Illini Ink: Women's Gym Online Journal Week 4

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McGarel-Gray-Smile_0141.jpgGet behind the scenes of Illinois Gymnastics with Illini Ink - the weekly women's gymnastics journal. In this year's fourth edition, freshman Nikki McGarel talks about the beginning of official practice, cheering on the other Illini teams and the team's first-ever spa night.

Hey Illini Fans!

Welcome back to the fourth entry of Illini Ink! It's going to be a great journey this year with the fourteen strong individuals that make up our unified team. I can't wait to ACHIEVE all of our goals and show how hard we have been working.

The past week in Kenney Gym has been very productive. All of the girls are adjusting to  "official" practice and enjoying the structured workouts. Every day someone is giving positive advice to make our practice as beneficial as possible. Smiles are always found in the gym; Rodney makes sure of it. You can almost always look across the gym and find him busting out a dance move!

Not only has Illini gymnastics been on fire this week, but all the sports teams. The amount of victories in Champaign has been overwhelming! As a team, we try to support our fellow student-athletes as much as possible. Last Friday night, we cheered our #1 women's volleyball team to victory against Indiana. I would have to say the most excitement came from the football team's win against Big Ten rivalry Northwestern. With thirteen seconds left on the clock the Fighting Illini scored, which brought home the win with a score of 38-35.

For the first time ever we had a team bonding spa night. Everyone brought a potluck dish and most of the girls painted their nails. By most of us, I mean that senior Kelsey Joannides decided to paint her nails four times only to take it off the next morning.  It was fun to relax and have a girl's night. Our team is so close that every time we get together new memories are always made.

As much fun this past weekend has been, we have all found time to focus on our upcoming midterms. Being a freshman, I have realized that I'm transitioning very well from high school to college as long as I continue to manage my time well. Being a student-athlete is an incredible experience and every day brings new opportunities.



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