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    Illini Ink - 5th Edition

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    JK.jpgGet the inside scoop and peek into the lives of the Illinois Women's Gymnastics team with Illini Ink - the weekly journal that takes you behind the scenes. In this year's fifth edition, senior Jaclyn Kantecki discusses Thanksgiving break, setting goals for the 2013 season and the Orange and Blue exhibition in Huff Hall on Dec. 9.   

    Hey there Illini fans!

                      I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! All of us girls, without a doubt, enjoyed a little rest and relaxation at home with our families over the holiday. Friday, November 16th was the last day of classes, and we had a full week off of school. We stayed on campus until the 20th to train and compete in our first full intrasquad of the season at Kenney Gym. It felt great to put on that long sleeved leotard again and see how competition ready we are at this point in time. I'd say we're off to a good start! We have a lot of fine tuning to do, but as Giana mentioned in the last Illini Ink, we hit 31 out of the 32 routines performed which accomplished the goal we had set for the day.

                      Speaking of goals, before we left for break, we got a little crafty and made some posters to put up in our locker room that will serve as a visual of our goals for this season. We also made a stick board to keep track of all our stuck landings at each intrasquad and meet throughout the year. Season will be here before we know it. We're taking advantage of each practice to put ourselves in pressure situations and polish our gymnastics. We will have another opportunity on December 9th to add some stickers to our stick board at our Orange and Blue Exhibition!

                      The Orange and Blue Exhibition marks our first time back in Huff Hall for the year.  In the past, this has been our Mixed Pairs Exhibition in which the guys and girls partner up and compete against all of the other pairs for the coveted Mixed Pairs title. Other student athletes come to be our judges, and it's a fun way to get back onto the competition floor. However, this year we will be changing it up a bit. Instead of having numerous couples, there will be one Orange team and one Blue team each comprised of both guys and girls.  The Orange team will then compete head to head with the Blue team with the best performance earning a point for their team.  This will be an exciting format and very engaging for the audience. The guys have already tested out this format in an intersquad with UIC, but I can't wait to be a part of it myself! I hope to see a lot of fans in the stands next weekend! Come ready to be impressed!!

                      Stay tuned for more from Illinois Women's Gymnastics. Thanks for reading and GO ILLINI!

                      -Jaclyn 

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