Feb. 9, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- University of Michigan women's track and field head coach James Henry announced the signing of seven student-athletes to National Letters of Intent on Thursday (Feb. 9).
The signees include distance runners Danielle Pfeifer (Cincinnati, Ohio/McAuley) and Taylor Manett (Rockford, Mich./Rockford), sprinters Lily Clifford (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids), Maya Long (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron) and Emily D'Amico (Hoffman Estates, Ill./Hoffman Estates), as well as hurdles Cindy Ofili (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron) and Emily Wee (Frankenmuth, Mich./Frankenmuth).
"Overall, this class is a Michigan class," said Henry. "They are outstanding students and athletes. It is still early, but they could be our best recruiting class since 2006 when we brought in Geena Gall and Tiffany Ofili -- but only time will tell. I am very excited to put together a strong class of substance in those areas."
Danielle Pfeifer • Cincinnati, Ohio • McAuley HS • Mid-Distance
Pfeifer took first in the indoor 800-meter run at the 2011 University of Kentucky High School Invitational with a lifetime best of 2:08.84. As a junior, she finished second in the 800-meter at the OHSAA Division I State Championships. Pfeifer has also run 56.74 in the 400-meter and 4:49.37 in the 1,600-meter.
Associate head coach Mike McGuire on Pfeifer:
"Danielle is a highly accomplished mid-distance runner who will impact our program immediately. I can see her continuing our legacy of outstanding 800- and 1,500-meter runners at Michigan."
Taylor Manett • Rockford, Mich. • Rockford HS • Distance
Manett recorded a runner-up finish at the 2011 Michigan Division I High School Cross Country Championships and was a Foot Locker National finalist. Manett's lifetime best in the 1,600-meters is 4:57.00.
Associate head coach Mike McGuire on Manett:
"Taylor is an outstanding student-athlete who will impact us in cross country and in track from the 1,500-meter up through the 5K immediately. She has made remarkable improvements over the last year and has the potential to be an outstanding collegiate distance runner."
Lily Clifford • East Grand Rapids, Mich. • East Grand Rapids HS • Sprints
Clifford recorded a runner-up finish in the 400-meter dash at the MHSAA Division II outdoor state meet with a lifetime best of 55.99. Her other personal records include 12.36 in the 100-meter dash and 25.62 in the 200-meter dash.
Head coach James Henry on Clifford:
"Lily will add youth and depth to our middle distance sprints area, having a range of 400-800 meters."
Maya Long • Ann Arbor, Mich. • Huron HS • Sprints
Long, along with future Michigan teammate Cindy Ofili, took third in the 4x200-meter relay (1:40.72) for Huron at the MHSAA Division I state meet. She also took second in the 4x400-meter relay (3:50.93) with current Michigan freshman Chinyere Onimo (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron), running a split of 55.3.
Head coach James Henry on Long:
"Maya will step in and make immediate contributions to the 400-meter and 4x400-meter relay. She has the potential of our 400-meter record holder, Joyce Wilson."
Emily D'Amico • Hoffman, Estates, Ill. • Hoffman Estates • Sprints
D'Amico placed third in the 100-meter dash and fifth in the 200-meter dash at the 2011 IHSA AAA state meet with a lifetime best times of 11.69 and 24.91, respectively.
Head coach James Henry on D'Amico:
"Emily is a legitimate short sprinter who will impact an area that we have been lacking in recent years. She has a range of 60-200 meters and will also contribute in the relays."
Cindy Ofili • Ann Arbor, Mich. • Huron HS • Hurdles
Ofili, along with future Michigan teammate Maya Long, took third in the 4x200-meter relay (1:40.72) for Huron at the 2011 MHSAA Division I outdoor state meet, clocking a lifetime-best split of 25.00. She also took sixth in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.24 at the state meet.
Cindy is the younger sister of former Wolverine, Tiffany Ofili (Porter), who was a five-time NCAA champion and holds Michigan records in the indoor 60-meter dash and 60-meter hurdles, as well as the outdoor 100-meter hurdles.
Head coach James Henry on Ofili:
"Cindy has the athletic ability to be an outstanding hurdler. She will also contribute in the short sprints and 4x100-meter relay."
Emily Wee • Frankenmuth, Mich. • Frankenmuth HS • Hurdles
Wee won the 300-meter hurdles, running a lifetime best of 44.15, and was a member of the winning 4x200-meter relay team (1:45.63) at the 2010 MHSAA Division II Track and Field Championships.
Head coach James Henry on Wee:
"Emily is a three-sport high school athlete who I believe will thrive concentrating solely on track at the college level. She will add depth to both hurdles and has the potential to run on both sprint relays."
The seven signees will join a Michigan squad that will lose just six seniors to graduation following the 2012 season.
Contact: Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423