U of M Women - Wolverines Record Seven PRs; Ofili Hurdles to Runner-Up

U of M Women - Wolverines Record Seven PRs; Ofili Hurdles to Runner-Up

Provided by U of M

Site: Geneva, Ohio (Lied Recreation Center)/Albuquerque, N.M. (ABQ Convention Center)

Event: SPIRE Invitational Classic/Don Kirby Collegiate Invitational (Day 2)

U-M Team Result: No team scoring

Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 21 -- host Silverston Invitational (U-M Indoor Track Building), 10:30 a.m.; at Alex Wilson Invitational (South Bend, Ind.), 11 a.m.

The 20th-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team wrapped up its weekend of competition today (Saturday, Feb. 14), with the majority of the squad competing at the SPIRE Invitational in Geneva, Ohio. There, the Maize and Blue added seven new PRs in four different events, helping its weekend total to 13 new personal bests across 10 events to go with 21 top-10 finishes. U-M traveled 32 athletes to the SPIRE Institute, the site of the Big Ten Championships in two weekends (Feb. 27-28).

Junior Cindy Ofili also competed this weekend, but the two-time All-American made a trip south to New Mexico's Don Kirby Collegiate Invitational to run against some of the nation's best hurdlers.

GENEVA, Ohio -- Four Wolverines placed in the top 20 of the 800-meter race. Senior/junior Devon Hoppe was the runner-up at 2:09.04; junior/sophomore Gina McNamara was seventh at 2:09.93; sophomore Jamie Morrissey finished 18th at 2:12.30; and senior/junior Chelsey Miller was barely behind at 2:12.33. For McNamara and Miller, the times marked new PRs.

Junior Maya Long also earned a top-three finish; she was the third runner to cross the line in the 400m race (54.69).

Three of five Wolverines competing in the mile run set collegiate-best marks. Freshman Claire Borchers (4:53.14) finished 18th as the first in Maize and Blue athlete to cross the finish line, while freshman Sydney Badger (4:55.08) was 22nd. Junior Olivia Brackett recorded a 28th-place finish in the mile run, crossing at 5:01.26.

In the 3K race, junior Taylor Manett finished ninth with a new PR (9:37.19). Sophomore/freshman Corinne Florie (14th) also recorded a top-15 finish for the Maize and Blue, while her classmate Sarah Zieve (10:01.24) also set a new collegiate-best mark.

Freshman Claire Kieffer-Wright matched a career-best mark in the high jump (1.73m; 5-8 ft.) to place fourth.

• Day 1 Results

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Junior Cindy Ofili qualified for the 60-meter hurdles final with an 8.24 in the prelims. She ran even faster in the final, crossing in 8.13 seconds to claim second place. In her other event -- the 60m dash -- Ofili crossed the line in 7.46 seconds, but that mark did not qualify her for the eight-woman final.

The Maize and Blue will wrap up the regular season next weekend (Saturday, Feb. 21), hosting the annual Silverston Invitational at the U-M Indoor Track Building. A group of competitors will also travel to Notre Dame's Alex Wilson Invitational in South Bend, Indiana.


• The Maize and Blue traveled 31 athletes to the SPIRE Institute this weekend in preparation of the Big Ten Championships, which will be hosted by the Institute at the end of the month.

• Seven different Wolverines set PRs in four different events, bringing the weekend total to 13 U-M athletes setting personal-best marks across 10 different events. Altogether, U-M collected four event titles and 21 top-10 finishers.

• Sophomore Aaron Howell competed in her first pentathlon of the season on Friday (Feb. 13), totaling 4,115 points across the five events -- a new personal best.

• U-M will close its regular season next weekend by hosting the Silverston Invitational (Feb. 21) at the U-M Indoor Track Building.

Personal Records

Taylor Manett -- 3,000m (9:37.19)

Sarah Zieve -- 3,000m (10:01.24)

Olivia Brackett -- Mile (5:01.26)

Claire Borchers -- Mile (4:53.14)

Sydney Badger -- Mile (4:55.08)

Gina McNamara -- 800m (2:09.93)

Chelsey Miller -- 800m (2:12.33)

Sami Michell -- 60m hurdles (8.46 seconds)


Michigan Head Coach James Henry

On Cindy Ofili making the trip by herself to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the Don Kirby Collegiate Invitational ... "I heard Cindy finished second and had a good time, but she was probably a little set back. I was pleased that she ventured out on her own to see what she could do against the best kids in the country and she took second. It should build her confidence. Last weekend, you feel a little comforted competing with your sister (Tiffany Porter), and this was the chance for her to go to the big stage and compete against kids at that level. She was also on her own, because she was traveling and that was a grownup thing for her. She can realize that team is important but at the same time she can get out on this stage on her own and put up a good performance."

On the value of getting athletes to compete in the SPIRE Institution two weekends before returning there for the Big Ten Championships? ... "That's what this weekend was all about; it was our pre-Big Ten meet in terms of the stage of the event. The kids were able to get acclimated to the environment, the facility and I thought we came out looking pretty darn good and it's another step in the right direction for us."

On how his team is competing head-to-head two weeks out of Big Tens ... "We are progressing and that is what we want. We started off well this year and each and every week we have gotten better. We haven't had any setbacks. Each time it is one step back and two steps forward. That's progress. We have a few more steps to take in the next few weeks -- four more steps I would say -- but now it's a matter of polishing up our confidence and continuing onto the Big Tens."

U-M Sophomore Multi-Events Athlete Aaron Howell

On her first opportunity in a multi-event competition this year; the pentathlon ... "It was pretty nice to compete today. I was not even sure I was going to compete in this pentathlon until last weekend. Coach (Henry) had been telling me I was going to do it at Big Tens, so it's nice to have the confidence, especially when you're a multi (events athlete) because you're going head to head with four or five other competitors."

On having a head-to-head mentality competing against the same field in all five events ... "Everybody that I'm competing with and against is a competitive person. When you're going head-to-head it makes the competition more fun. You want to beat everybody that you can and that was my goal in each event."

On which mark or event she was most proud of this weekend ... "I was pretty confident about the high jump (1.76m; 5-9.25 ft.), but my mark in the long jump (5.97m; 19-7 ft.) was a huge surprise. I haven't been able to jump 19 feet since high school so that was pretty nice."

On the mentality of the team two weeks away from Big Ten Championship competition ... "Everybody is really excited. A lot of people have been getting PR's in recent weeks -- and not just beating their marks by a little bit, they are getting really big PR's, so we can't wait for Big Tens."

Communications Contact: Chad Shepard