Hello Illini fans!
We've had a fantastic two weeks here in Champaign! We had a great week in the gym before we took the big trip to the University of Minnesota. After we arrived in Minneapolis, we went straight to my mom's house to have a home cooked meal with our families. It was great to see everyone who made the long drive. Besides for hanging with the parents, we spent the end of the evening cheering on the wrestling team via the Big Ten network. At 4:00 pm the next day it was "go time" and your Fighting Illini were ready! We started on bars and made some major improvements from previous competitions. Next, we went to vault where people really stepped up their game. Amber See competed her handspring front full beautifully for the first time this season. Also for the first time, Tori Fujinami performed in exhibition. Floor was next, and we rocked it. We had a rather shaky finish on beam, but we ended the meet scoring our season high of 196.35. Another highlight was that senior, Alina Weinstein tied the school all-around record and was named Co-Big Ten Gymnast of the Week.
The following week in the gym was another good one. We had Jeff Jansen, an expert in sport leadership, come into the gym and talk with us about ways to continue improving our season. He had us play a game where we stood in two lines and held a balloon up between each of using only your stomach and teammate's back for support. This was a fun competition and really helped us to visualize important things that our team needs such as great communication, keeping your goal in mind, confidence in ourselves and in each other, and bouncing back quickly after mistakes.
This past weekend, we had our second home meet of the season in our annual Gym Jam competition. It was a double dual with the University of Iowa, our first of three double dual meets this season. We had a record-breaking attendance of over 2,300 fans! This created a great atmosphere and the team thrived. We had a series of great vaults before going to bars where we killed it. After bars, we had a few line-up changes, but everyone stepped up to the plate to finish the day well with a final team score of 195.975. Once again, senior Alina Weinstein made history by breaking the floor record with a 9.975 (yes, one judge gave her a perfect 10!) and the all-around record with a 39.60. She was named Co-Big Ten Gymnast of the Week for her accomplishments. Check out the highlights here.
We're working really hard this week in the gym and can't wait to head to Ohio State for our next double dual competition.
Stay tuned for next time with the Illinois Gymnastics Team!