Feb. 27, 2014
Sophomore Cindy Ofili talks about handling the pressure of following in her sister's footsteps and also discusses the team's increasing confidence and excitement for the upcoming Big Ten Indoor Championships.
On how's she handled the pressure of being compared to her sister, Tiffany (Ofili) Porter ... "I never really took my sister's legacy as something that pressured me, I took it as motivation to run well. People compare me to her a lot, and I don't think of it as anything bad. I think I handled it pretty well coming in freshman year, and I continue to handle it better as I progress in my track career -- as I get faster and stronger. As I get closer to the Big Ten Championships, I find myself being more relaxed than last year. I watch what my sister does at practice every day when she trains here. I try to run like her. She's a phenomenal athlete like I always say and one day I want to be as good as she is. She's a motivating person and I like to watch her run. Getting the opportunity to train with her right now is going to be beneficial for me and one day we might get to run against each other -- that would be a great feeling."
On her confidence level improving ... "My confidence has really increased. I had confidence in myself my freshman year, but not as much as I have this year. As I continue to progress and get faster and PR, I'm definitely getting more confident and more motivated about running in the championship meets. I feel like I'm a lot more mentally focused this year and as I get stronger and feel faster, that prepares me to run really well. I'm really excited and I'm using this confidence to help me run well this weekend."
On thriving on high-level competition ... "I'm really excited to run against higher competition. That's something I've been looking forward to this whole season. The fact that I'm going to have that at Big Tens is going to be great. I'm excited to run against some of the top in the country. It's going to give me confidence that if I can run well against them, I can run well against anybody. Hopefully that will push me to run a better time and do some big things. I've seen a lot of that Big Ten competition already this season at different meets. It's nice to know what my competition is doing and be aware of that, but at the same time I don't really focus on that. I'm focused more on myself and running my own race. It's nice to have those competitors there to push me, but it's not something that I think about. I look forward to running against good competition, but I look forward to just being relaxed and running well."
On the team's mentality going into the meet ... "We're so excited to perform well. It's so nice to have our team so balanced and have everybody in all events doing well. There are so many great freshmen this year who are going to really contribute, so many seniors who have stepped up to the plate, and our sophomore and junior classes are doing great as well. I think that we're all ready to go. We look a lot stronger and faster this year so I'm excited. We all have that belief that we can win a Big Ten championship and that's what we need."
On competing well at SPIRE two weeks ago ... "It's something that we can build upon. We all ran really well at SPIRE. There were so many PRs and facility records and that's going to help us with our confidence and remind us of what we're capable of doing. I'm looking forward to it and I know all my teammates are too. It's going to be really exciting to go into that environment together."
On having the NCAA Championships in the back of her mind ... "Ever since the beginning of the season, that's something that I've thought about. I'm really looking forward to it -- right now I'm taking Big Tens first -- but it's something that I'm thinking about and preparing myself for. I haven't completely tapered down yet, but I'm excited to see what I can do this weekend in preparation for the next two weeks."
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