Women's Track and Field look to keep improving at EIU

Tweet: #Illini @IlliniWTrack roll into nearby Charleston for the next meet of the outdoor season.

The Illini women’s track and field team’s third meet of the outdoor
season, the Big Blue Classic, will take place this weekend in nearby
Charleston, Illinois.

The Eastern Illinois hosted meet will be the third in three weeks
for the Illini, who look to build of some promising results so far in
the outdoor season.

The Illini hurdlers in particular have hit the ground running this
season, with both freshman Jayla Stewart and junior Kortni
Smyers-Jones finishing in the top five in the 100 meter hurdles at
both events so far. Even though this weekend’s meet is smaller than
the last two, the hurdles team has no intention of taking it easy.

“We’re always gonna go hard at every meet, regardless of if it’s a
small meet or a big meet. We have to keep the energy high and keep
the competition high even if it is a small meet.” Stewart said.
“Going in to this meet, we definitely want to work on all thee
things we’ve gone over in practice. Since it is a small meet we’re
gonna work on all the little things he’s (Assistant coach Randy
Gillon) been working on with us.”

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Both hurdlers said that their goal this season was to bring their
time in the 100 meter hurdles down to 13 seconds (In their last
competition, Stewart clocked in at 13.65 seconds and Smyers-Jones
finished in 13.94 seconds). They both believe that if they keep up
their intensity in training that they can get down to 13 seconds by
the end of the outdoor season, and they hope that this weekend’s meet
will be the next step on the road to get there.

Sophomore Janile Rogers also got off to a hot start this season,
setting personal bests in two events (the 100 and 200 meter dash) in
the first meet of the season. She is looking to continue to build on
that this weekend in Charleston, with the eventual goal of setting
more personal bests. However, she knows that the key to continuing to
improve is her training.

“In sprints I have been focusing on block starts and
accelerations, because those have been my weaknesses,” she said.
“And then in long jump I have been focusing on pushing off the back
and getting my feet over my hips.”

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