Bloch-Jones and Seymour Lead Illinois to Success at Illini Classic


Austin Yattoni

Illinois’ Kandie Bloch-Jones attempts the high jump during the Orange and Blue meet on Saturday, February 20, 2016. Illinois will host and compete next at the Twilight meet on Saturday, April 22.

By Thomas Polcyn , Assistant sports editor

The Illinois women’s track team competed in the annual Illini Classic at the Armory on Jan. 14. Thanks to a strong team-effort, the Illini finished second overall — just one point behind Southern Illinois — 103-102.

Illinois performance was highlighted by personal records set by Kandie Bloch-Jones and Pedrya Seymour in the high jump and 60-m hurdles respectively. Besides setting personal records, the pair also did well enough to win their individual events. Illinois also won the 4×400 relays and Kay Hylton took first as well.

Head coach Ron Garner was happy with their performances, and thinks that they will be some of the toughest people to beat all season.

“Both [Bloch-Jones and Seymour] will be two of the people that will be a major factor at the end of the season at the national level,” Garner said in a release. “As a whole, we competed very hard and had highlights within the work that we’ve been doing. The work we’ve accomplished over break is starting to, and will continue to, pay off as we move forward during the next few weeks.”

Garner also said that he thinks a big reason for Bloch-Jones’ success was her ability to adjust this week.

    Subscribe to our sports newsletter!

    “We’ve had meets in the past, like at NCAA Indoor Championships, where if she could have made the adjustment she would have been a First Team All-American,” Garner said in the same release. “That’s what she did today; she made the adjustment. Seeing that today shows huge growth.”

    Along with Bloch-Jones, Seymour also made her mark in the Illinois record books. In the preliminary round she posted a time of 8.13 seconds in the 60m — good for a personal record and the fifth fastest time in Illinois history.

    Garner said that he is happy with where Seymour is at, and that if anything he thinks she is ahead of schedule.

    “A year ago, it was the Meyo Invite before we showed this ability in the hurdles, and this year it’s showing in mid-January,” Garner said. “They’re working hard for Coach Gillon and it’s paying off.”