Four Wolverine Women to Represent U-M Out West at NCAA Outdoors
Provided by U of M
Thu-Sat., June 11-13 -- at NCAA Outdoor Championships (Eugene, Ore.)
The University of Michigan women's track and field team will be represented by senior co-captain Brook Handler, juniors Shannon Osika and Cindy Ofili and sophomore Erin Finn at the NCAA Outdoor Championships from June 11-13 at the University of Oregon's historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.
All four qualifiers are Southeast Michigan natives and will be making their second appearances at the outdoor national meet, with the exception of Osika, who is making her Eugene debut.
Twelve competitors from the east and west regions in each individual event and 12 teams from each relay event advanced from the preliminary championship competitions to NCAA Outdoors.
FOLLOW THE MEET
*All Times Pacific Daylight
*All times and seeds listed are based on athletes' performances at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds (May 27-30).
|100m Dash||Cindy Ofili/20||11.53|
|1,500m run||Shannon Osika/16||4:17.59|
|5,000m run||Erin Finn/10||15:58.64|
|100m Hurdles||Cindy Ofili/2||12.81|
MAIZE AND BLUE SCHEDULE
|100m hurdles||Cindy Ofili||Thursday June 11, 5:02 p.m. (Semifinal)|
Saturday June 13, 2:45 p.m. (Final)
|100m dash||Cindy Ofili||Thursday June 11, 5:16 p.m. (Semifinal)|
Saturday June 13, 2:55 p.m. (Final)
|1,500m run||Brook Handler, Shannon Osika||Thursday June 11, 4:14 p.m. (Semifinal)|
Saturday June 13, 2:15 p.m. (Final)
|5,000m||Erin Finn||Saturday June 13, 4 p.m. (Final)|
• The NCAA Outdoor Championships will be hosted by the University of Oregon for the third consecutive year, and the meet will remain at historic Hayward Field through the 2021 season.
• With 48 women's entries in total, the Big Ten Conference ranks fifth in the nation. Between men's and women's entries combined, the Big Ten boasts 109 total athletes, fourth best of any conference just behind the ACC (113) and ahead of the Big 12 (107).
• From the Big Ten, only Michigan State, Nebraska and Ohio State (7) have more entries than the Maize and Blue (5) at this year's NCAA Outdoor Championships. With a pair of 1,500-meter runners set to compete, U-M supplies half of the conference's total entries in the middle-distance events.
• Seven schools have three or more women competing in one race, but only hosting Ducks of Oregon have more athletes (4) than U-M in the 1,500m run, where the Maize and Blue boasts both Brook Handler and Shannon Osika. Mississippi State and Villanova will also have two runners in the field.
• Under the tutelage of distance coach and associate head coach Mike McGuire, U-M has had one or more All-American in the 1,500m run in four consecutive seasons dating to 2012.
• Cindy Ofili is the only athlete in the field -- man or woman -- to double in both the short hurdles and 100m dash this weekend.
Cindy Ofili • Junior • 100m Dash/100m Hurdles • Ypsilanti, Michigan
• After finishing two spots shy of qualifying as a freshman in 2013, junior sprinter/hurdler Cindy Ofili has advanced from the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in back-to-back seasons in 2014-15. This year, she finished second overall in the regional quarterfinal with a time of 12.81, an improvement of .19 seconds from what sent her to Eugene in 2014. She is the No. 2 overall seed.
• At the conference level, Ofili defended her titles in the indoor 60m and outdoor 100m hurdles this season, giving her four total conference crowns with a full season of eligibility remaining. Already a two-time All-American in hurdles events, Ofili looks to build on her 11th-place finish at this meet a year ago.
• Ofili, who owns the indoor program records in the 60m (7.37) and 200m dashes (23.69), is undefeated in 100m hurdles races this season. She is a perfect 7-0 across as many meets (not including prelims), and her personal-best time of 12.81 run at the NCAA East Region Preliminary Rounds (May 30) ranks among the nation's fastest.
• Ofili came into the Big Ten Outdoor Championships on a tear and continued her winning streak in the hurdles. Aside from that, she set a 100m dash PR (11.45) and a season-best 200m time (23.56) during her final regular-season competition of the year, at the UCI's adidas/Steve Scott Invitational (May 2). She followed that up with a successful title defense in the 100m hurdles at the conference meet and a nearly-perfect NCAA East Regional weekend at the end of last month.
• After setting a new personal best at the Big Ten Outdoor Championships (May 17) with her 12.89-second finish in the 100m hurdles, Ofili improved upon that time twice in one weekend during the east preliminary rounds. The Ypsilanti, Michigan, native crossed at 12.85 to win the second of six heats in the first round, then blazed a 12.81 in the quarterfinal, winning her heat once again and securing her chance for a shot at back-to-back All-America honors in her signature event.
• With her advancement to Eugene in both the dash and hurdles, Ofili has a chance to become Michigan's first back-to-back All-American in the 100m hurdles since her sister Tiffany (Ofili) Porter accomplished the feat in three straight seasons from 2007-09. No Wolverine has ever earned All-America honors in the 100m dash.
Erin Finn • Sophomore • 5,000m • West Bloomfield, Michigan
• Since returning from injury, all sophomore Erin Finn has done is set top-five NCAA times in the 5,000m and 10,000m races, earning a pair of runner-up finishes in just three meets before defending her 10K title at the conference meet (May 16).
• Already a two-time All-American and four-time Big Ten champion (In/Out 5,000m run, 2014; Outdoor 10,000m run, 2014-15), Finn owns the program records for the indoor 5,000-meter run (15:52.11), outdoor 5,000-meter run (15:26.08) and outdoor 10,000-meter run (32:41.65).
• Her runner-up finish at the NCAA East Region Preliminary Rounds in Jacksonville, Florida, last month came in 15:58.64 and solidified her first career 5,000m bid at the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Finn ran the 10,000m race in 2014 outdoors and ran the 5,000m race during her freshman indoor season. Her season best from her sophomore campaign came at Stanford in a professional-heavy field, in which she ran 15:32.88 off just a few short weeks of training.
• Finn has the opportunity to become an All-American in both the 5K and 10K outdoor races, a distinction she would own by herself in U-M history. Two of the three other Wolverines to achieve All-America honors in the 10,000m run came in 1983, when Melanie Weaver (3rd) and Lisa Larsen (6th) accomplished the feat together. Elizabeth Kampfe (1998; 9th) also earned that honor, though none of the three earned the distinction in the outdoor 5,000m run. However, Kampfe was an indoor All-American at the 5,000m distance, finishing seventh during that same season.
• Michigan's last All-American at the outdoor 5,000m distance was Erin Webster, who finished third in 2007.
Brook Handler • Senior • 1,500m • Rochester Hills, Michigan
• Handler punched her second career ticket to the national championships in the 1,500-meter run after running a pair of 4:20 times at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds to push herself into another bid out west.
• After a sixth-place finish a year ago, senior co-captain Brook Handler has the opportunity to become Michigan's first back-to-back All-American in the 1,500m run since Nicole (Edwards) Sifuentes in 2006-07 (fourth place; seventh place).
• At the 2014 Big Ten Outdoor Championships, she placed fifth in the 1,500m and followed that up with a third-place showing in her final conference meet this past May, running a season-best 4:16.01 to reach the podium.
Shannon Osika • Junior • 1,500m • Waterford, Michigan
• Osika ran 4:17.59 to earn a runner-up finish in the semifinal heat of the 1,500m run at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds in Jacksonville, automatically punching her first-ever ticket for a trip to Hayward Field. Osika ran in the slower of the two heats and finished just behind Iona's Rosie Clark.
• At the Big Ten Outdoor Championships, Osika was runner-up to MSU's Leah O'Connor, crossing at 4:15.24 to earn her 10th career top-five finish at the conference meet, including relays.
• Though Osika is making her first trip to Eugene, she is already a four-time USTFCCCA All-American from her successes during the indoor season, earning two such honors in the distance medley relay and two for the indoor mile.
• U-M's last year with more than one All-American in the 1,500m was in 2013, when former Wolverine Amanda Eccleston and current volunteer assistant Rebecca Addison finished fifth and 23rd, respectively. The Maize and Blue will have that opportunity again this week with Handler and Osika in the field.
• Head coach James Henry is in the midst of his 31st year at the help of the U-M program. His athletes have totaled 168 All-America honors in his time in Ann Arbor, including nine individual national championships and four relay titles. During his time at U-M, Henry has led the Wolverines to 14 Big Ten titles, including seven indoor and seven outdoor. U-M's track and cross country programs also teamed up to win a pair of triple crowns in 1993-94 and 2002-03 (Big Ten cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field titles in the same academic year).
• Last year in 2014, Henry helped send five athletes to the NCAA Outdoor Championships, and he brings another four to this year's edition of the championships. Most recently at this year's Big Ten Outdoor Championships (May 15-17), Henry helped Cindy Ofili and Erin Finn defend their 100m hurdles and 10,000m race titles, respectively.
• Associate head coach Mike McGuire has coached the Wolverine distance runners for nearly 25 years working alongside Henry. A two-time USTFCCCA Division I Assistant Coach of the Year (women's distance) honoree (2005, 2007), he has coached 135 student-athletes to All-America honors, winning four individual national titles and four titles in the distance medley relay, most recently in 2013.
• Most recently, McGuire helped Erin Finn repeat as the 10,000m Big Ten Outdoor champion off a short return from injury, and he led U-M runners to a 2-3-7-8 finish in the conference's 1,500m race on the way to sending four Wolverines to the 1,500m quarterfinal at the NCAA East Region Preliminary Rounds, advancing Handler and Osika to the NCAA Outdoor Championships this weekend.
• Assistant coach Sandy Fowler works exclusively with the U-M throwers and is now approaching the end of her fourth campaign with the Maize and Blue. This year, Fowler brought her sixth athlete to the NCAA East Regional since joining U-M in 2012 -- freshman Kayla Deering (shot put) -- and she has guided a pair of Wolverines to the NCAA Championships already. Prior to her time in Ann Arbor, Fowler coached the Alabama women's track and field program for 14 years following a few other stops, guiding nearly 30 athletes to All-America status, including 2011 indoor shot put national champion Wilamena Hopkins.
HISTORIC HAYWARD FIELD
• At the heart of Eugene's successful bid for the 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Team Trials, Hayward Field looms as one of the world's most famous track and field venues.
• In 2010, Track Town USA welcomed the NCAA Outdoor Championships for the 10th time since 1962 -- the most of any venue in modern history. It is also the only facility to ever host three consecutive U.S. Olympic Trials (1972, 1976, 1980), while six U.S. Championships have graced the storied venue, including recent events in 1999, 2001, 2009 and 2011.
• The University of Oregon's track and field-only facility was initially constructed for football in 1919. Two years later, a six-lane cinder track was installed and a full schedule of track events were transferred from Kincaid Field on the opposite edge of campus. The facility was utilized for both sports until the opening of Autzen Stadium in 1967.
• The stadium (current capacity: 10,500) has undergone significant improvements in modern history, including a new track surface, permanent lights, a video board and newly configured infield. For more info on the venue, including maps, parking information and more, check out GoDucks.com.
Communications Contact: Chad Shepard