Since winning the NCAA Indoor National Championship in the 60-meter hurdles a month ago, junior Tiffany Ofili had yet to compete in her trademark event in the outdoor season.
But when that chance came at the non-scoring Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Ariz. on Saturday, she didn’t skip a beat, qualifying for the NCAA Mideast Regional by running a 13.01 in the 100-meter hurdles.
“She did better than what I thought,” Michigan coach James Henry said. “She was a little nervous. The competition was solid, but it wasn’t the kind of competition she has looked for.”
The trip to Arizona offered the Wolverines an opportunity to run in great weather and compete against teams other than their typical midwest foes.
Sophomore Charneé Lumbus joined Ofili as a regional qualifier in the 100-meter hurdles with her ninth-place finish (13.78).
And Ofili’s ninth-place finish in the 200-meter dash also qualified her for the regional and was one of Michigan’s 10 qualifying times.
Junior Geena Gall qualified by winning the 800-meter run (2:05.88), and senior Nicole Edwards did the same by winning the 1,500-meter run (4:17.74).
Freshman Emily Pendleton added another qualifier to her young career. She received her second NCAA regional qualifying throw in the discus (163-6) after her first-place finish in the same event two weeks ago at the Florida State Relays.
Since Ofili hadn’t run her best event in a month and Henry had to rest Edwards after an exhausting indoor campaign, the numerous qualifying times are impressive for this Michigan squad.
“They have pretty much been our lead goal,” Henry said. “(And) of course getting some good competition in good weather.”
After its third-place finish in the NCAA Indoor Championships, Michigan looks to be on the right track for the NCAA Outdoor Championships in June.