U of M Men - Porter Qualifies for Rio; Brannen Takes Canadian Bronze
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What You Need to Know
» Alumnus Jeff Porter qualified for his second U.S. Olympic team, claiming a bronze medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the U.S. Olympic Trials.
» Porter joins his wife, Tiffany (Ofili), and his sister-in-law, Cindy Ofili -- both members of Team Great Britain -- as Olympic athletes for the 2016 games in Rio.
» Running at historic Hayward Field at the University of Oregon, Porter earned his Olympic bid in 13.21 seconds.
» Fellow alum Nate Brannen ran at 1,500 meters in the Canadian Championships and Rio Selection Trials, claiming his own bronze medal in 3:56. » Brannen will learn Monday (July 11) whether or not his efforts have earned him a place on Team Canada for the 2016 Rio Games.
• U-M at the Olympics
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Alumni Jeff Porter (2004-07) and Nate Brannen (2002-05) competed in Olympic Qualifying for the United States and Canada, respectively, on Saturday (July 9), with Porter sealing his second Olympic bid for Team USA in the 110-meter hurdles.
Porter ran at Historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, and earned his U.S. bronze in 13.21 seconds. He leaned ahead of Aries Merritt (13.22), separated from silver by one-one thousandth of a second (13.205 to 13.206), showing just how close and competitive this event is at the American championships.
The tight race left the crowd, and Porter, in suspense.
"When we crossed the finish line, we were waiting and had no idea what was going on, but when they called my name it was just surreal," Porter said in his post-race interview.
Porter will now embark on a special Olympic journey made even more historic by the fact that he will be joining family in Rio. Porter's wife and U-M Women's Hall of Fame Inductee Tiffany (Ofili) Porter and her younger sister, recent Wolverine star Cindy Ofili, have also earned their chance to compete in Rio, where they will run the 100-meter hurdles race for Team Great Britain. The historic opportunity was explored in detail by MGoBlue's Steve Kornacki earlier this summer.
In Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, at Foote Field, Nate Brannen (2002-05) ran his own qualifying race at 1,500 meters, seeking his third Team Canada appearance on the Olympic stage.
He ran in top-four position early and stuck with the leaders as the pace grew fierce with about 600 meters to go. Over the final 300 meters, Brannen broke away with eventual gold medalist Charles Philibert-Thiboutot (3:55.750), before Syracuse's Justyn Knight (3:56) caught the group on the final turn. The trio ran three-wide down the stretch with Brannen in the second lane. He finished just .11 seconds behind Knight but as a result will have to wait until Monday (July 11) to hear for certain whether or not he will be named to Team Canada as only top-two finishers are guaranteed Olympic bids.
The U.S. Olympic Trials continue on Sunday (July 10), the final day of competition, but male athletes with Michigan ties have completed events. The opening ceremonies to the 2016 Rio Games will be held on Aug. 5, 2016.
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard