The Wolverine

August 2015 Issue

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 43 of 177

"Coming out of Big Ten outdoors this year I felt really good," she said. "At the NCAA regional meet, I PR'd twice and I still felt like I had a lot to give. "Going into the NCAA Champion- ships, I wasn't thinking about any other race but the race in front of me." During a preliminary, Ofili hit a hurdle and feels fortunate to have qualified for the finals. At long last, the moment was hers. "When the gun went off, I had a good start. Not the best start in the field — I was already playing from behind — but for me, I got off the way I needed to give myself a chance," she said. "My finish is the strongest part of my race so as I was over each new hurdle, I felt myself closing in on first place. "I knew I was going fast, it felt amazing, and when we crossed the finish line, it felt a little different — like I had run the fastest race of my life, but to set a PR by .21, I was in total shock I went that fast." "We knew from her numbers in practice that she still had something left to show us, but did I think she would run that fast? No," Henry acknowledged. "I wasn't surprised, though. "And I wouldn't be surprised if she makes another major drop in her time. She is a humble athlete that understands that what she has accomplished will only stand in your way if you allow it to. "'Prove to me you can run faster,' I tell her, and I believe she is motivated to show me she can." A two-time Academic All-Big Ten recipient majoring in education, Ofili has the support system to keep her grounded and locked in on achieving more on the track and in the classroom. She is faster than her sister at this stage in their careers and one of the fastest athletes in the world in the 100-meter hurdles. For now. "If I want to win next year, 12.60 probably isn't going to be good enough," Ofili said. "I'm confident I can run faster and I know I'll have to run faster. I know I have to improve my starts, and if I do that and run a clean race, I can win a national title." ❏ Ofili is the last of four Division I athlete sib- lings. Two brothers played football — Frank at Toledo and Alex at Michigan — while older sister Tiffany also ran track at U-M. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS

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