U of M Women - Ofili Secures 100m Dash Bid to Oregon
Provided by U of M
Site: Jacksonville, Fla. (Hodges Stadium)
Event: NCAA East Preliminary Rounds (Day 2)
U-M Team Result: Non-Scoring
Next U-M Event: Saturday, May 30 -- at NCAA East Preliminary Rounds - Day 3 (Jacksonville, Fla.)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The University of Michigan women's track team punched its first ticket to next month's (June 10-13) NCAA Outdoor Championships in Eugene, Oregon, today (Friday, May 29) as junior sprinter/hurdler Cindy Ofili ran 11.53 (11.522) to secure a bid to 100-meter dash semifinals during day-two action at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds held at Hodges Stadium.
Ofili solidified her place in the 100m dash field by finishing second in her heat, automatically punching her ticket out west. Entering the meet as the 20th seed in the field, Ofili outperformed expectations by cracking the top 10, as she finished the weekend in eighth overall.
In the 100m hurdles, Ofili set a new personal best with a 12.85, winning the second of six heats by a whopping .30 seconds. Ofili's victory secures her a spot in tomorrow's (Saturday, May 30) 7:05 p.m. quarterfinal with a bid to Eugene on the line. As the fourth seed in the region, she outperformed her ranking by finishing third among all competitors. Only Kentucky's Kendra Harrison (12.66) and Florida's Bridgette Owens (wind-aided 12.83), the top and third-seeded women in the NCAA, were faster during today's east regional competition.
Traditionally, Ofili uses her trademark closing speed to blitz past competitors as the finish line grows closer, but that was not the case today. She got off the blocks with a great start and cruised past her competition for the win.
Sophomore Sami Michell also competed in the 100m hurdles, finishing in 13.644 during the sixth heat.
A pair of Wolverines qualified for today's 800m dash quarterfinal as well. U-M was represented by junior Danielle Pfeifer, who ran 2:07.58 in the second heat, and senior/junior Devon Hoppe ran 2:11.38, but neither advanced to Oregon.
Hoppe's classmate Anna Pasternak competed in the 3,000m steeplechase, the final event of the evening on the women's side. Pasternak ran in a Big Ten-heavy field, including Big Ten champion Leah O'Connor of Michigan State. Pasternak finished in 10:18.35, a new personal best of nearly three seconds.
U-M wraps up competition at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds on Saturday, beginning at 6 p.m. with freshman Claire Kieffer-Wright in the high jump. Following Kieffer-Wright, U-M's four competing 1,500m runners will have their chance to punch a ticket to Eugene, led by seventh-seeded junior Shannon Osika and tenth-seeded senior co-captain Brook Handler. Senior/junior Laura Addison and sophomore/freshman Jaimie Phelan will also seek a top-12 finish, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The 5K and 4x400m relay will also be competed on Saturday evening.
N O T E S
• Though her 100m hurdles bid will be decided tomorrow, Cindy Ofili punched her ticket to Eugene in the 100m dash today, clocking 11.53 (11.522). Ofili will become Michigan's first-ever All-American in the event.
• After setting a new personal best at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships (May 17) with a 12.89-second finish in the 100m hurdles, Cindy Ofili improved up on that time once more today, crossing at 12.85 to win the second of six heats. Ofili's win automatically qualifies her for tomorrow's quarterfinals, set to begin at 7:05 p.m., and she is seeking a bid to Eugene for a shot at back-to-back All-America honors in her signature event.
Cindy Ofili -- 100m hurdles (12.85)
Anna Pasternak -- 3,000m steeplechase (10:18.35)
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard