NCAA Titles by Gall, Ofili Help Michigan Finish Seventh
June 14, 2008
Site: Des Moines, Iowa (Drake Stadium)
Event: NCAA Outdoor Championships (Day 4)
U-M Team Finish: 7th Place (29 Points)
Next U-M Event: Season Completed
DES MOINES, Iowa—Juniors Geena Gall (Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc HS) and Tiffany Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti HS) earned national titles Saturday (June 14) to lead the University of Michigan women's track and field team to seventh place at the NCAA Outdoor Championships at Drake Stadium. Ofili repeated in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 12.84, while Gall won the 800-meter run in 2:03.91.
Junior co-captain Bettie Wade (Northville, Mich./Farmington HS) and senior Nicole Edwards (Winnipeg, Manitoba/Vincent Massey) also earned All-America honors, with Wade placing third in the heptathlon (3,560 points) and Edwards finishing sixth in the 1,500-meter run (4:15.00).
Ofili took control of the 100m hurdles final from the start as she and LSU's Nickiesha Wilson separated from the pack over the first three hurdles. Ofili extended her lead over Wilson (13.00) by 0.16 of a second over the reaming seven hurdles to secure her third NCAA individual title and tally 10 points for Michigan.
Ofili is the first U-M sprinter in program history to win consecutive NCAA outdoor titles and claim All-America honors in back-to-back seasons. She is also the first Wolverine to win three consecutive national championships (two outdoor, one indoor) in school history.
Gall, who earned her third 800m outdoor All-America honor of her career, Gall began in the middle of the pack and was between fourth and fifth place throughout most of the race. She moved into the third at the 500m mark and starting kicking ahead with 150 meters to go. Heading into the straightaway Gall was second to Becky Horn (2:04.67) of Western Michigan before a late spurt with 50 meters remaining separated her from the rest of the pack.
Gall is the first Wolverine to claim the NCAA outdoor 800-meter run title and the first one to claim three consecutive All-America honors in the event, adding to her fourth-place finish in 2006 and fifth-place effort last year. Gall's victory earned another 10 points for the Wolverines.
Wade, who was third in the heptathlon after the four events contested Friday, solidified her position with a strong performance in Saturday's first event, the long jump, tying for fifth with a mark of 19-9 that was good for 856 points. Wade held a 13-point edge over fourth-place Brianne Theisen of Oregon entering the final event, the 800-meter run. Theisen passed Wade at the 600m mark, but Wade was able to stay with her pace and kicked past Theisen down the homestretch to finish sixth (2:21.60) to Theisen's seventh (2:22.73).
Wade's third-place performance marks the highest heptathlon finish in school history and earned six points for the Wolverines. Jacquelyn Johnson of Arizona State won the title for the fourth straight year.
In her final collegiate track race, Edwards began the 1,500m run in the back of the pack and remained in eighth and ninth for most of the race before starting her move at the 300m mark. With 100 meters remaining Edwards had moved up to fifth place, before dropping back to sixth down the homestretch. Edwards' finish added three points to U-M's tally.
Michigan extended to four its streak of top-10 finishes at NCAA championships over the past two seasons. The Wolverines were ninth at the 2007 indoor meet and had program-best finishes of third at the 2007 outdoor event and third at the 2008 indoor championships before their seventh-place performance this week.
Final Team Standings (Top 10)
1. Louisiana State 67
2. Arizona State 63
3. Texas A&M 48
4. Penn State 39
5. Texas Tech 32
6. Stanford 31
7. MICHIGAN 29
8. Oregon 27
9. Florida 26
10. Texas-El Paso 25
U-M Results (Day 4)
1. GEENA GALL, U-M 2:03.91
2. Latavia Thomas, LSU 2:04.38
3. Becky Horn, Western Michigan 2:04.67
4. Zoe Buckman, Oregon 2:04.69
5. Heather Dorniden, Minnesota 2:05.86
6. Phoebe Wright, Tennessee 2:06.56
7. Carlee Clark-Platt, BYU 2:06.61
8. Anna Layman, Washington State 2:06.93
1. TIFFANY OFILI, U-M 12.84
2. Nickiesha Wilson, LSU 13.00
3. Shantia Moss, Georgia Tech 13.15
4. Aleesha Barber, Penn State 13.18
5. Latoya Greaves, Oklahoma 13.30
6. Jessica Ohanaja, LSU 13.32
7. Celriece Law, Tennessee 13.57
8. Shalina Clarke, Southern Cal 13.58
1. Hannah England, Florida State 4:06.19
2. Sally Kipyego, Texas Tech 4:06.67
3. Sarah Bowman, Tennessee 4:07.50
4. Dacia Barr, Arkansas 4:11.02
5. Emily Anderson, William & Mary 4:14.73
6. NICOLE EDWARDS, U-M 4:15.00
7. Lauren Hagans, Baylor 4:15.43
8. Susan Kuijken, Florida State 4:17.28
9. Brie Felnagle, North Carolina 4:17.76
10. Keri Bland, West Virginia 4:18.18
11. Amanda Miller, Washington 4:20.71
12. Jessica Eldridge, Oklahoma 4:22.21
13. Elizabeth Maloy, Georgetown 4:22.66
14. Brenda Martinez, Riverside 4:24.99
15. Maggie Infeld, Georgetown 4:27.57
Heptathlon (Top 8)
1. Jacquelyn Johnson, Arizona State 6,053 points
2. Liz Roehrig, Minnesota 5,811
3. BETTIE WADE, U-M 5,738
100m Hurdles (13.73) 1017 (6)
High Jump (5-8 3/4, 1.75m) 916 (4)
Shot Put (43-1 1/2, 13.14m) 737 (3)
200m Dash (24.97) 890 (8)
Long Jump (19-9, 6.02m) 856 (T5)
Javelin (105-11, 32.29m) 520 (21)
800m Run (2:21.60) 802 (9)
4. Brianne Theisen, Oregon 5,710
5. Gayle Hunter, Penn State 5,709
6. Annett Wichmann, Hawaii 5,670
7. Kasey Hill, Boston College 5,666
8. Tammilee Kerr, Iowa 5,633
( ) indicates place in each decathlon event