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June 15, 2009 - Image 12

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-06-15

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12

Monday, June 15, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

CHAMPS
From Page 11
Ofili's efforts were enough
to cement her as one of the best
athletes in the history of the pro-
gram. But Michigan's superstar
hurdler first turned heads as just
a freshman. In her first year with
the Wolverines, Ofili broke school
records in both the 60- and 100-
meter hurdles.
This season, Ofili has made
a name for herself as one of the
world's best in the 100-meter hur-
dles, her signature event. At the
renowned Drake Relays, which
hosts some of the world's top tal-
ent, Ofili stood at the start as the
only collegian. After the race, she
stood as the victor, running past
the professional competition and
earning Athlete of the Meet acco-
lades.
Ofili's body of work suggests
that she could be considered one
of the most dominant athletes ever
to wear the block M in any Michi-
gan varsity sport. To win only one
national title is difficult, but to win
five in asport where one hundredth
of a second often determines the
winner is simply unprecedented.
Michigan coach James Henry
decided to honor Ofili's accom-

plishments by naming an award
after her. The Tiffany Ofili Award
will be given to any Wolverine who
wins an NCAA title, and it's only
fitting that the first recipient of
the award was her roommate and
teammate since their first meeting
in 2005, Gall.
Gall registered her second con-
secutive 800-meter NCAA crown
this weekend in an unfamiliar
fashion. The Grand Blanc native
took to the front of the pack and
crossed the 200-meter mark in a
blistering 28 seconds. The Big Ten
Athlete of the Year led wire-to-
wire, aiming to break the coveted
two-minute mark in the event.
"Geena is going to do whatever
it takes to win," Ofili said. "I knew
that if it took taking the lead from
the beginningto win the race, then
Geena was going to do it. I wasn't
surprised by that."
Michigan has a history of excel-
lent middle-distance runners,
and Gall is the recent product of
assistant coach Mark McGuire's
instruction. During her first two
years at the University, Gall had
the luxury of training with Katie
Erdman, an eight-time All-Amer-
ican under McGuire.
And with Gall's career coming
to a close, she leaves Ann Arbor
with a trophy case filled with 10

Senior Tiffany Ofili (seen here at the Len Paddock Invitational) grabbed her third consecutive national title this weekend.
All-American honors. time of my life, I've accomplished team. Their story, which started
"I knew that if I came here (to a lot and I know that it's not over with two young girls in Landover,
Michigan) I would have a great yet." Md. could quickly become a story
coach in Mike McGuire and a In two weeks the pair will head about two world-class athletes,
great group of training partners," to Eugene, Ore., as they compete not only competing on the colle-
Gall said. "This has been the best for spots on the U.S. National giate stage, but the national one.

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