U of M Women - Ofili Defends Hurdles Crown at Drake Relays

U of M Women - Ofili Defends Hurdles Crown at Drake Relays

Provided by U of M

What You Need to Know

» Cindy Ofili ran 12.90 to defend her 100-meter hurdles title at the Drake Relays.

» Ofili and her sister Tiffany (Ofili) Porter have totaled four collegiate Drake Relays crowns in the 100-meter hurdles (2008-09; 2015-16).

» The Maize and Blue wraps up events in Hillsdale, Michigan, this afternoon at the Chargers' Gina Relays, and will also run at Stanford's Payton Jordan Invite on Sunday (May 1).

• Complete Results PDF

Site: Des Moines, Iowa (Knapp Center)

Event: Drake Relays (Day 3 of 3)

U-M Team Result: No Team Scoring

Next U-M Event: Sunday, May 1 -- at Payton Jordan Invitational (Palo Alto, Calif.), 11 a.m. PT

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The University of Michigan women's track and field team closed events at the Drake Relays on Saturday (April 30), with senior co-captain Cindy Ofili running in the 100-meter hurdles collegiate championship section at the Knapp Center.

Ofili, who owns five U-M records, is seeded first in the NCAA this year with a time of 12.66 seconds set earlier this month at Mt. SAC Relays (April 16). She was entered in the 100-meter dash and hurdles this weekend and finished Friday's action as the top seed in both events, running a season-best 11.57 in the dash. However, after tightening up a little bit Friday (April 29), she decided to focus on the hurdles today.

"Initially I had planned on doing the double, however, yesterday I felt a little something in my hamstring, and we decided that it wasn't worth it," Ofili said, "We kept it cautions today, especially with the weather the way it was."

It was a great competitive atmosphere for hurdles and sprints in particular, with a number of Olympic hopefuls and world leaders competing at the Knapp Center. Unfortunately, weather did not cooperate as a number of field events were moved inside due to rainy conditions.

When the rain cleared up, events continued on the track. Ofili was in a class of her own at the collegiate level this weekend. She ran the only sub-13 time in the field, winning by nearly a full half-second (.49 seconds).

Drake Relays has been an excellent meet for Ofili's in the past; Cindy's 2015-16 repeat titles were preceded by Tiffany's in 2008-09, and the elder Ofili went on to earn the title in the professional division in 2011. The atmosphere with elite competition and knowledgeable fans make it one of Ofili's favorite experiences every year.

"The thing I like most about this meet is the crowd," she said. "Whether it's rain or shine, they are here to support the athletes, and I really appreciated that today and last year, too. I love the atmosphere with the professional athletes here; I think I feed off them very well so it's an inspiration to run fast when they are here. I was excited to come back and defend my title, so it was a nice weekend despite the cold and wet conditions."

After success at this meet last year propelled Ofili to a Big Ten title and national runner-up finish, she is excited to enter an off weekend coming off today's performance.

"It's a confidence booster for sure," said Ofili, "Having that rhythm and progression in the hurdles is helpful, and I'm excited moving forward into the Big Ten Championships in two weeks."

U-M will have athletes at Stanford's Payton Jordan Invitational on Sunday (May 1), which is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. PDT.

Communications Contact: Chad Shepard