11" because I made that on my last try instead of my first or second. The thing that was in my head the last time when I was going up for my jump was if I don't make this, it'll be the same as last year. I'll go home without being first-team All-American. I didn't want it to be the same. So that was the only nerve-wracking part of it, everything else was pretty smooth.

DTH: What was your feeling when you saw final results and knew you were a first-team All-American?

NG: I don't know, I wasn't shocked or surprised or anything. It was like I couldn't soak it in at first. I was like, 'Whoa.' I didn't know what happened. It was kind of a numbing feeling. But I was really happy. I'm really happy now. Right then it was kind of like I didn't know what was happening.

DTH: Overall what do you take away from this experience?

NG: You can have a good day or a bad day, but just hope that it's not at nationals, because everything counts. Even the misses count. You could have the same jump as someone else, but if you miss two or three more times than the other person that could effect you being in 12th place or in eighth place or in fifth place. You have to make sure you are on. You can't be nervous, you have to be relaxed and have fun. That's when those big jumps come. That's when you jump smoothly. You can't try to fix things at nationals; you have to go with it.

DTH: What are your main goals moving forward into the outdoor season?

NG: Having my confidence rebuilt about beating the girl from FSU, I'm trying to win (ACC) outdoors. That's the main goal. And then try to make it to outdoor nationals, because last year I got 13th at regionals and they only take top 12. That would be a big goal to make it to Hayward Field (in Eugene, Ore.) because I've never been there before, and make top-8 at nationals.

@James_Tatter

sports@dailytarheel.com

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