March 4, 2014
PARK RIDGE, Ill. -- Sophomore Cindy Ofili (Ypsilanti, Mich./Huron) and freshman Erin Finn (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield) of the 25th-ranked University of Michigan women's track and field team were named Big Ten Track Indoor Athlete of the Year and Freshman of the Year, respectively, the conference announced Tuesday (March 4).
The duo accounted for 39 of Michigan's 104 points at the Big Ten Indoor Championships, leading the Wolverines to a runner-up finish -- their best since 2008.
Ofili has finished fourth or higher in every indoor race this season, including wins in 11 of 17 total races. At the Big Ten Indoor Championships, she became the first Michigan student-athlete to win the 60-meter hurdles since her older sister, Tiffany (Ofili) Porter, in 2009. Her time of 8.08 set a new SPIRE Institute facility record, and is also the fastest time run in the conference this season and ranks fifth in the nation. Ofili also improved upon her own school records in the 60-meter dash (7.37) and 200-meter dash (23.69), finishing third and fourth, respectively, at the conference meet.
The last Wolverine to earn indoor Athlete of the Year honors came in 2009, when Tiffany (Ofili) Porter and Bettie Wade swept the conference's Track Athlete of the Year and Field Athlete of the Year awards, respectively.
In her Big Ten Indoor Championship debut, Finn turned in a pair of top-two performances. After finishing runner up in the 3,000-meter run (9:12.59) on the opening day of the championships, she returned to capture the 5,000-meter title by nearly a 30-second margin. Her time of 15:52.11 topped her own SPIRE facility record set two weeks prior in her winning effort at the SPIRE Invitational, and also broke a 25-year old Michigan school record. In addition to being the top time in the Big Ten this season, her mark so ranks 10th in the nation.
Finn's indoor track and field recognition comes after she received the Big Ten Cross Country Athlete and Freshman of the Year awards as a result of her victory at the 2013 Big Ten Cross Country Championships.
Current U-M fifth-year senior Jillian Smith (Manahawkin, N.J./Southern Regional) was the last U-M athlete to win Big Ten Indoor Freshman of the Year in 2010.
Ofili and Finn will now await their seeding for the NCAA Indoor Championships, which will take place on March 14-15 at the University of New Mexico.
Contact: Whitney Dixon (firstname.lastname@example.org)