Meet Michigan's Track and Field Olympians competing at Rio 2016

Meet Michigan's Track and Field Olympians competing at Rio 2016

By Dave McCauley / RunMichigan.com


Photo Gallery: Take a photographic look at Michigan's 2016 Track and Field Olympians.

Rochester, Michigan -- The state of Michigan will be well represented at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Track and Field events begin on August 12th with early qualifying rounds and conclude on August 21st with the Men's Marathon.

The Women's Marathon -- featuring Desi Linden, who lives and trains in Rochester Hills, Michigan with the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project Team -- will take place on August 14th at 8:00 A.M., EST.

In addition to Linden, two others from our state will be competing for Team USA in Rio. Jeff Porter, who competed collegiately for the University of Michigan will be fighting it out for a medal in the 110 Meter Hurdles. Porter also made the USA Olympic Team in 2012. Porter is a native of New Jersey but has lived and trained in Canton, Michigan since his wrapping up his great track career for the maize and blue.

A home-grown Portage, Michigan native will be shooting for Olympic glory in the Men's Discus. 2008 and 2009 Michigan High School (MHSAA) State Champion Andrew Evans has made the Team USA squad. Evans competed in high school for Portage Northern and then went on to a very successful career at the University of Kentucky.

Another pair of former MHSAA State Champions and former University of Michigan greats are in Rio battling for a medal in the Women's 100 Meter Hurdles. Sisters Tiffany (Ofili) Porter (Jeff Porter's wife) and Cindy Ofili are both competing for Great Britain, the native homeland of the Ofili sisters' mother. Tiffany (Ofili) Porter graduated from Ypsilanti High School while Cindy Ofili ran her high school track for Ann Arbor Huron High School.

The University of Michigan will also have a number of former 1500 Meter experts competing in Rio -- Wolverine grads Nick Willis, Nicole Sifuentes and Nathan Brannen.

Ann Arbor resident Willis is one of the world's most accomplished runners at the 1500 Meter/Mile distance, taking home the Silver Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Willis competes for his native homeland team of New Zealand. Willis has done so much for the state of Michigan, bringing the 2013 and 2014 Michigan Track Classic, held at Saline High School, to the track fans of Michigan.

Brannen and Sifuentes will be competing for Canada. Also on Team Canada is 10,000 meter runner Lanni Marchant. Marchant did not compete collegiately for a Michigan college but she lived and trained in our state while completing her law degree at Michigan State University.

Other athletes with ties to our state include 400 Meter Hurdler Eric Alejandro competing for Puerto Rico. Alejandro competed in college at Easter Michigan University.

And another great story is Mo Hrezi, who currently lives and trains in Rochester Hills with the Hansons-Brooks team. Hrezi was born in the USA and holds dual USA / Libyan citizenship with both his parents being born in Tripoli, Libya. After a successful high school career in Connecticut, Hrezi was a standout cross country and track runner at Iowa State University before moving to Rochester, Michigan to live and train with Hansons-Brooks ODP. Hrezi currently is working on a graduate degree at Michigan State University. You may have seen Hrezi at the Rio Olympics Open Ceremonies as the Team Libya flag bearer. He will be competing for Libya in the Men's Marathon.

Check out our full list below of those athletes with Michigan connections along with event dates and times.

Desi Linden

Hometown: Chula Vista, CA
Current Residence: Rochester Hills, Michigan
Team/Country: Hansons-Brooks / Team USA
Event: Women's Marathon
Competition Date: August 14 at 8:30 AM, EST.
TV Coverage: NBC (check local listings)

Jeff Porter

Hometown: Somerset, NJ
Current Residence: Canton, Michigan
Team/Country: Nike / Team USA
Event: Men's 110M Hurdles
Competition Date: Qualifying rounds begin August 15.
TV Coverage: Check http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings for more details.

Andrew Evans

Hometown: Portage, Michigan
High School: Portage Northern H.S.
Team/Country: Nike / Team USA
Event: Men's Discus
Competition Date: Qualifying rounds begin August 12.
TV Coverage: Check http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings for more details.

Cindy Ofili

Hometown: Ypsilanti, Michigan
High School: Ann Arbor Huron H.S.
College: University of Michigan
Team/Country: Team Great Britain
Event: Women's 100M Hurdles
Competition Date: Qualifying rounds begin August 15.
TV Coverage: Check http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings for possible tv coverage.

Tiffany Porter

Hometown: Ypsilanti, Michigan
High School: Ypsilanti H.S.
College: University of Michigan
Team/Country: Team Great Britain
Event: Women's 100M Hurdles
Competition Date: Qualifying rounds begin August 15.
TV Coverage: Check http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings for possible tv coverage.

Nate Brannen

College: University of Michigan
Team/Country: Team Canada
Event: Men's 1500 Meters
Competition Date: Qualifying rounds begin August 16.
TV Coverage: Check http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings or CBC for possible tv coverage.

Nicole Sifuentes

College: University of Michigan
Team/Country: Team Canada
Event: Women's 1500 Meters
Competition Date: Qualifying rounds begin August 12.
TV Coverage: Check http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings or CBC for possible tv coverage.

Lanni Marchant

Michigan Connection: Trained and lived in Michigan while finishing Law degree at Michigan State University
Team/Country: Team Canada
Event: Women's 10,000 Meters
Competition Date: Finals on August at 8:00 AM EST.
TV Coverage: Check http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings or CBC for possible tv coverage.

Nick Willis

College: University of Michigan
Current Residence: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Team: New Zealand
Event: Women's Men's 1500 Meters
Competition Date: Qualifying rounds begin August 16.
TV Coverage: Check http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings or CBC for possible tv coverage.

Mo Hrezi

College: Iowa State University
Current Residence: Rochester Hills, Michigan
Country competing for: Libya
Local Team: Hansons-Brooks Distance Project - Rochester Hills, Michigan
Event: Men's Marathon
Competition Date: Qualifying rounds begin August 16.
TV Coverage: Check http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings or CBC for possible tv coverage.

Eric Alejandro

College/Michigan connection: Competed for/graduated from Eastern Michigan University
Team/Country: Puerto Rico
Event: Men's 400 Meter Hurdles
Competition Date: Qualifying rounds begin August 15.
TV Coverage: Check http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv-listings or CBC for possible tv coverage.

Photo Gallery: Take a photographic look at Michigan's 2016 Track and Field Olympians.

Pictured: (Top to bottom) - Desi Linden at the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials (Photo: John Brabbs/RunMichigan.com), Andrew Evans from Portage, Michigan (Photo courtesy USOC), Cindy Ofili from Ypsilanti, Michigan (Photo: Ike Lea/RunMichigan.com) and Nick Willis from Ann Arbor (Photo: John Brabbs/RunMichigan.com).

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