Wolverine Ladies Race by No. 24 Spartans for Dual-Meet Victory

Wolverine Ladies Race by No. 24 Spartans for Dual-Meet Victory

Provided by U of M

Site: Allendale, Mich. (Kelly Family Sports Center)
Score: #21 Michigan 89, #24 Michigan State 73
Next U-M Event:
 Fri-Sat., Feb. 1-2 -- at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 4 p.m./10 a.m.

ALLENDALE, Mich. -- The 21st-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team defeated No. 24 Michigan State, 89-73, in the first-ever indoor head-to-head meeting between the two teams on Saturday (Jan. 26) at Grand Valley State's Kelly Family Sports Center. The Wolverines won nine of 15 events and went 1-2 in four events to earn the victory.

Freshman Cindy Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) was the only student-athlete to win two events for the Maize and Blue. In the 60-meter dash, Michigan went 1-2, led by Ofili, who ran a personal-best time of 7.57, while senior Ada Unachukwu (Morganville, N.J./Marlboro) finished second in 7.70. In her first time competing in the 200-meter dash collegiately, Ofili won the event with a time of 24.56.

Ofili also finished second in the 60-meter hurdles (8.44), behind junior Amber Smith (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood), who won the event with a personal-best time of 8.38. Overall, Ofili tallied 13 of Michigan's 89 points.

Michigan's distance contingent captured victories in the 800- and 3,000-meter runs. Senior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) won the 800-meter run with a time of 2:08.91, while senior Rebecca Addison (Spring Lake, Mich./Grand Haven) finished first in the 3,000-meter run with a career-best time of 9:26.76.

In the field, the Wolverines went 1-2 in the high jump and triple jump. Senior/junior Sara Nitz (Zeeland, Mich./Zeeland East)and junior Erin Busbee (Cleveland, Ohio/Collinwood) each cleared a height of 1.68 meters (5-6) in the high jump. Nitz cleared the bar with fewer misses to win the event, while Busbee took second place. Busbee finished second in the triple jump (12.41 meters, 40-8.75), behind Unachukwu, who won the event with a jump of 12.52 meters (41-1). Busbee also won the long jump, hitting her mark at 5.94 meters (19-6), to finish with 11 of Michigan's total points on the night.

Senior/junior Kiley Tobel (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Western) recorded Michigan's fourth and final win in the field events, clearing the bar at 4.05 meters (13-3.50) in the pole vault.

The Wolverines will remain on the road next Friday and Saturday (Feb. 1-2) when they compete in the Notre Dame Meyo Invitational in South Bend, Ind. Competition will begin on Friday at 4 p.m. and resume Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at the Loftus Sports Center.

Cindy Ofili -- 60m dash (7.57)
Chinyere Onimo -- 400m dash (58.92)
Emily Wee -- 400m dash (1:00.51)
Meg Bellino -- 600m run (1:32.49)
Danielle Pfeifer -- 800m run (2:10.86)
Devon Hoppe -- 800m run (2:10.92)
Megan Weschler -- mile run (4:46.22)
Rebecca Addison -- 3,000m run (9:26.76)
Anna Pasternak -- 3,000m run (10:08.04)
Amber Smith -- 60m hurdles (8.38)
Meghan Lark -- pole vault (3.15m, 10-4)
Erin Busbee -- triple jump (12.41m, 40-8.75)
Elly Mioduszewski -- shot put (12.16m, 39-10.75)
Joanna Fleming -- weight throw (16.60, 54-5.50)


Michigan Head Coach James Henry
On the first dual meet with Michigan State ... "It was really exciting, and I think the kids really enjoyed that type of meet and the format. I think Mike McGuire and the rest of our staff did a great job putting this together. Overall, we were really happy with the crowd. Both teams really got into it, and we were happy to get the first win."

On the improvement in the short sprints and hurdles ... "Overall, the team has gotten a lot stronger. They worked really hard throughout the summer to get better, and they've really matured. And now they know the competition and what it's like to compete at this level. Cindy Ofili really takes our sprint group to another level. She helps our sprint group focus more, and she's a great athlete to have on this team. As the team continues to get better, she gets better."

On a dual meet improving team chemistry ... "I think this was a significant stepping stone, seeing that it was Michigan State, they are our in-state rivals and that we won. I was really happy. I think this team is really turning the corner, not only from last year, but week to week, they're turning corners and getting closer together as a team. They are all improving as individuals and as a team, and as coaches, we can't ask for more than that."

U-M Freshman Cindy Ofili
On being a part of the first dual with Michigan State ... "It was a really great experience. I was really happy that we were able to come away with the win. Everybody was able to do their part and for me, as a freshman, to do the way I did, I was pretty happy with my results. Overall, it was just a great experience."

On improving each week with the help of her teammates ... "It's really nice to be improving the way I am. I set a few PRs already, which I'm happy with, but I've done that because of the help of my teammates. They push me in practice and made me run faster, so them helping me is one of the biggest reasons I've improved."

On team chemistry helping performance on the track ... "I think our team chemistry is really great. We all support each other no matter what event it is, whether it's pole vault, the distance events, the sprints. We've all been working together toward a common goal, so I think working together has really helped our team improve the way we have been."

Contact: Whitney Dixon