CHAMPAIGN — Men’s gymnast Chandler Eggleston, a two-time All-American and Big Ten floor exercise champion, and women’s track and field standout Kandie Bloch-Jones, the Big Ten indoor high jump champion, were named Newcomers of the Year on Tuesday by the University of Illinois’ Division of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Eggleston is the third consecutive men’s gymnast to garner Newcomer of the Year honors. C.J. Maestas won in 2012, and Fred Hartville was selected in 2013.
Bloch-Jones, an Argenta-Oreana product, became the first Illini to win a conference crown in the high jump since 1997.
Booker signs with Bandits. Weeks after being named to the Big Ten’s all-tournament softball team, former Illini outfielder Alex Booker signed a professional contract to play for the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league.
“I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to extend my softball-playing career with the Chicago Bandits,” Booker said. “This experience will not only push me to compete at the highest level but will also teach me many new things about the game by playing alongside All-Americans, Olympians and the nation’s top players.”