Olympic Hurdler Pedrya Seymour Transfers To Texas From Illinois

Olympic Hurdler Pedrya Seymour Transfers To Texas From Illinois
Photo: © Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
The Texas Longhorns have added some serious Olympic firepower to their 2017-18 track and field roster in hurdler Pedrya Seymour.

Seymour, who appears to have a full year and a semester of NCAA eligibility left, made it to the finals in the 100m hurdles at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, where she finished sixth for the Bahamas. The 22-year-old is also her country's national record holder with a PR of 12.64, which she set in the Rio semifinal.

Prior to transferring to Texas, Seymour competed for the Fighting Illini and racked up All-American honors in the 100m and 60m hurdles. At the 2017 NCAA Indoor Championships, she set a 7.66-second PR in the latter event to take third, but failed to advance past the prelims in the 100m hurdles at the 2017 NCAA Outdoor Championships.

And who could blame her? She competed in her first 100m hurdle race just a year before that. 

That's right: four months after first trying the event in April of 2016, she was breaking national records and qualifying for the Olympic final.

When an injury shifted Seymour's focus away from the 400m hurdles, she began training exclusively for the 100m hurdles. Soon after, her 2016 season exploded with a series of dramatic improvements that hacked away at one PR after another. Her first foray in the event yielded a 13.50 on April 9, but it wasn't long before she ran sub-13 (12.92) at the Big Ten Conference Outdoor Championships in May -- the first (but not the last) time she would break the Bahamanian national record that year.

Her second breakthrough happened at the NCAA West Prelim, where she bested the field in 12.95 seconds. At the 2016 NCAA Outdoor Championships, she reset her personal best in the semifinal (12.86) to break her own national record for the Bahamas. Although she fell in the final and placed eighth, she went on to nab another sub-13 performance (12.83) at the NACAC U23 Championships and enjoy great success in her Olympic debut.

At Texas, Seymour will finally get the chance to train under Tonja Buford-Bailey, who originally recruited Seymour for the Fighting Illini but left before her freshman year to join the Longhorns coaching staff in 2013.
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